Dynamic Duos is a new weekly series I want to use to examine the top pairs in D3 football. These can be anyone from a quarterback/wide receiver combo, a couple defensive linemen, or even coaches. It could really be any combination of D3 footballers — the only catch is, there must be two … you know, like a Sith.
To get things started, I went with the most obvious choice this week: a quarterback/wide receiver combo. In this instance, I chose the Gustavus Adolphus duo: quarterback Mitch Hendricks and wide receiver Matt Boyce, who have connected 43 times in six games for 820 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Mitch Hendricks, Quarterback
153-for-207 (73.9%), 2,009 yards, 23 TDs, 5 INTs
Matt Boyce, Wide Receiver
43 receptions, 820 yards, 11 TDs
THE SEASON SO FAR
The Gusties have started the 2015-16 season red hot, outscoring opponents 327-138, en route to a perfect 6-0 record. They rank No. 6 overall in total offense (545 yards per game, 20 TDs scored), largely due to the fantastic duo that is Mitch Hendricks and Matt Boyce.
To recap, in Week 1 versus Crown College, the duo connected for two touchdowns, one going for 77-yards, the other for 20. Against Lake Forest, Hendricks found Boyce three times for TDs of 36 yards, five yards and 16 yards.
In Week 3, the Gusties led Hamline University by seven points with 2:02 left in the game. Hendricks chucked a pass down the sideline to Boyce, who corralled the ball for what turned out to be a backbreaking first down in an impressive 42-35 victory.
The following week saw the pair connect for three more TDs — from nine yards, 29 yards and four yards — in a victory over Augsburg. Hendricks finished the game with over 300 passing yards, Boyce pulled down eight catches for 106 yards.
Against Carleton, Boyce scored twice, taking catches of five yards and 68 yards to the house. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound wideout logged 161 reception yards on eight catches in that game.
In their most recent outing, a 58-34 win over St. Olaf, Hendricks totaled 383 yards and five touchdowns. Boyce pulled down three catches for 82 yards.
It’s safe to say these two have terrific chemistry.
What’s great about this particular duo is how they trust one another when the game is on the line. Hendricks likes to spread the ball around, but tends to target Boyce in big-time situations, including the aforementioned strike against Hamline. In the first play of the second quarter versus Augsburg, the Gusties led 14-7 when Hendricks found his receiver for a 29-yard TD that provided some comfort in a competitive contest.
Trust is the most important dynamic with any QB/WR combo, and Hendricks and Boyce have plenty of it after four straight years together.
Last season the Gusties started out in a similar manner and boasted a 6-0 record three-quarters of the way through the season. Unfortunately, a four game losing skid (starting with a Week 7 loss to St. John’s, who the Gusties face this week, strangely enough) axed the team’s season.
Hopefully this dynamic duo can keep avoid that type of collapse and lead their team to a deep playoff run.
As it stands, the Hendricks and Boyce are on pace to surpass their 2014 totals when Boyce racked up 1,196 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns and Hendricks amassed 3,400 passing yards and 35 scores. Should they keep up their current level of play, there’s no reason Gustavus Adolphus shouldn’t go far in the NCAA Playoffs.