District College Football Preview for Saturday, October 17th

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 | 8:36 PM

The middle of October brings cooler weather, shorter days and heated play on the district college football front. 

In the NEC Duquesne looks to hold on to the top spot, while in the PSAC Clarion looks to accomplish a record noy oosted by the Golden Eagles in over 30 years. 

The PAC has a two way battle at 4-0 from outside the keystone state, while in New Wilminton Westminster is off to their best start since joining the conference. 

Here are previews of ALL the games:


Duquesne (4-2) at Bryant (2-3)   Noon
The Dukes are 1-0 in NEC play and have won 2 straight overall. Duquesne leads the NEC in scoring defense at 13 points allowed per game. The Dukes are plus 5 in turnovers this season and have committed only 63 yards of penalties per game, tops in the conference. 

Duquesne is 20-22 in the red zone, but has only scored 14 touchdowns. QB Dillon Buechel(Montour) is second in the NEC at 226 passing yards per game, the sophomore is the leader with 11 td passes. Chris King leads the conference with 41 catches. 

Bryant is 0-1 in the NEC and has lost 4 straight. The Bulldogs fell 35-33 to Central Connecticut State last week.  Despite the losing skid, the Bulldog lead the NEC with a plus 6 turnover ratio. Senior Ricardo McCray leads the NEC with 498 yards rushing and 99 yards per game.  Junior Dalton Easton also leads the conference in passing at 241 yards per game. Easton has 8 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.

Wagner (0-5) at Saint Francis (2-2)   3:30pm
This game features the top offense as the Red Flash are averaging 32 points per game. Wagner has scored only 65 points all season.

The Seahawks are 0-1 in the NEC.  Wagner fell to Columbia 26-3 last week.

The Red Flash play their NEC opener after having a bye week. Saint Francis has committed the most penalty yards in the NEC at 83 per game. The Red Flash are also perfect in the red zone, scoring on all 14 trips with 10 touchdowns.

Senior WR Terell Smith leads the NEC at 100 receiving yards per game.

Slippery Rock (5-1) at Mercyhurst (3-3)   Noon
SRU posted 609 yards in last week’s win over Cal. QB Dante Nania(Hempfield) threw for 312 yards and 3 scores, he also ran for 2 touchdowns. Junior John Conglose(Neshannock) made his first start at safety and led SRU with 9 tackles.

The Rock moves back into the top 25 at #20 in the AFCA coaches poll and #21 in the D2football.com rankings. SRU is the only ranked team in the PSAC. RB Shamar Grenne(West Mifflin) is third in the PSAC in rushing at 109 yards per game. Slippery Rock leads the PSAC in scoring at 47 points per game and is 2nd at 16 points allowed. 

The Lakers dropped to 0-3 in the West Division with the 16-13 loss to Gannon. Sach Emerick yook over from Brendan Boylan at QB last week after the starter suffered an injury. RB Brandon Brown-Dukes added another 90 yards to his total as the all-time leading rusher in Lakers history, he has posted 18 100 yard games in his career. WR FJ Williams is 2nd in the PSAC with 603 receiving yards.

The Lakers lead the PSAC with the least penalties per game at 54 yards. Tevin Stewart leads with 5 interceptions.

Seton Hill (2-4) at Clarion (6-0)   3pm
Despite the Griffins loss last week, junior Jarvis McClam had a great game on special trams. McClam posted over 200 yards on kickoff reurns, including a 92 yard run for a td, the longest return in school history. Nicholas Boynton led the Griffins with 11 tackles, Dexter Williams finished with 10.

QB Christian Strong is 3rd in the PSAC at 312 passing yards per game. The Griffins are also 3rd in the league in passing yards.

The Golden Eagles look to go to 7-0 for the first time since 1983. Clarion comes off a 36-23 win over Edinboro. QB Connor Simmons was named PSAC West Division Offensive Athlete of the Week, throwing 345 yards and 4 touchdowns in the win. The junior leads the NCAA in efficiency rating and PSAC in completion percentage. 

WR Matt Lehman(Burrell) leads the PSAC with 12 touchdown catches. RB Delrece Williams(Steel Valley) is fifth in the league at 90 rushing yards per game. Clarion is 2nd in the PSAC at 32:29 in time of possession.

California (4-2) at IUP (4-1)   6pm
It’s the 7th annual Coal Bowl.

Cal fell to SRU 56-21 last week, the biggest loss for the Vulcans since 2008. QB James Harris is 4th in the PSAC at 291 passing yards per game. WR’s Kowan Scott and Garry Brown are 3rd and 4th in the league in receiving yards, both over 98 yards per game.

QB Lenny Williams(Sto-Rox) set a school and PSAC record with 205 rushing yards by a signal caller. IUP defeated Seton Hill 47-10.

RB Chris Temple is leading the PSAC in rushing yards at 129 per game and is 2nd with 9 touchdowns. The IUP rushing attack is averaging 316 yards per game, 4th in D-II.

Thomas More (6-0) at Saint Vincent (3-2)   1pm
The Saints are 4-0 in the PAC. Thomas More scored 35 second half points in last week’s 44-14 win over Geneva. QB Jensen Gebhardt did not play last week. RB CT Tarrent ran for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tarrant is 2nd in the league at 122 yards per game.

The Saints actually dropped one spot to #12 in both the D-III.com and AFCA top 25 polls. Thomas More has won all 8 games versus Saint Vincent.

The Saints lead the PAC in scoring at 53 points per game and defense at 11 points allowed. Thomas More is 31-33 in red zone offense with 27 td’s.

The Bearcats are 2-1 in PAC play and come off the bye week. Saint Vincent is the most penalized team at 95 yards per game. However, Saint Vincent is plus 7 in the turnover battle.

Carnegie Mellon (2-3) at Grove City (0-5)   1:30pm
The Tartans are 2-2 in the PAC. CMU defeated Bethany 56-35 last week. RB Sam Benger has rushed for 985 yards, he leads Division III. QB Andrew Hearon is now 8th all time in passing yards. Hearon threw for 4 scores last week. 

CMU is 14-16 in the red zone with 13 touchdowns. 

The defense picked off 5 passes last week, the most in a game for CMU since 2005. LB Stanley Bikulege was named PAC Defensive Player of the Week with 12 stops and an interception.

The Wolverines are 0-3 in the PAC. Caleb Jakiel(Moon) threw a touchdown pass to Gabe Greco(New Brighton) in last week’s loss. Grove City is the least penalized team in the league at 35 yards per game. The Wolverines are allowing 187 yards rushing per game. Grove City has used 3 quarterbacks this season.

CMU leads the series 35-19-2.

Westminster (4-2) at Waynesburg (2-4)    1:30pm
The Titans are a game back of both Thomas More and Case Western at 3-1. Westminster defeated Thiel 49-6 last week, the largest margin of victory in 15 years for the Titans.

WR Bryson Paulinellie was named PAC Special Teams Player of the Week with a 56 yard punt return for a score. The freshman also caught 2 td passes in the win.

Westminster is averaging 33:26 in time of possession.

The Yellow Jackets are 1-3 in the PAC. RB Jerry Lawman leads with 541 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns. Kevin Barnes has 5 touchdowns on 30 catches this season. Freshman QB Jake Dougherty has thrown for 1,084 yards with 11 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.

Westminster leads the series 37-33-3 but Waynesburg has won the last 4 meetings.

Bethany (2-4) at W & J (4-1)   7pm
The Bison is 1-3 in the PAC. WR Eric Blinn(Western Beaver), the PAC’s all-time leading receiver, racked up 13 catches and 100 yards, he leads the PAC with 56 catches. RB Jalen Holmes(New Castle) ran for 144 yards last week, he is 5th in rushing at 102 yards per game. 

Bethany is last in time of possession at 27:26 per game.

The Presidents are 2-1 in the PAC, coming off a win over Grove City. W&J posted 652 yards of offense in the win, the most by the Presidents this year. RB Ryan Ruffing(Thomas Jefferson) ran for over 100 yards for the 13th time in his career. Ruffing is 4th inr the league at 115 rushing yards per game and leads the PAC with 10 touchdowns. .

W&J moved up to #16 this week in the D-IIIfootball.com poll. The Presidents are #18 in the AFCA poll. W&J is averaging 40 points per game. QB Pete Coughlin is tops in the PAC at 273 passing yards per game, the former Upper St. Clair star has thrown 9 touchdowns with 7 interceptions this season. 

The Presidents lead the series 70-21.

Case Western Reserve (4-1) at Geneva (2-3)   7pm 
The Spartans are 4-=0 in the PAC. QB Rob Cuda posted 6 touchdown in last week’s win. The sophomore threw for 3 scores and ran for 3 more, he was named PAC Offensive Player of the Week. Cuda leads the PAC with 16 passing touchdowns, he has no interceptions. .

Case Western has won 4 straight games and are averaging more than 40 points per during the streak. The Spartans lead the PAC with a plus 8 turnover ratio.

The GT’s are 1-2 in the PAC, falling to Thomas More last week. Freshman Javid Ellis ran for two scores, he leads Geneva with 5 touchdowns. RB Dylan Jones(Laurel) leads with 244 rushing yards. QB Aaron Channing has thrown for 933 yards with 7 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.   

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