DSU football: Red Storm battle at Colorado Mesa tonight

Dixie State University vs. Colorado Mesa University, today, 7 p.m., Stocker Stadium, Grand Junction, CO

Previous Meeting: Mavericks 52, Red Storm 30 (Mavericks intercept Red Storm five times, two for TD)
Overall Series Record: Mavericks lead head-to-head series 4-1
Broadcast: (Audio) ESPN SportsRadio 106.1 FM; Southern Utah Live; (Video) CMU-TV


dsulogoHead coach: Scott Brumfeld (5th year, 10-32 overall)
Offense: Pistol, Pro Set
Defense: Pro 4-3
Last Game: Lost to Central Washington 44-0 (November 16, 2013)
Players to watch: Sophomore Quarterback Hayden Gavett will start tonight after outbattling Brody Garr and Ben Longshore for the starting role. The transfer put up big numbers last year at Santa Ana Junior College. Running backs Myles Burton and Joel Davis combined for over 800 yards rushing last year. Two highly-touted transfers, Aubrey Reed and Nate Stephens, will combine with returning receivers Brock Johnson and Antonio Martin to give Gavett several options in the passing game. Former basketball standout Dalton Groskreutz will present a “tall” option at tight end. The offensive line will feature all conference performer Nyles Amelita and incoming freshman Lucas Beddow. Defensively, the Red Storm are packed with experience, returning nine starters. The line will be anchored by Jake Miller, and K.J. Boyer. The linebacking duties will be handled by Robert Metz, Daniel Moffett, Garland Munns and newcomer Drake Miller. All conference defensive back Zac Christian led the team in interceptions last year. Justin Ence will join him in the backfield.

Mesa_State_MavericksHead Coach: Russ Martin (3rd year at CMU, 9-13, overall 21-40)
Offense: Split
Defense: 4-3 with Zone Blitz Scheme
Last Game: Lost to Adams State University 19-17
Players to watch: The Mavericks are known for their defense. They are similar to DSU in size and speed. The defense is opportunistic, intercepting the ball 23 times last year and forcing 35 turnovers. Defensive lineman William Milo and defensive back Jordan Price were both preseason RMAC (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) selections. Offensively, both Aric Kaiser and Kyle Duran saw extensive action at quarterback as freshmen last year. Ricky Trinidad and Jerrion Dennis are the top two returning rushers. D.J. Hubbard returns at the slot. Ian Juede and Blaine Jackson are the top returning receivers.

This is a matchup between top defensive teams. Offenses for both teams still have several question marks. The Mavericks became one-dimensional with the run when their two freshmen quarterbacks were ineffective. Kaiser began the year as the starter before Duran took over mid-year. Duran was also eventually benched before the season completed. Dixie must stop the run. Trinidad is very small but very fast. Containing him will be the key. On offense, Gavett will face a fast, opportunistic defense in his first game at the helm. Burton and Davis could have huge roles today as the run game will have to be successful to keep the Maverick defense honest. The chess game between coaching staffs should be interesting. Look for some big gains on misdirection plays as both defenses swarm to the ball.

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