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Saturday’s preview: Aurora at Concordia-Chicago

Updated: November 20, 2012 11:06AM

1 p.m. Saturday
in River Forest

Last week: Aurora University lost to Wisconsin Lutheran 28-14; Concordia-Chicago defeated Concordia-Wisconsin 47-44 in overtime.

Concordia outlook: Couldn’t be better. The Cougars are undefeated at 6-0 overall and are 4-0 with a one-game lead in the Northern Athletics Conference. Concordia is an explosive offensive machine either running the ball or throwing it. Quarterback Jake Koehler (103 of 167 for 1,474 yards) has already thrown 15 touchdown passes and AU knows he can run since he scored three touchdowns against them last year at Vago Field. Junior Andrew Maddox (686 yards) averages 7.6 yards per carry and wide receiver Jamal Thomas averages 17.3 yards per reception and has nine touchdowns. “They can score in a hurry. They have great speed and they’ll try and beat you on the perimeter and the quarterback is a capable runner,” AU head coach Mark Walsh said.

AU outlook: The Spartans are 3-3 overall and 2-1 in the NAC. They certainly aren’t out of the running for the conference title but must pull what would be a major upset if they are going to be serious contenders. First, and foremost, the Spartans must prove they aren’t as bad as they looked against Wisconsin Lutheran, a team that has already lost (21-9) to Concordia-Chicago. AU was physically handled with ease by Wisconsin Lutheran and the offensive and defensive lines have to step it up to have a chance against the Cougars. Quarterback Jimmy Bevell threw four interceptions last Saturday and the Spartans can’t afford that against Concordia. The defense had two takeaways against Wisconsin Lutheran and they’ll have to get at least that many against the Cougars.

Quote: “The real key for us is to try and possess the ball. They’re coming of a huge win,” Walsh said.

Next week: The Spartans return home to face Concordia-Wisconsin at Vago Field at 1 p.m. Saturday.

— Bill Kindt

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