It may not have been deliberate but the schedule makers got it right in the Great Plains Conference. Fourth ranked Doane visits top ranked Morningside on Saturday and the winner claims the conference championship.
Both teams are 8-0 in the league race. The Tiger defense is giving up less than 12 points per game must find a way to slow down a Morningside offense that averages 61 points and 605 yards per game. Doane coach Matt Franzen says the key will be getting off the field on third down.
“We need to find a way when we get to those third downs to get the stop and force the punt”, said Franzen. “The teams that can convert those third downs routinely into first downs can really wear out an opponent’s defense and that is something we need to avoid.”
No matter what the outcome the Tigers will be playing in the NAIA playoffs for the first time since 1999 and Franzen wants his players to enjoy the ride.
“Your college football experience goes really fast and when you get older and can’t play anymore you think back and have good memories. I want our guys to experience that.”
Doane has won 13 straight games dating back to last season and the Tigers stunned the then top ranked Mustangs 49-48 in the season finale.