Mesa relying on its running game

The Mesa State College football team found its running game and shut down the run to bounce back last week for its first victory of the season.

The Mavericks (1-2, 1-0 RMAC) will look for a similar formula when they face Western New Mexico (1-1, 0-1 RMAC) at noon today at Stocker Stadium.

The Mustangs, though, boast the RMAC-best rushing attack with 248.5 yards per game.

Junior transfer Kevin Breaker leads the way with 94.5 yards per game. Quarterback Dennis Havrilla, a Nebraska-Kearney transfer, is averaging 77.0 rushing yards per game.

Mesa State leads the RMAC in rush defense, limiting opponents to 62.3 yards per game.

New Mexico Highlands rushed for negative 29 against the Mavs last week.

Here are five things to watch for in today’s game:

1) RUNNING GAME: Will Mesa’s rush defense stand up to the Mustangs’ running game.

2) TURNOVERS: Mesa forced more turnovers than it had last week for the first time this season and it resulted in the Mavs’ first victory.

3) CONTAINING THE QB: Part of the Mustangs’ success running the ball has been because of Havrilla. The senior is capable of scrambling for big yards.

4) UP FRONT: Western New Mexico’s offensive line, which averages 304 pounds, has a distinct weight advantage on Mesa’s three-man defensive line at 267 pounds.

5) FIND THE HOLES: Can Mesa find ways to score against the Mustangs, who brought in several new faces in efforts to improve their defense.


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