Pacific Lutheran

NWC game day preview: PLU tries to start another winning streak over UPS

PUGET SOUND (3-3, 1-3 in NWC) at PACIFIC LUTHERAN (3-3, 2-2)

1 p.m. Saturday, Sparks Stadium, Puyallup

Coaches: Jeff Thomas is in his seventh season at UPS (16-44 record). Scott Westering is in his 13th season at PLU (67-49 record).

Series: UPS leads, 45-40-1. The Lutes had a nine-game winning streak snapped in Tacoma after the Loggers rallied late for a 6-2 victory at Baker Stadium. The Lutes have won the past four meetings in Puyallup – the last one a 41-21 win in 2013. UPS’s last road triumph came in 2005 – 23-13.

Statistical leaders: For UPS – QB Hans Fortune (203-323, 2,246 yards, 20 TDs, six INTs), RB Austin Wagner (64 rushes, 336 yards, four TDs), WR Brennan Schon (50 catches, 751 yards, seven TDs) and S Jacob Wuesthoff (68 tackles, one INT). For PLU – QB Jon Schaub (72-117, 774 yards, six TDs, two INTs), RB Marc Gallant (71 rushes, 327 yards), WR Kellen Westering (32 catches, 421 yards, four TDs) and S Carson Ketter (63 tackles, one INT).

Injury report: For UPS – LB Will Geary (wrist) and DB Zack Teats (knee) are out; For PLU – QB Jon Schaub (shoulder) and DL Jordan Zimmerman (shoulder) are doubtful.

When the Loggers have the football: This offense, in large or small chunks, is built around Fortune and the passing game. And to move the chains effectively, Fortune needs to get passes out quickly and on the mark, or this disciplined, ball-hawking defense, led by the safety trio of Ketter, Travis McMillion and Derek Chase, is bound to force a turnover or two.

When the Lutes have the football: Perhaps the biggest mismatch of the game is this passing offense against a young UPS secondary, which has given up big play after big play. The questions is, if sophomore QB Cole Chandler starts in place of Schaub, can he hit on a couple of those quick-strike throws with Westering? PLU will give him every chance to do so.

TNT pick: PLU, 38-27.

Todd Milles