Setting the Scene: Two weeks removed from an impressive season-opening performance, the Cardinals hit the road once again to begin the chase for a fourth straight conference title.
Series History: This is the seventh football meeting between the institutions. The Cardinals have won five of the previous six encounters, including all three meetings in St. Louis.
North Central won last year's game at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium, 32-19, after taking a 22-0 lead into halftime. The Bears' comeback effort featured 66- and 40-yard touchdown passes from Johnny Davidson to Jason Singer, but the Cardinals' lead never dipped below 12 points as they outgained WashU, 577-367, and owned a nearly 14-minute advantage in time of possession.
Broc Rutter threw for 379 yards and three scores, setting a North Central single-game record with 35 completions. Andrew Kamienski caught a game-high nine passes for 130 yards and Ethan Greenfield gained 103 yards on 16 rushing attempts. DJ Warkenthien totaled 14 tackles and Jake Beesley intercepted two passes.
Davidson completed 30 of 43 passes for 300 yards and led the Bears' ground game with 43 yards on 11 carries. Singer made eight catches for 156 yards, while Jusin DiCarlo intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble.
National Rankings: North Central is ranked No. 5 nationally in the most recent NCAA Division III National Top 25 Poll released by D3football.com.
WashU moves into the Top 25 this week at No. 24, marking its highest-ever ranking in D3football.com's poll.
Four of the CCIW's 10 football programs are ranked among the Top 25 this week. The Cardinals and Bears are joined by 17th-ranked Wheaton and 18th-ranked Illinois Wesleyan.
Scouting the Bears: WashU got its season started with a bang on Sept. 7, routing Chicago, 43-7, to retain possession of the Founders Cup, the traveling trophy between the two teams.
The Bears rolled up 561 yards of offense, 406 of which came through the air. Davidson completed 26 of 38 passes for 341 yards and tossed five TD passes to four different receivers.
Senior linebacker Jarrod Huther recorded a game-high 15 tackles, including two of the team's 12 tackles for loss and a forced fumble, while another senior linebacker, Jeff Marek, made 11 total stops.
This Season for the Cardinals: North Central has been idle since opening the 2019 campaign with a 43-13 victory at Christopher Newport on Sept. 7.