The Lindenwood University Lions will face the Sioux Falls Cougars on Saturday for the NAIA Football National Championship. The Lions are appearing in their first title game, while the defending national champion Cougars are making their fourth straight appearance in the finals.
The game will be the first in the history of college football to feature two teams that come into the game with over 700 points on the season. Lindenwood leads the NAIA with 55.5 points a game, while Sioux Falls is second, averaging 53.6 points. Both teams nearly have the same total offense numbers as well, with the Cougars having 516.0 yards a game, and the Lions compiling 512.4 a contest.
Defensively, Sioux Falls has the best unit in the NAIA this year, allowing 9.7 points a game and just over 200 yards of offense. Lindenwood’s defense is allowing 20.0 points and 340.9 yards a game. All year though, the Lions have gotten the job done defensively when needed, including allowing just 32 yards in four fourth quarter drives to help Lindenwood defeat Carroll in the national semifinals.
Coach Patrick Ross talks with me about that semifinal game a week and a half ago as the Lions pulled off the victory with under one minute to play. Plus we talk about how their offense rates against Sioux Falls’ defense. What I like about coach Ross is that he has a tremendous amount of trust and confidence in his team. While the experts may point to the experience and overall talent of Sioux Falls, I say don’t rule out Lindenwood just yet.
The game can be seen on the CBS College Sports Network and on Charter Cable in the St. Louis area. Click here for game day information.
Listen to my visit with Lindenwood head coach Patrick Ross.