No. 12 Minnesota State rushed for 262 yards on its way to a 52-14 win over Augustana in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference South Division football action on Saturday afternoon. Minnesota State (6-0 NSIC, 2-0 South) remains one of two unbeaten teams in the NSIC while Augustana drops to 2-4 NSIC, 0-2 South.
The last time Augustana was 2-4, was during the 2007 season. With 262 yards rushing, it was the most rushing yards allowed by Augustana since giving up 257 yards to Minnesota Duluth on Dec. 4, 2010.
Augustana has not been 2-4 through six games in a season since 2007.
Augustana was held to a season-low 44 yards rushing, its lowest total since rushing for 40 yards against Northern State on Oct. 8, 2011.
Mitch Brozovich led the MSU offense passing for 162 yards and a touchdown. Brozovich also hurt the Vikings on the ground rushing 20 times for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Andy Pfeiffer finished the game with 59 rushing yards and two scores himself.
Josh Hanson was 21 of 41 passing for 234 yards and two touchdowns. Grant Gebhardt caught eight passes for 88 yards, including a 36 yard reception. Ben Parsley hauled in six passes for 87 yards and his seventh touchdown catch of the season.
Austin Luecke led the Viking defense with a season-high 14 tackles. He also snagged his third career, and second interception of the season. Thomas Vanasek picked up 10 tackles, including six solo stops. Adam Juhl finished with a career-high eight tackles.
The Vikings picked up three third down conversions on the first drive of the game and scored on a one yard touchdown pass from Hanson to Nick Lee. Augustana converted on third down and 12 on an 18-yard pass to Parsley.
On third and eight yards to go, Hanson hit Gebhardt for a 36-yard pass and catch getting the Vikings into MSU territory. Tanner Foth took over at quarterback for the Vikings and rushed for eight yards on two plays to get Augustana to the two yard line. After an offside penalty by MSU, Hanson rolled out to his right and hit a wide open Lee in the end zone to put the Vikings up 7-0. It was Lees first career reception and touchdown.
Minnesota State answered on the following drive going 48 yards in six plays capped off by a four-yard touchdown run by Andy Pfeiffer to tie the score at 7.
MSU extended its lead to 10-7 on a 23-yard field goal by Sam Brockshus with 59 seconds left in the first quarter. Augustana came up with a big stop on third and short setting up the Mavericks fourth and one from the six yard line. Brockshus drilled the right field goal post but the kick made its way through the uprights.
The Viking offense was set up with great field position after Austin Luecke intercepted his second pass of the season. Augustana took over at MSUs 26-yard line but was not able to knot the score after a Albrecht missed a 24 yard field goal wide right.
MSU took the momentum and drove right down the field picking up a first down on the first play of the drive on a 36 yard pass from Brozovich to Adam Thielen. Brozovich kept the drive moving rushing three times for 22 yards. MSU extended its lead to 17-7 on a 17-yard rushing touchdown by Thomas.
On the ensuing kickoff the Mavericks sent a short kick to the Augustana 30 yard line and recovered the ball to take over in Augustana territory. Seven plays later the Mavericks took a 24-7 lead finding the end zone on Pfeiffers second rushing touchdown of the game, on a one yard plunge.
Augustana cut MSUs lead to 10 scoring with one second left in the half on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Hanson to Parsley. Parsley was heavily covered in the back of the end zone but was able to come down with his seventh receiving touchdown of the season to make the score 24-14.
Minnesota State rushed for 159 yards in the first half, while the MSU defense held the Vikings to just 30 yards on the ground. Penalties hurt the Mavericks in the first half as MSU was flagged seven times for 65 yards.
Augustana finished the first half with 110 yards passing. Minnesota State passed for 83 yards as Brozovich was six of nine passing with one interception.
Minnesota State connected on all four of its possessions in the red zone.
Luecke led the Viking defense in the first half with eight tackles. Adam finished the half with seven tackles. Luecke also intercepted his second pass of the season.
Thomas brought the opening kickoff of the second half back 40 yards for MSU setting up the Mavericks with great field position. Brozovich led MSU on a seven-play 60-yard drive to open the half and he ended it on an eight yard touchdown run giving the Mavericks a 31-14 lead.
Augustana drove down the field on the next drive of the game aided once again by MSU penalties. The Mavericks were called for pass interference giving the Vikings a first down at MSUs 28. After a holding penalty on the Vikings on third and two, Hanson hit Darren Niklason for six yards and Augustana set up to go for it on fourth down. Noah Huisman caught a five yard pass but was one yard short of the first down turning the ball over on downs.
MSU pushed its lead to 38-14 on a 54-yard touchdown pass from Brozovich to Kyle Riggot.
The Mavericks would get the ball back quickly when Jordan Hale picked up a fumble by Parsley and returned it 36 yards to Augustanas 34 yard line. Parsley had a 31 yard reception but was separated from the ball. The Mavericks got in to the end zone again on a seven yard run by Brozovich extending their lead to 45-14.
Augustana had another drive stall on a turnover on its next drive when Marcus Hall-Oliver intercepted a Hanson pass and returned it 47 yards to Augustanas 10 yard line setting up a five yard touchdown run by Trent Cummings giving MSU a 52-14 lead.
Augustana returns to action next Saturday taking on Upper Iowa at 1 p.m. in Fayette, Iowa.
Courtesy: Tim Evans, Augustana Athletics