Today: St. Ambrose (4-1) hosts Iowa Wesleyan (1-5) in a "home-away-from-home" nonconference clash. The game kicks off at Pleasant Valley High School's Spartan Stadium at 1 p.m.
Tuning in: KALA radio (88.5hd2 or 106.1-FM). You can also listen through the Internet at sau.edu/athletics — click on football and the 2012 schedule for the listen now link. Twitter updates: @STappa_DA
The series: In the longest set St. Ambrose is involved in, the Fighting Bees lead 32-12-2 and have won 13 straight. SAU has dominated the last five, outscoring the Tigers by an average of 39.6-6.2.
The move: A scheduling conflict with a major marching band competition has SAU on the move from its regular home of Brady Street Stadium. SAU coach Mike Magistrelli is thankful for the Spartans welcoming the Bees as that was preferable to forfeiting a home game and playing a "real" road game at IWC in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
Rankings: The Bees moved up one spot to No. 15 in this week's NAIA coaches poll.
On IWC: The Tigers are not part of a conference this year as they transition to NCAA Div. III. ... SAU coach Mike Magistrelli begins his breakdown of the Tigers by saying QB Kevin McConnell "is the best player on their team." He has rushed for team highs of 355 yards and 5 TDs and thrown for 1,028 yards (74-135-6, with 9 TDs). "They put him in a lot of empty formations where he's back there by himself. He obviously throws the ball well out of that, but he's a very dangerous runner. Containing him will be the biggest key to us defensively."
Local links: There is just one player from the Quad-Cities area on the IWC roster — Ryan Gerleman (Fr., DB, Kewanee Wethersfield).
SAU notes: With leading rusher Cole Kelly (60 carries, 288 yards, 3 TDs) out after hand surgery, SAU got a big boost in its backfield from wideout transplant and former United Township prep Raimon Clay last week. Still, Magistrelli said Anton Wilkins (49-236-1) and Zach Rockford (31-99-1) will get the early workload. "We will certainly try to get Raimon (9-100-1) some more touches and more opportunities and expand his role. We'll look to use him more than what we have," said Magistrelli. "How much and exactly when and how, the flow of the game will dictate that. We'd like to get him 10, 12, 15 touches and see what he can do." ... Through five games, SAU is even in turnovers. The Bees have 11 turnovers and 11 takeaways. ... SAU's defense has been stout in the red zone, ranking No. 2 in the MSFA, allowing nine scores in 17 chances (52.9 percent). Only six of those scores have been TDs. ... Junior QB Eric Williamson has already thrown for 1,352 yards this season (an efficient 103-164-3, 13 TDs). He needs just 30 yards to pass his total passing yards of last season.
Up next: SAU is back at Brady Street Stadium to host Olivet Nazarene (1-5, 0-3 MSFA Midwest League) in a Midwest League contest. Kickoff next Saturday is at 1 p.m. -- By Tom Johnston, firstname.lastname@example.org