Wayne State at QU
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: QU Stadium
Records: Wayne State -- 0-2 (0-0 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference). QU -- 2-0 (0-0 Great Lakes Valley Conference).
Radio: WGEM 1440 AM, WGEM 98.9 FM
All-time series: First-ever meeting.
Inside the matchup: The Hawks return from a two-game road trip to open the season with two victories, the knowledge they can handle adversity and the desire to set up an undefeated showdown with Truman State next week.
First, though, they must match the physicality of the Warriors.
Wayne State is playing its second straight road game after losing 35-12 last week at Truman State. That came after opening the season with a 62-37 loss at home to No. 10 Slippery Rock. Overlooked in those results is the fact the Warriors are averaging more than 400 yards of total offense and have the capability of moving the ball efficiently on the ground.
Wayne State is averaging 206.5 yards rushing per game and 4.9 yards per carry with James Hill and Dakota Kupp sharing the bulk of the work. Hill has 30 carries for 159 yards and four touchdowns, while Kupp has 25 carries for 147 yards.
"They are an extremely physical football team," QU coach Gary Bass said. "We have to start fast and not allow them to dictate the pace with their physical play. We have to start fast, stay fast and finish fast. We can't have any lulls."
Last week in the 34-16 victory at Kentucky Wesleyan, the Hawks drove 75 yards on 13 plays for a touchdown on the game's opening possession. They didn't finish another drive with points until the second half.
"I think they kind of breathed a sigh of relief," Bass said. "We can't afford to take our foot off the pedal."
The Hawks haven't done that yet defensively. They have forced six turnovers, including four interceptions, but they've only turned two takeaways into points. The Warriors have turned the ball over four times and have yet to force a turnover.
QU will be without three starters, two of which have been lost for the season with injuries. Defensive end Marcel Scott suffered a dislocated ankle against Kentucky Wesleyan, while safety Sa'hron Cunningham suffered an elbow injury at Central State. Both will receive a medical redshirt.
Meanwhile, two-time All-GLVC offensive lineman Justin Rosendahl suffered a dislocated shoulder last week, but further examination showed nothing broken in the shoulder joint which will allow the senior to return before the season ends.
Junior offensive lineman Mitch Carey, who missed part of last week's game with asthma issues, is expected to start this week as the Hawks shuffle the line in Rosendahl's absence.
-- Matt Schuckman