CHICAGO - When you talk to Saint Xavier University head
football coach Mike Feminis about his upcoming game this Saturday against No. 7
ranked University of Saint Francis (Ind.), the fact that a milestone coaching
win (No. 100) is on the line does not even enter the conversation. It may be the fact that there are plenty of
other motivating factors at stake for his No. 3 ranked Cougars in Saturday's
huge 1 p.m. Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Mideast League showdown at
Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago.
The factors for winning Saturday include: another Mideast League title, a second
straight perfect regular season, guaranteeing at least a No. 3 seed in the
upcoming NAIA Football Championship Series and, of course, the distinction of
defeating one of the top-ranked teams in the NAIA.
"They may have lost a lot of
guys from last year, but Saint Francis is still a dangerous football team and
we have the utmost respect for them," said Feminis. "For us, confidence won't be an issue. What you have are two great teams going at it
for all the marbles and unfortunately, one team has to lose. If you are a college football fan, the place
to be Saturday is 103rd and Pulaski.
It is going to be a heck of a game!"
In the all-time series, USF
owns a 6-1 advantage, but SXU has the most recent victory. Last season, the Cougars ended one of the
longest home win streaks in college football when they defeated Saint Francis,
36-24, at Bishop John M. D'Arcy Stadium in Fort Wayne, Ind. The 56-game streak dated back to 2001. USF has not been defeated by an opponent in
back-to-back regular season match-ups in over a decade with McKendree
University (Ill.) the last team to achieve the feat in 1999 and 2000.
"Saint Francis is undefeated
for a reason, plus they have the revenge factor going for them after we ended
their streak last year," continued Feminis.
"Many of our guys were on the team last year, so they know that USF will
be geared up and ready to play. We are excited
about the challenge and look forward to a great game Saturday."
Only 11 active coaches in the
NAIA have achieved at least 100 career coaching wins, including Kevin Donley
from University of Saint Francis (Ind.).
Donley has 244 career wins in his 32nd season of coaching
(129 wins over 13 seasons at USF).
Feminis currently has a career record of 99-39 in his 12th
year at the helm of Cougar Football.
Saturday's game has all the makings for an intriguing match-up with the NAIA's
second-best scoring offense in Saint Xavier (52.7 points per game) going
against the NAIA's third-best scoring defense (13.8 points per game
allowed). SXU has scored at least 41
points in all 10 of its previous games this season, while USF has only given up
more than 20 points in just one game this fall (25 points against Marian
University). Saint Francis also has a potent
offense that averages 479.8 yards of total offense a game (No. 6 in the NAIA). The Cougars come into Saturday's game
averaging 464.8 yards of total offense a game (No. 9 in the NAIA), so expect
both defenses to have their hands full.
As the final regular-season
home game on the schedule, Saint Xavier will also honor 19 seniors on its 2010
roster, along with their parents, in a pre-game ceremony Saturday at Bruce R.
Deaton Memorial Field. Kickoff is
scheduled for 1 p.m.