The Ottawa University football team is coming off two emotional games to start the season.
Ottawa lost to Baker 25-24 when a last-second field goal was missed. The Braves are coming off a 20-6 upset over then No. 2 Missouri Valley.
The No. 13 Braves open Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference play 7 p.m. today in Lindsborg against Bethany College.
The Swedes fell 41-14 to Avila last week after opening the season with a 35-20 victory over Southwest Assemblies of God.
Ottawa coach Kent Kessinger said he hopes the players don’t take Bethany lightly, especially since it is the KCAC opener.
He said the best way to qualify for the NAIA playoffs is to win the conference championship and a team needs to win all its conference games.
Kessinger said a KCAC team can’t count on being selected as an at-large berth for the NAIA playoffs.
Kessinger said turnovers was the big thing against the Coyotes, but so far that has not been a problem for the Braves. Ottawa did not have a turnover last week.
He expects the Braves to continue to work on their base offense and defense against Bethany, which has a new coaching staff.
The Ottawa offense is ranked first in the NAIA in fourth down conversions (100 percent), 22nd in passing efficiency (146), 42nd in passing yards (376), 44th in passing yards per game (188), 46th in total points (44) and 50th in points scored per game (22).
The Ottawa defense ranks 10th in points allowed (15.5), 14th in quarterback sacks (3), 19th in total sacks (6) and 24th in fourth down conversion (33.3 percent).
Ottawa held the Vikings to 1-of-7 on fourth down. Erik Brown intercepted three passes and was named the KCAC and NAIA defensive player of the week.
He also blocked a field goal that was returned 65 yards for a score.
Deron Bruce finished with three sacks against the Vikings and 12 total tackles.
Just win baby: Coach Kessinger won his 59th game last week. Another win will give him 60 and he will be the second coach in Ottawa history with 60-plus victories.
Dick Peters ranks No. 1 on the victories chart with a record of 129-42-3 in 19 seasons.
The Ottawa football program played the top two teams in the NAIA in total victories. Missouri Valley ranks No. 1 with 584 and Baker is No. 2 with 546. Ottawa is third with 535.
Give me six: Ottawa has won six straight games over the Swedes, the alma mater of Kessinger.
He said it is nice to go home and see a lot of familiar faces. Kessinger expects a large crowd and the Swedes to be emotionally-charged for the game.
Special teams: Bethany’s special teams have been special so far in 2013.
The Swedes are No. 1 in PAT percentage (100), first in punt return yardage (45.6) and 48th in kickoff returns (18.8).
Tough defenders: Bethany ranks fourth in passing yards per game (97.5). Bethany is fourth in total yards (228), fifth in passing efficiency (75.8), 11th in yards (323) and 43rd in points allowed (24.5).