ORANGE CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Six. That’s the number of college football teams that remain unbeaten in the entire NAIA.
Two of those teams are right here in Siouxland as Northwestern and Morningside will square off in Orange City on Saturday in a top-3 ranked showdown.
Here’s how both teams shake out:
#1 Northwestern (8-0)
The Red Raiders, who are out to an 8-0 start for the third time under head coach Matt McCarty, have been the #1 team in the nation for seven consecutive weeks.
Leading the charge for NWC is quarterback Jalyn Gramstad. The West Lyon product is yet to lose as a starter, with the Red Raiders boasting an 18-0 record with Gramstad as the starter.
Northwestern leads the GPAC in yards per game, notching almost 460 a game, with the team dominating in the first quarter as they’ve outscored its opponents 68-10.
“It’s going to be a battle. I think we bring out the best in each other. It’s an awesome environment, it’s an awesome opportunity every time we play, whether it’s regular season or postseason.” McCarty said. We truly bring out the best in each other and I think it’s a great measuring stick for us. We always feel like when we leave this game, win or lose, we’ve learned a lot about ourselves. We know what we’re good at and we know where we need to get better.”
#3 Morningside (8-0)
It’s been a potent ground game that have helped pace the Mustangs to an 8-0 record.
Dual-threat quarterback Lennx Brown is averaging seven yards per carry with nine touchdowns on the ground while the return of running back Ryan Cole has helped elevate the group, scoring four touchdowns in four games for Morningside head coach Steve Ryan and company.
Defensively, the Mustangs possess two of the conference’s top four tacklers in Lonell Boyd Jr. and Isaac Pingel, who combine to average over 18 tackles per game.
“It’s a big game and it’s a big opportunity for both teams. I think when the game is over, we’ll have a really good measuring stick of how good are we really and I think that’s what both teams will learn on Saturday is how good are we really,” Morningside head coach Steve Ryan said.
All-Time Series Facts
- Rivalry began play in 1977, with Morningside holding the all-time series lead (22-11).
- Morningside have won the last three meetings, including last season’s 30-29 win.
- Northwestern’s last win against the Mustangs took place in 2021.
- Northwestern’s last home win against Morningside took place in 2013.
- Six of the last seven meetings have been decided by ten points or fewer.