Colorado Mesa-Menlo football matchup
Colorado Mesa (0-0) vs. Menlo (Calif.) College (0-1)
Saturday, 7 p.m. Stocker Stadium
Radio: 1230-AM (KEXO)
This is Colorado Mesa’s first game of the season. Menlo lost 51-7 to Carroll (Mont.) College in its season opener.
This is the first meeting between the programs.
The NAIA program has a new head coach and a new offense this season. The Oaks went from a run-heavy offense to a more traditional West Coast offense.
They were 4-6 last season and lost their starting quarterback, leading receiver and tackler, but their strength was the running game, averaging 203 yards per game.
Six starters return on a defense that ranked 28th in NAIA in total defense per game (322.1 yards per game). Senior linebacker James Yoder led the Oaks with 49 total tackles, including six for a loss.
Carroll quarterback Dakota Stonehouse (Glenwood Springs) scored on a designed 26-yard run and threw for three more TDs to lead the Carroll attack last week.
CMU Coach Russ Martin Says
■ “(Menlo) is a good football team. They struggled last week with their new offense, but there is a lot of difference between week one and week two. They have an advantage with one game under their belt.”
■ “One thing that really stands out watching film is they play hard. Their special teams come after you. That is an area we take pride in ourselves.”
■ “Offensively, they like to establish themselves with the quick pass, but they will take shots down field.”
■ “Defensively, they are similar to what they did last year. They run some multiple fronts with their defense. They play some man and some zone. It can be confusing.”
CMU Defensive Coordinator Todd Auer Says
“They used to run sweep and motion,” Auer said of Menlo’s offense. “That’s all we looked at all summer. We had to wait for this game.
“They try to stretch the zone and throw quick screens. They huddle. They don’t run fast like we do.”
Colorado Mesa is looking for its first season-opening victory since 2007, when it defeated Dixie State (Utah) College 41-14 at Stocker Stadium. The Mavericks qualified for the NCAA playoffs that season. ... Senior defensive end Will Harvey is a late scratch from the starting lineup. He was scheduled to start, but has been out most of fall camp with a hip injury. Redshirt freshman Aric Kaiser, a Nebraska-Kearney transfer, was declared the starter at quarterback earlier this week. He is one of three freshman starters on offense.
— Allen Gemaehlich