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The NSIC has a new look in football this season. It has dropped the two-division format it had used in football since 2008, with all 13 teams now in one division.

If the first two weeks of this season are any indication, it should be a competitive race for the conference title.

Going into Week 3, five teams are unbeaten in conference play. Two of them — Bemidji State and Winona State — will meet in Bemidji on Saturday afternoon.

Bemidji State, which was No. 1 in the conference preseason poll, is ranked No. 7 in the Top 25 and is 2-0. The Beavers have opened with victories over Northern State (49-13) and Southwest Minnesota State (34-14).

Winona State is 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the NSIC. The Warriors opened with a 34-24 loss at Saginaw Valley State — NSIC teams can play a nonconference, regular-season game for the first time since 2011 — and defeated Concordia (St. Paul) 33-8 in Week 2.

The other teams that are unbeaten in conference play so far are Minnesota State Mankato (2-0), which is ranked No. 5 in Division II, Augustana and Minnesota Duluth, who are each 1-0 in the NSIC.

Here are four other Minnesota college football story lines this week:

Mavericks pace D-II

MSU Mankato, which plays at Minot State on Saturday, leads Division II in total offense.

In victories over Sioux Falls (54-26) and Wayne State (31-14), the Mavericks gained 1,160 yards while averaging 7.9 yards per play.

Mavericks back Shen Butler Lawson leads D-II with 373 rushing yards and is averaging 9.8 yards per carry.

Eyeing the MIAC

Bethel plays a nonconference game (at Wisconsin-Eau Claire) and St. John's is idle this week heading into their showdown in Collegeville on Sept. 23.

Both teams lost last week. The Johnnies lost at then-No. 8 Wisconsin-Whitewater, 56-28. The Johnnies led 28-21 in the third quarter, but the Warhawks scored the final 35 points of the game. The Warhawks moved up four spots to No. 4 in this week's D-III Top 25, while the Johnnies fell five spots to No. 9.

Bethel opened its season last Saturday with a 16-2 loss at home to No. 3 Wartburg.

The Royals played the second half without their top running back, David Geebli. A sophomore from Coon Rapids, Geebli suffered an ankle injury in the final two minutes of the first half. He had rushed for 58 yards on 19 carries before the injury. Last season, in eight games, he averaged 5.5 yards per carry and rushed for 501 yards and six touchdowns.

Macalester's historic offensive display

Macalester senior Michael Nadeau leads D-III in passing yards. In the Scots' first two games this season, he has thrown for 951 yards and 13 touchdowns, while completing 62 of 90 passes.

Last Saturday, Nadeau, who is from Garden Grove, Calif., completed 29 of 40 passes for 542 yards and a school-record eight touchdowns in the Scots' 56-27 victory over Martin Luther in New Ulm.

Last season, he passed for 3,310 yards and 34 touchdowns in 10 games.

The Scots, who opened the season with a 44-30 victory over Minnesota Morris, have scored 100 points in the first two games of a season for the first time in program history. They bettered the mark of 93, which was set in 1969 with a 59-6 victory over Bethel and 34-8 victory over St. Thomas.

Tommies travel to Harvard

St. Thomas travels to Cambridge, Mass., this week to take on Harvard. The nonconference game is the first meeting between the programs.

The Tommies (1-1), are coming off a 24-0 loss at South Dakota last Saturday. It was the first shutout loss for the Tommies since 2011.

Harvard, which has been playing football since 1873, is playing its season opener. The Ivy League member has never played a football team from Minnesota.