DULUTH, Minn. -

Safe to say through two football games, the University of Minnesota Duluth offense is as potent as ever, averaging 36 points a contest.  That's the good news.

The bad news?  The Bulldog defense is giving up 36.5 per game.  For UMD to win a 9th straight division title, that number is going to have to come way down, starting this week at Concordia-St. Paul.

There is reason for optimism though, as the bulldogs held on the beat Winona State thanks to some key 4th quarter stops.  Defensive captain Beau Bates believes that was the shot in the arm the defense needed.

"It was good to see our defense finally find ourselves," said Bates.  "We started to make the big stops when we needed them and we need to keep that rolling these next couple games and make big stops when we need to."

UMD coach Curt Wiese also liked what he saw on the bench.

"Walking off the sidelines I felt good about where our guys are as far as getting behind the defense in the 4th quarter," said Wiese.  "Offensively we put the defense in a couple bad spots in the 4th quarter of that football game and those guys stepped up."