BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University football program looks to snap its first losing streak under head coach Brent Bolte in the return to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Division schedule Saturday, Oct. 27 at St. Cloud State University. The Beavers and Huskies kick off at 1 p.m. from Husky Stadium, as BSU aims for a four-game winning streak against SCSU.
- Cloud State holds a 37-21-3 lead in the all-time series against Bemidji State.
- BSU has won three straight and five of the last seven games against SCSU.
- The Beavers won the most recent matchup, 17-10, last season in Bemidji, Minn.
- The series began Oct. 7, 1927, a 26-6 win by St. Cloud State in Bemidji.
- In Bemidji State’s first-ever game against a No. 1 ranked program, the team fell, 47-20, to the hands of Minnesota State University, Mankato. The Beavers took their first home loss of the season after being outscored, 38-10, in the second and third quarters.
- BSU was not able to stop MSU on third downs, allowing 16-of-23 third down converions. The Beavers’ 16 third down conversions allowed is the most for the program since at least 1999.
- The Beavers took their first back-to-back losses during the Brent Bolte era, as well as losing at home for just the third time over the last three seasons.
- The “Gang Green” defense continues to lead the NSIC in turnover margin (1.25), red zone offense (94%), red zone defense (61%) and average punt return (21.3).
- Senior running back Andrew Lackowski topped 120 yards rushing for the third straight week after totaling 141 against the Mavericks. He ranks third in the NSIC with 110.7 rushing yards per game and has eight career 100-yard rushing games.
- Senior defensive back Gunner Olszewski ranks second in BSU history with 916 career punt return yards and third with 12 interceptions. He holds the program’s all-time record with 183 solo tackles and ranks seventh all-time at BSU in total tackles, coming into Saturday’s game against St. Cloud State with 307.
- Olszewski ranks second in the nation with a 18.7 punt return average and three punt returns of more than 35 yards on the season. He also ranks ninth in the NSIC with 62 tackles this season, followed by sophomore linebacker Gabe Ames who ranks 11th with 60 tackles. Ames also ranks 10th in the league with 8.5 tackles for a loss.
- Olszewski was selected as the NSIC North Division Defensive Player of the Year and BSU’s Defensive Player to Watch for the second consecutive season. He has previously earned three All-NSIC Defensive First Team honors, All-NSIC Special Teams Honorable Mention, NSIC Newcomer of the Year, Lindy’s Sports Magazine Preseason All-Division II Second Team, Football Gameplan’s 2016 Preseason All-American Team, Conference Commissioner’s Association (CCA) All-Super Region Three Second Team Defense, four NSIC Player of the Week accolades and D2Football.com Defensive Player of the Week, after tying a program single-game record of three interceptions Oct. 31, 2015 at Minot State University.
- The Beavers are one of the most efficient red zone offenses in the country, ranking third with a red zone offense of 96.4 percent. BSU has scored 20 touchdowns and seven field goals in 28 red zone trips this season.
- The “Gang Green” defense ranks seventh in the nation in red zone defense at 61.3 percent. BSU ranks within the top 20 nationally in scoring defense (18.5), interceptions (14) and passing efficiency defense (100.17). BSU’s 14 interceptions leads the NSIC, led by junior defensive back Michael Junker who ranks tied for third in the NSIC with four interceptions.
- The Beavers entered the 2018 season ranked 5th in the overall NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll and 2nd in the North Division for the third consecutive season.
- Head Coach Brent Bolte currently holds the program’s highest winning percentage at .710 (22-9). His 22 wins in 31 games is the most among all BSU coaches over their first 31 games.
St. Cloud State
- Cloud State enters the weekend with a three-game winning streak, including a 34-14 win over Upper Iowa University last weekend.
- The Huskies improved to 6-2 for the second straight season, which is the program’s best start to the season since going 7-1 in 2013.
- Junior wide receiver John Solberg caught three of the Huskies’ season-high four receiving touchdowns against the Peacocks. He also accounted for 102 of SCSU’s 269 yards through the air and recorded his fourth 100-yard receiving game this season.
- Seniors Jamari Manual and Jack Horter each recorded a team-leading 13 tackles against the Peacocks, both of which were season highs.
- Quarterback Dwayne Lawhorn finished SCSU’s win over UIU with 269 passing yards, four touchdowns and one interception.
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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).