Last weekend's game at Dordt quickly got out of hand for the University of Jamestown football team.
The Defenders exposed numerous missed assignments by the Jimmies en route to 50 first-half points and a 66-13 victory in Sioux Center, Iowa. Dordt rolled up 668 yards of total offense and scored the game's first six touchdowns.
UJ head coach Brian Mistro said the 0-2 Jimmies need to begin simplifying their approach on Saturdays, and not necessarily from the standpoint of X's and O's. The coach is looking for 22 players to begin winning their one-on-one battles every down.
"We need to narrow our focus down," Mistro said. "I think last week maybe we focused a little bit too much on what Dordt does, and how do you stop this kid or how do you stop that play?
"If your job is to read the knee of an offensive tackle ... that's your job that play and win that play. If we have all 11 guys do that on every play, well then now we have a better chance at winning and that's what you didn't see on Saturday versus Dordt."
Not beating themselves tomorrow (Oct. 17) would have to be viewed as a victory hosting two-time defending NAIA national champion Morningside College beginning at 1 p.m. at Taylor Stadium. The Mustangs are 3-0 and have won 32 consecutive games dating back to an NAIA national semifinal loss to the University of Saint Francis in 2017.
Fun fact: Morningside hasn't lost more than three games in a season since 2007 when the Mustangs beat the Jimmies 45-14 at Taylor Stadium in UJ's last appearance in the NAIA playoffs.
The Mustangs are averaging more than 522 yards per game offensively and are being led by a pair of all-conference players in junior quarterback Joe Dolincheck and 6-foot-3 senior receiver Reid Jurgensmeier. Dolincheck has thrown for 970 yards and 11 touchdowns, while Jurgensmeier has hauled in 25 receptions for 477 yards and 10 scores.
The duo worked efficiently in last October's 61-0 victory over the Jimmies in Sioux City. Jurgensmeier caught five balls for 107 yards and three touchdowns, while Dolincheck completed 13 of 14 passes for 239 yards and four scores.
The Mustangs have already defeated Northwestern College (45-31 final score), Midland (42-7) and Briar Cliff (68-3). Senior running back AP Ponder is averaging just over 78 rushing yards per game.
"When you watch Morningside play, they do have that aura about them and teams make big mistakes that normally they don't make," Mistro said. "We need to minimize our mistakes.
"Small victories are a big deal," Mistro added. "We've got to win the small battles and win at everything that we do."
UJ quarterback Cade Torgerson has completed 33 of 60 passes for 333 yards and two scores through two games, while the running game has produced a scoreless 135 yards. Leading the Jimmies in receiving are Garrett Mitchell (6 catches, 73 yards), Marcus Giles (6-57) and Steven Justice (5-94).
"Focusing on what we need to do better is what we're going to measure ourselves on," Mistro said. "We need to make sure we put guys in the best position we can to make a play. What do we have to lose?"