SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)- Augustana cruised past Minot State last Saturday with a 51-6 victory earning the Vikings their third straight win.
“I feel great. I mean all three phases showed up and played well. I thought that we played well early and we started fast in both halves and I’m really pleased with where we’re at as a football team,” Augustana Head Coach Jerry Olszewski said.
“Just seemed like a game where both offense and defense, just both having success on both sides of the ball and it’s really good to see, because it’s been a point of emphasis for us, for the past couple weeks,” Augustana linebacker Kyle Theis said.
The Vikings are now 6-2, which is their best start to a season since 2015, thanks in large part to the Augie defense that is allowing only 12 points per game.
“I think one, our coaches are putting our players in a position to be successful and our kids are executing at a pretty good level right now. It’s fun to watch them, it really is. I think we’re number one in the country in take aways, we’re top two in defense as for scoring defense,” Olszewski said.
“We’re playing really disciplined football right now. Each one of us is just focusing on our job and not going out and making plays that don’t have to be made if it’s not your job and we trust one another really well and I think that’s been the key to our success,” Thies said.
The region four playoff standings were announced for the first time this season as the Vikings found themselves in seventh. With the top seven teams advancing to the playoffs, Augustana knows that every game from here until the end of the season will have a playoff atmosphere.
“It has been since October 5th. We had no margin for error since that second loss so our kids have been playing like that for over a month now and we like it that way. We want to be playing our best football as we go along and I’m really pleased that we ended up seventh because you know that if you continue to win, then you’re in and for our guys to know that they control their own destiny, that’s important,” Olszewski said.
The Vikings will host the Golden Bears of Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday. Augustana has won the last four meetings between the two teams, but this year’s Golden Bears team is a little different.
“They’re a 5-3 football team with more wins then they’ve had in the past and they’re very solid. They’ve beat some very quality opponents and they’ve played very well against others. We have some common opponents across the board, so we’ve seen them for the duration of the eight games that we’ve gone through. Right now, we need to focus on the details,” Olszewski said.
The Vikings have won three straight contests and would like to extend the win streak to four, but Augustana will have to find a way to slow down a Concordia offense that is averaging 24 points per game.
“I think we need to take care of the football and take it away and number two, we need to continue to be good as far as the standpoint of tackling. We need to tackle the football well on Saturday and offensively, finish in the red zone. When we get those plays and explosive plays, we need to mkae sure they turn into seven points and now three and I think if we do that, we’ll like the results of the game,” Olszewski said.
“I would say, just minimize mental mistakes, which is something that we’ve been pretty good at this year. Physical mistakes are going to happen especially when you talk about the defensive side of football, you’re going to miss tackles. Offensive side passes are going to be dropped, there’s going to be incompletes and if you limit the mental mistakes, most of the time you’ll come out with a ‘W’ if you do a good job on that end,” Theis said.
Augustana will host Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday with the game beginning at 1:00.