Kansas City, Mo. – Thanks to the results of a social media poll conducted earlier this week by the NAIA national office, this Saturday's homecoming football game between No. 4 ranked Grand View University (Iowa) and No. 3 Saint Xavier University has been tabbed the "NAIA Football Game of the Week." It should be an impressive gridiron battle with the Cougars currently ranked No. 12 nationally in total offense per game (457.8 yards per game) and the visiting Vikings rated No. 11 in the NAIA in total defense allowing just 282.5 yards per game. GVU is also ranked No. 3 in the nation in scoring defense allowing just 12.8 points a game, while SXU comes into Saturday's match-up averaging 32.3 points a game.
"You can't get much better than No. 3 versus No. 4 for Homecoming," said Saint Xavier University football coach Mike Feminis. "In some ways, we'll be playing a mirror image of ourselves from a scheme standpoint. Offensively, they've committed to the spread and have a great quarterback, who is a legitimate dual threat. The running backs are solid and they have four quick, athletic receivers, who can all do damage in open space.
"On top of that, they have a huge offensive line that probably outweighs us by 50 or 60 pounds a guy on average," continued Feminis. "Defensively, they're big up front, so it will be difficult to get movement on them. Their linebackers are fast and aggressive and they might have the two best cover corners in the MSFA. Grand View is a veteran-laden team and they are definitely on the verge of becoming a top NAIA program, so this will be a great challenge for us."
Kickoff for the big Homecoming game is scheduled for 5 p.m. this Saturday at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago. It is the second time this season that SXU has claimed a "NAIA Game of the Week" distinction with its season opener against No. 2 ranked and defending national champion Marian University (Ind.) back on September 7 also earning the honor. That game proved to be a classic as SXU rallied for a thrilling 31-24 overtime victory over the Knights at Deaton Field.