DULUTH, Minn. -

The University of Minnesota Duluth dropped from 19th to 23rd in the American Football Coaches Association Division II rankings after the Bulldogs dropped their season opener at Southwest Minnesota State.

Curt Wiese's team followed the game plan to near perfection for a little more than two quarters before the Mustangs turned a 15 point Bulldog lead into a 42-38 UMD loss.

That's now a handful of double digit 2nd half leads UMD has blown over the last few years.  And this loss led the bulldogs to a 2nd straight 0–1 start.

Wiese says his defense moved the way the game ended by the end of the weekend, while senior Linebacker Beau Bates says the defense needs to play better, starting this week against Winona State.

"Southwest made a lot of plays, and we couldn't come up with those plays," said Bates.  "I thought our team played well as a whole, we just need to make those plays when it comes down to it.  We're looking forward to Winona, our energy is still there."

Meanwhile, Wiese says after looking at the film, there isn't much he'd do differently.

"Certainly in hindsight, you can go back and change a few things but we need to execute," Wiese said.  "We had four situations in the last two minutes that we failed to execute on.  All we can do from that is learn this week and make sure those are not the same mistakes we make this weekend."

The Bulldogs host Winona State Saturday in the 2016 Home Opener.  Kickoff is set for 6:05 p.m. and the game is also Military Appreciation Day.