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USD Sees Stiff Fight from Redlands

The University of Redlands, the only West Coast participant in the NCAA Division III football playoffs in 1990, might be even better this year.

That was the impression University of San Diego Coach Brian Fogarty got after scouting the Bulldogs’ deceivingly close 27-20 victory over La Verne last week.

USD, which had a bye after downing Menlo, 13-3, in its opener, meets Redlands at 7 tonight in Redlands’ Ted Runner Stadium.

“They’re definitely the team to beat this year,” Fogarty said.

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Redlands has nine returning offensive starters from a team that was 8-2, finished eighth in the nation in total yards and beat USD, 28-14, in 1990.

At that time, both teams were 3-0, and the game ultimately determined which team would make the playoffs. Tonight’s game could have a similar impact.

“There are three or four teams around that figure to be tough this year,” Fogarty said. “We’re one of them, and they’re one of them. So it’s an important game for both of us in terms of the playoffs.”

Like USD, Redlands runs the wing-T. The Bulldogs, however, have more of a power offense.

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USD allowed only 12.7 points and 266 yards per game last year. But Redlands scored 28 points and had 451 yards (332 rushing) against the Toreros,

All-American Curt Landreth rushed for 163 yards. Shaun Trejo had 120.

“I think we made (Landreth) the All-American that he was last year,” Fogarty said.

Landreth and Trejo are both back, but they are only part of Fogarty’s concern.

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“They have five good backs, and they’re all big,” he said. “I think the smallest one is 195 pounds.”

A key will be how well USD’s defensive front seven, a Torero strength, plays the run.

To bolster the unit, Fogarty might use senior fullback Charlie Taumoepeau (5-feet-11, 235 pounds) at nose guard. Taumoepeau was the starting fullback in 1990, but Scott Sporrer took over and wound up as USD’s leading rusher when an injury slowed Taumoepeau early in the year.

John Eck, USD’s second-leading rusher who missed the Menlo game because of an ankle injury, will be back in the lineup tonight.

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