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College football: Bluejays hope to slow down Fergus Falls' top-ranked passing attack

WORTHINGTON -- Another week, another high-powered offense for the Minnesota West football team's defense to slow down. After containing the Minnesota Collegiate Athletic Conference's leading receiver -- Dakota College's Jacob Clair -- to 82 yards...

WORTHINGTON -- Another week, another high-powered offense for the Minnesota West football team’s defense to slow down.

After containing the Minnesota Collegiate Athletic Conference’s leading receiver -- Dakota College’s Jacob Clair -- to 82 yards last week in Bottineau, the conference’s leading passing attack comes to Worthington today (Saturday, Oct. 1).

The 1-4 Bluejays host the 1-4 Minnesota State Fergus Falls Spartans today at 4 p.m. at Trojan Field. The Spartans have the top offense in the conference with 2,200 yards from scrimmage in the team’s five games. They are led by junior quarterback Jared Olsgaard and his 1,591 passing yards with 15 touchdowns, and 157 rushing yards with four touchdowns. Olsgaard’s favorite target, Jarrett Minnitt, has 42 receptions for 482 yards and four touchdowns. Meanwhile, Fatah Malone is second in the MCAC Western Division with 24 receptions and has 275 yards and four touchdowns.

“They have one of the most high-powered offenses in the division,” Bluejays head coach Jeff Linder said. “Their quarterback is ranked nationally in several categories. We’ve got our hands full on Saturday. Our defense has got to be sharp and take care of their assignments.”

The Bluejays need get the most out of their pass rush and secondary to slow the Spartans down. But they are well equipped at both as they are ranked in the top-20 in the NJCAA in both sacks and interceptions. The Bluejays’ 10 interceptions rank them 8th in the country, while their 18 sacks rank 18th.

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“We’ve gotta put some pressure on them and make them make some poor choices,” Linder said. “We’ve gotta force them to make some turnovers and get our offense back on the field. Every extra opportunity we have to give our offense the ball and try to score is huge right now.”

West’s offense looks to find its groove against the conference’s bottom-ranked defense. The Bluejays average 140 yards per game and 11 points, while the Spartans yield an average of 480 yards and 43 points per game.

“They’re bottom of the pack for defense,” Linder said. “But that doesn’t mean anything. It’s all about who shows up on Saturday. We can show up to play and we’ll beat them. Or if they show up and we don’t, they can put a whole lot of points on us really quick. We have to be ready to play physically and mentally. We’ve got to put together four quarters of football.”

Related Topics: COLLEGE FOOTBALL
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