After recording 682 yards of total offense and the defense holding the Hastings Broncos to just 98 yards in a 65-0 victory on Saturday, the Morningside Mustangs have earned their first No. 1-ranking in 2018.
Morningside collected 364 points in the poll to take the top spot. Saint Francis (Ind.) dropped from No. 1 to No. 5 after a 37-28 loss to Marian University (Ind.) on Saturday. Southern Oregon took the second spot with 352 points, Marian moved from No. 6 to No. 3 with 336 points, and Northwestern moved up one spot to No. 4 with 322 points.
The Mustangs currently have a 5-0 record with three wins on the road and two at home. The defense has pitched back-to-back shutouts, and the Mustangs have the top passing offense in the nation after amassing 1,959 yards in just five games. The effort has been led by quarterback Trent Solsma, who has thrown for 1,932 yards and 25 touchdowns so far this season.
The Mustangs are no strangers to the top spot in the NAIA rankings. Under head coach Steve Ryan – currently in his 17th season with the Mustangs – Morningside has seen the No. 1 spot numerous times and currently has the longest active streak in the Top 25 with 143-straight mentions. Ryan has also led the Mustangs to 14 consecutive post-season appearances and eight Great Plains Athletic Conference championships, which includes their current run of seven consecutive league titles.
The Mustangs hope to continue to build on their strong start as they hit the road again to face Midland on Saturday, Oct. 6, in Fremont, Neb.