Michigan Tech hosts No. 9 Grand Valley State

Michigan Tech running back Jared Smith (3) rushes against the University of St. Thomas on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, in Houghton, Mich. (David Archambeau/For the Gazette)

The Michigan Tech football team has a big uphill battle Saturday.

No. 9 Grand Valley State is as tough as any early season opponent can get. The Lakers (2-0) have a multi-pronged offensive attack anchored by a capable defense.

All of that is no secret to the Huskies.

While the Huskies (1-1) have had an unremarkable start to the season, they’ve given themselves something to build on. The defense has been a keystone to their success, averaging 11 points allowed in the first two games. But the offense has been largely inconsistent, scoring an average 11.5 points per game.

In facing the Lakers, the Huskies had the benefit of time after a bye week last week, while Grand Valley State routed UW-La Crosse 45-24.

The extra week of prep meant more time to address an offense that has struggled in getting to the red zone.

“They’re bigger, they’re fast,” Huskies coach Steve Olson said. “They have really good athletes. We’ll just have to be ready to play very well and execute well against them.”

Michigan Tech will look to spark the offense, but it will be a challenge against the Lakers, who have conceded yards but kept opposing teams out of the end zone.

Kickoff is 1 p.m. Saturday at Sherman Field at Kearly Stadium.

Breaking down the Lakers

The Lakers offense has piled 881 yards of offense and averaged 39.5 points per game.

Sophomore quarterback Cade Peterson is a dynamic threat who leads the team in rushing with 175 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. His longest run was 69 yards against UW-La Crosse.

Lakers running back Tariq Reid is second in rushing with 135 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.

Peterson has completed 25 of 42 passes for 372 yards and four touchdowns. His top target, wide receiver Hunter Rison, has six catches for 139 yards and a touchdown.

The GVSU defense has given up 471 yards of offense and 19 points per game.

The Lakers defense is led by sophomore linebacker Abe Swanson, who has 19 total tackles, and junior linebacker Damon Wesley has 14.

Sophomore defensive lineman Seth Hoonhorst leads the team with 2.5 sacks and senior defensive lineman Jake Hlava has two.


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