The Buena Vista University football team will be looking to capture its first win of the season on Saturday against Cornell College in Mt. Vernon. Kickoff at Ash Park Stadium on Cornell's campus is scheduled for 1 p.m. The Beavers enter the game 0-3, 0-2 in the Iowa Conference. The Rams come into the game 2-2, 0-2 in the Iowa Conference.
Saturday's contest will mark the 16th all-time contest between the Beavers and Rams. Cornell holds a slim 8-7 advantage over Buena Vista, but Buena Vista has won the last two meetings against Cornell. Last season, the Beavers beat the Rams 33-13 in Storm Lake.
Buena Vista was defeated by Coe College 41-17 last Saturday in Cedar Rapids. The Beavers held a 10-7 advantage before the 14th ranked Kohawks pulled away to remain undefeated.
Buena Vista's offense struggled once again against the top ranked Coe defense by only netting 238 total yards including just 24 rushing yards. Quarterback Chris Hawkins led the Beavers offensively by throwing for 214 yards, but he was also sacked eight times in the game. Running back Chris Rowedder led the Beaver rushing attack with 34 total yards and has moved up the depth chart to earn the starting spot. Cody Pierce pushed the Beavers into the end zone for the first time this season with a 1-yard touchdown run. Wide receiver Randy Kaufmann led the Beaver receivers with 89 yards, including a 60 yard touchdown reception from Hawkins in the third quarter.
Pierce led the Beaver defense for the third straight game in tackles with 11. Fellow linebacker Todd Schwartz registered nine tackles. Safety Michael Sly, coming off his two interception game, added eight tackles.
Both sides of the football have room for improvement as Buena Vista's total offense and defense are ranked last in the conference (186 yards/game and 432 yards/game). The passing offense ranks fifth in the conference (165 yards/game), but the rushing attack is last with only 21 yards per game. The Beaver passing defense ranks last in the conference (244.3 yards/game), and the rushing defense is also last in the conference (187.7 yards/game). The Beaver rushing defense will have its hands full this weekend as Cornell's rushing offense is one of the best in the conference. The Rams have lost their previous two games after winning two non-conference games to open the year. One of the wins for Cornell was against Alma College, a team that qualified for the national tournament two seasons ago. Last week, the Rams lost to Simpson College 34-7 in Mount Vernon.
Cornell's offense was held to 233 total yards against Simpson. Quarterback Anthony Kobler threw for 130 yards and two interceptions in the loss. Mike Thompson led the rushing attack with 46 total yards including the lone score for the Rams. The Rams' rushing offense only netted 103 yards, far short of the 189 yards that they have been averaging this season. Wide receiver Kyle Krogmann led the Rams in receiving with 54 yards.
Linebacker Chris Gustafson led the Rams with 11 tackles against the Storm. Cornerback Brian Hess added nine tackles. Defensive lineman Adam Williams was credited with the lone sack against Simpson, and cornerback Jared Sanches had one interception to go along with his four tackles.
Cornell. Meanwhile, will be looking to continue their dominate run offense, which ranks third in the conference, with over 189 yards on the ground per game. Cornell's passing offense is ranked seventh in the conference (161 yards/game).
Cornell ranks seventh in both passing (210.2 yards/game) and rushing defense (163.8 yards/game) in the conference. The Rams rank fifth in total offense (350.2 yards/game) and eighth in total defense (374 yards/game).
Through two conference games, Cornell (26.0 yards per game) and Buena Vista (32.0) are the two least penalized teams in the conference.
Buena Vista is off to a 0-3 start for the first time since 2002. The Beavers' first three opponents are now a combined 10-1.
This is the first time that Buena Vista will be playing at both Linn County Iowa Conference schools (Coe and Cornell) in back-to-back weeks.
Buena Vista's Randy Kaufmann is leading the Iowa Conference by averaging 31 yards per kickoff return in conference games. His average of 30.4 yards in all games is the 17th highest in the nation. Buena Vista linebacker Cody Pierce is averaging 14.3 tackles per game, the fifth most in the country.