And then there was one, IUP is the only college football team in the district still alive and playing on this Thanksgiving weekend. Here is a preview of that matchup.
NCAA Division II Playoffs-Second Round: IUP(11-1) at New Haven(10-0) Noon
The 11th ranked Crimson Hawks defeated Shepherd 27-17 at home last week in the first round.
IUP won the PSAC title with a win over Shippensburg 41-10 in the State Title Game two weeks ago. The win cemented a playoff bid for the Crimson Hawks, their 15th in school history.
IUP's running game averages 278 yards per game, good for 9th in the nation. Harvie Tuck leads the Crimson Hawks with 1,612 yards and 15 touchdowns. De'Antwan Williams has ran for 1,090 yards and 9 scores.
QB Mike Box is 8-0 since taking over as the starter. Box has 11 touchdowns passes and just 2 picks in those 8 starts. WR Terrill Barnes has 4 td catches in the last two games.
IUP leads Division II in total defense, the Crimson Hawks are second in scoring defense, allowing just over 11 points per game.
LB Carl Fleming has returned an interception for a td in each of the last 2 games. Fleming has made 25 tackles in those two games and was named the State Game MVP.
IUP is 3rd in D-II in turnover margin at plus 20.
The 3rd ranked Chargers won the Northeast 10 Conference title and received a first round bye.
New Haven averages 40 points per game. The Chargers have a balanced attack.
RB Mike DeCaro has ran for 562 yards and 7 touchdowns.
New Haven uses a pair of quarterbacks, Ryan Osiecki has thrown for 14 touchdowns and averages 259 yards passing per game, he has made 6 starts this season. Ronnie Nelson only averages 109 yards passing but has tossed 18 touchdowns.
WR Jason Thompson is the top target, he has 14 td receptions.
New Haven has the 6th best total defense in D-II. Tom Herd leads the Chargers with 10 sacks. Bernard Risco has picked off 4 passes.
IUP leads the series 5-3. The winner gets the winner of the Shippensburg at Winston-Salem game in the regional final next weekend.