DECATUR — The Millikin football team will try to snap a two-game losing streak when it travels to Carroll University on Saturday.
The Big Blue will be hoping for better weather on the road this week after enduring a two-and-a-half hour weather delay at Augustana. In its last two trips to Rock Island, the Big Blue football team has faced seven hours of weather delays.
The Vikings controlled last Saturday’s game from the start, scoring 10 points in its first two possessions and going on to win 40-14. The Big Blue allowed 412 yards of total offense while gaining 381. The Millikin passing game struggled early against Augustana but eventually found its footing as quarterback Cal Pohrte ending the day 24-for-39 and 286 yards. Jordan Smith had seven catches for 132 yards.
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This week, Millikin will look to reestablish the balanced offense it featured in its two victories to start the season. On defense, the Big Blue are working on tightening up the pass defense and looking for ways to create opponent turnovers. At the start of the season, coach Dan Gritti set a goal to create move turnovers on defense, but the Big Blue have had trouble meeting that expectation with just three fumble recoveries and no interceptions.
Millikin has won all three meetings with Carroll since it returned to the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) in 2016. Last season, the Big Blue won 55-10 and scored four first quarter touchdowns. Millikin had 662 yards of total offense (398 passing and 264 rushing). The Pioneers were held to 282 yards of total offense.
After opening the season with a 44-34 non-conference win over Lakeland University, Carroll has lost three straight CCIW games. The Pioneers lost to Carthage 36-7, to Elmhurst 32-30 and fell at Illinois Wesleyan 42-14 on Oct. 5. Carroll junior quarterback Michael Johnson completed 17-of-24 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns despite being sacked eight times.