Lindenwood-Belleville's football season, the fourth in its history and first under head coach Dale Carlson, comes to a close Saturday in Ann Arbor Michigan.
The Lynx bring a 3-6 record that is the product of brutal Mid-States Football Association schedule and a few moments that brought promise to a program trying to rebuild.
“We’ve seen some good things the last couple of weeks,” said Carlson. “This week I’ll ask my guys to do the same thing I’ve been asking them to do since day one and that’s to play hard and give good effort for 60 minutes. You have to believe that if you keep doing that, good things will happen eventually.”
The final opponent is Concordia University, 5-5, and another member of the MSFA.
SATURDAY'S GAME: Lindenwood-Belleville Lynx (3-6) at Concordia University-Michigan Cardinals (5-5), 1 p.m.
LAST WEEK: Concordia stopped a two-game skid with a 24-7 win at Missouri Baptist. The Lynx set offensive records in a 41-27 loss at Taylor University
SERIES HISTORY: Saturday's meeting is the first between the two programs.
3-6Lynx’s overall record
1-4Record in Mid-States Football Association games
Scouting the Lynx
LU-B came out of a three-week run against nationally-ranked teams with just one win, but having taken some steps forward on offense.
The Lynx defeated No. 14 Robert Morris at home on Halloween, then traveled last week to Taylor, only to take a 41-27 loss. But there were some positives and the continuation for some positive trends in the passing game.
Senior quarterback Tarean Austin, who started as true freshman at New Mexico earlier in his collegiate career, continued to improve. His 25 pass completions in the loss to Taylor, established a new LU-B record, and his 347 yards rank second in program history as a single game performance.
This week I’ll ask my guys to do the same thing I’ve been asking them to do since day one and that’s to play hard and give good effort for 60 minutes. You have to believe that if you keep doing that, good things will happen eventually.
Dale Carlson, Lynx first-year head coach
It was his second 300-yard passing game of the season.
Freshman wide receiver Walter Jackson demolished school records with 191 yards on 11 catches, both new marks. Jackson now ranks No. 7 in the MSFA with 44 catches and 720 yards. His nine receiving touchdowns is third in the conference.
Defensively, however, the Lynx are still prone to giving up bunches of points. It was 20 unanswered points in the game's final 25 minutes that ultimately cost LU-B a win at Taylor.
With 768 net rushing yards on the season, it'll take a big-game 232 yards for senior Kam Harris, the Althoff product and LU-B's all-time leading rusher, to reach 1,000 for the second time in his collegiate career. With 197 yards, he would reach 4,000 for his career.
Scouting the Cardinals
Concordia's season high includes a win over No. 5 ranked St. Xavier in Week 6. It's low is a 44-0 blowout loss to No. 9 Marian. Each of Condoria's five losses, in fact, have been to ranked opponents.
The Cardinals are unsettled at quarterback, where Seth Suida and Tyler Fehler have been sharing snaps. Each has started five games. The have completed a combined 50 percent of their passes for 1,645 yards. But, in a triple option set, such as Concordia coach Lonnie Pries likes to run.
“We don’t see that option very often, so it will be a real challenge for us,” Carlson said. “The key for us is to stop the big plays.”
Suida is the team's leading rusher at just 464 yards. But three other backs have more than 300 yards and, as a team, Concorida averages 189.6 yards rushing per game.
The defense allows opponents an average of 401 yards of offense each game, but the Cardinals tend to win the turnover battle with 20 total takeaways. Junior defensive back Nick Holshoe has conference-best eight interceptions alone, to go with 108 tackles.