Based on its 46-9 thrashing of the University of Dubuque Saturday night, the University of Redlands football team looks like a true contender this season.
Sure the Bulldogs are in that top tier in the SCIAC along with Occidental and Cal Lutheran. But the Bulldogs could have something even more special this year. Maybe this is the year Coach Mike Maynard’s team gets over the hump and wins a playoff game or two.
It’s hard to tell what the other SCIAC contenders will look like. Occidental opened with a 41-0 win over Colorado College but that is a considerably weaker opponent.
Dubuque looked like it would pose a serious threat and would not have ventured all the way out to California on a one-year contract if it thought it was going to be totally embarrassed which turned out to be the case.
Quarterback Dan Selway ran the Redlands offense efficiently. He wasn’t a wild man back there running around and trying to take on linebackers. He got his yards and got out of bounds. And you don’t get much more balanced than 228 team yards rushing and 229 passing.
The Bulldogs have balance in the backfield and balance in the receiving corps. Running back Jeff Stewart, who Maynard said is the strongest player on the team, absolutely leveled a defender trying to tackle him in the early going.
Brock Arndt is the big name on defense but sophomore defensive back Mike Nicolini looks like a future star. He was everywhere.
The schedule is also in the Bulldogs favor. They have six home games, the next coming Saturday when Whitworth (Wash.) comes in for a visit. That’s another traditionally tough foe. Redlands also has its toughest two SCIAC foes at home in Occidental and Cal Lutheran.
The conference title looks like the Bulldogs’ to lose!