KVRR Roundtable: MSUM Football Preview
KVRR Sports team preview the upcoming football season for MSUM.
MOORHEAD, Minn. (MSUM Dragons Athletics) — The Dragons are beginning their seventh season under the direction of Head Coach Steve Laqua. MSUM opens the regular season on Sept. 2 at Augustana.
MSUM returns nine starters on offense and seven on defense from last year’s team that finished 7-4, which was the Dragons’ most victories in a season since 1999. MSUM returns 45 letterwinners overall, including All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Division First Team selections Damon Gibson and Jake Busse.
Gibson, a senior wide receiver, was AFCA All-American Second Team last year, returns after catching 90 passes for 1,549 yards and 17 touchdowns. He led the nation in receiving yards (1,549), in receiving yards per game (140.8) and was third in receptions per game (8.18). He was fourth nationally in receiving touchdowns with 17. He led the NSIC in receptions per game, receiving yards per game and was second in receiving touchdowns. Gibson set single-season MSUM records in receiving yards (1,549) and receiving touchdowns (17) and tied the single-season record with 90 receptions.
Busse, also a senior, was a key component on a formidable defensive line for MSUM. He finished tied for sixth in the NSIC at 7.5 sacks, which was tied for 51st in the nation. He was eighth on the team with 46 tackles, second on the team with 9.5 sacks for loss and also blocked a kick this season. Busse had 16 solo stops and 30 assists.
Also returning is senior linebacker Abe Roehrich, an All-NSIC North Second Team selection. He led the Dragons with 82 tackles, which was 12th-best in the NSIC. He had four sacks, two interceptions, three pass breakups and a total of 8.5 tackles for loss. Roehrich was a two-time honorable mention selection previously.
Junior safety Michael Strand had a big year from his safety position in earning All-NSIC North Second Team honors. He recorded 81 tackles, which was tied for 13th in the conference, and had a team-best three interceptions. Strand had a team-best 49 solo stops.
Senior quarterback Demetrius Carr earned honorable mention recognition after throwing for 31 touchdowns and 2,710 yards. He was only intercepted seven times in 323 attempts. Senior receiver Braaten was second on the team in receptions (66) and receiving yards (696) while also hauling in four touchdowns. Senior offensive lineman Damien Crawford was one of the anchors of the Dragon offensive line and helped MSUM rank in the top five in passing yardage and total yards.