It's all on the line in the PSAC West as Slippery Rock looks to extend Seton Hill's losing streak and claim a spot in the PSAC State Title Game next weekend.
W & J and Geneva square off in Washington, the Presidents need to win to control their own destiny in the PAC. Duquesne hits the road, looking to stay on top of the NEC.
Here are previews of ALL the games, including a pair that can be heard in on the Network:
Slippery Rock (8-1) at Seton Hill (0-9) 12:30 on WLER 97.7-FM and msasports.net
Slippery Rock can clinch a spot in the PSAC State Title Game next week with a win, the Rock is on top of the Western Division at 5-1.
Slippery Rock is ranked 4th in the NCAA Super Region One poll this week, behind West Chester, Shepherd and Winston Salem. The top 6 teams advance to the NCAA playoffs. The Rock is ranked 20th in the AFCA poll, up four spots and #15 in the D2football.com rankings, up 5 spots.
The Rock defeated Cal 35-17 to place themselves into the driver’s seat for the PSAC West title. SRU has won 6 straight games.
Quarterback Nigel Barksdale was once again named PSAC West Division Offensive Athlete of the Week. The senior threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 125 yards. Barksdale is a candidate for the Harlon Hill award, giving to the best player in D-II.
Barksdale has tossed 25 td passes this season, setting a new school single season records.
WR John Schademan had 105 yards on 8 catces, the 6th time in 9 games that the senior has had more than 100 yards receiving. Schademan also caught his 12th touchdown of the season, that tied the school record.
Seton Hill has lost 22 straight games, falling to Gannon 40-21 last week. The Griffins led 14-0 in the first quarter.
QB Jarvis McClam ran for a score and threw for another.
Khalil Howard caught a td pass from McClam and led the Griffins with 78 yards on 21 carries.
Norman Darden returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a score last week.
Tyler Zimmer led Seton Hill with 13 tackles.
Geneva (5-3) at W & J (6-2) 7pm on WJPA 1450-AM and msasports.net
It’s a battle of two of the top three offenses in the PAC. W & J averages 36 points per game, Geneva 34.
The Golden Tornadoes are 4-2 in the PAC this season. Geneva is 5-0 on the home turf of Reeves Field, 0-3 on the road.
Geneva knocked off Grove City 39-7 last week. QB Zach Hayward threw for 286 yards and a score and ran for 81 yards in the win. Hayward is averaging 284 yards passing this season, third in the PAC. The senior has 11 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.
WR Josh Guiser made 12 catches for 103 yards. Guiser has 49 catches for 540 yards, 8th in the PAC. Lemuel Fuller is averaging 92 yards per game, 4th in the PAC.
RB Rocco Colavecchia racked up 3 more touchdowns, the senior from Shenango has 17 this season, 3rd in the PAC.
RB Dylan Jones has ran for 466 yards and 4 scores, good for 5th in the PAC in rushing.
The Geneva defense forced 4 turnovers. Tim Martin picked off another pass, he leads the PAC with 5 interceptions.
W & J is 5-1, one half game back of Thomas More for the PAC lead. The Presidents need to win out to claim the conference title, having beaten the Saints earlier this season.
Should the Presidents win out, they would claim their 23rd PAC title and trip to the NCAA playoffs.
W & J comes off the league bye last week, the Presidents are 5-0 since 2007 coming off a bye week.
The Presidents are plus 7 in turnover ratio in the PAC. They lead the conference in red zone offense, scoring 36 of 46 times, with 31 touchdowns.
RB Dion Wiegand is second in the conference with 1,001 yards, he leads the conference with 21 touchdowns.
QB Matt Bliss is averaging 247 yards passing, fourth in conference. Bliss has 13 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
WR Alex Baroffio has 66 catches for 805 yards, third in the PAC in receiving yards. Baroffio has 8 touchdown catches.
W & J leads the series 39-19-2 and have won the last 8 meetings. Geneva has not beaten W & J since 1983 and in Washington since 1973.
Duquesne (5-3) at Sacred Heart (8-2) Noon
The Dukes lead the NEC with a 3-1 record. Duquesne shut down Saint Francis last week, LB Christian Kurtz was named co-Defensive Player of the Week. The Dukes held the Red Flash to just 131 yards. Kuntz finished with 6 tackles, including 3 for loss and tipped a pass to lead to an interception and a Dukes score.
Dillon Buechel leads the NEC at 250 yards passing per game. The redshirt freshman has completed 63 percent of his passes, but has only 9 touchdowns with 10 picks. The Dukes have 4 of the top 10 receivers in the NEC, Gianni Carter has 38 catches, Dave Thomas 33, Chris King 26 and Noel Oduho with 20.
The Pioneers are 2-2 in conference play, beating Monmouth 24-21 last week. QB R J Noel was named NEC Rookie of the Week, throwing for 184 yards and a score and running for another. Noel averages 176 yards per game passing with 19 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Keshawdus Spence is one of three NEC running backs to have more than 1 thousand yards rushing with 1,141 yards.
Robert Morris (4-4) at Central Connecticut State (4-5) Noon
Both teams are 2-1 in the NEC.
The Colonials held Bryant to just 3 points last week. CB Antwan Eddie had 5 tackles and 2 interceptions, he was named NEC co-Defensive Player of the Week. Chris Linares blocked a field goal near the end of the half that set up a CCSU field goal. Linares was named NEC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Paul Jones is 4th in the conference in passing with 182 yards per game. The junior transfer from Penn State has 9 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Duane Mitchell leads the Colonials with 35 catches, 3 for scores.
The Blue Devils defeated Wagner last week. QB Nick SanGiacomo was 22-25 for 263 yards and 3 touchdowns in the win. The sophomore was named NEC Offensive Player of the Wee, he is 2nd in the conference at 193 yards per game. SanGiacomo has thrown 12 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Freshman Rob Holloman leads the conference with 14 touchdowns, he went over the 1 thousand yard mark last week.
Saint Francis (3-5) at Bryant (4-5) Noon
The Red Flash are 1-2 in the NEC. Kyle Harbridge still leads the NEC in rushing with 1,216 yards, the senior is 2nd in the conference with 13 touchdowns. Daquan Minter is tied for the lead in interceptions with 5, Lorenzo Jerome is second with 4 picks.
Mike Westerhaus leads the Bryant offense with 1,455 passing yards, good for 3rd in the NEC. The senior has thrown 11 td’s and 5 interceptions. Jordan Harris leads the NEC with 47 catches and 790 yards. The Bulldogs are 2-2 in conference play.
Clarion (4-5) at Edinboro (4-5) Noon
Both teams are 2-4 in the PSAC West and wondering what might have been. Both teams also lost their quarterbacks to season ending injuries, Ben Fiscus for Clarion and Cody Harris for Edinboro.
Clarion fell 42-14 to IUP last week. All-American DE Julian Howsare made 9 stops in the loss. Howsare has 64 stops on the season with 6 sacks.
Edinboro lost to Mercyhurst 19-6. Keith Regis ran for his first career touchdown. Delano Faber picked off another pass, the third straight game with an interception. Faber is tied for the PSAC lead with 5 picks. James Jackson picked off a pass for the second straight week, he has 15 picks for his career.
Gannon (5-4) at IUP (7-2) 1pm
Both teams are 4-2 in the PSAC West, however Gannon is the only other team in the West that has a chance at the division title. The Golden Knights must win today and have SRU lose to winless Seton Hill. If that happens, then Gannon would take the crown and play in next week’s State Title Game.
LB Luke Rankie was named PSAC West Division Defensive Athlete of the Week for the Golden Knights in last week’s win over Seton Hill. The junior made 12 tackles, including a school single game record six for loss in the win. Rankie leads Gannon in tackles at 88 and also in tackles for loss with 14 and sacks with 5 for the season.
Jansen Jones ran for 200 yards for the third time this season. The senior racked up 220 yards and 3 scores in the win. If Gannon wins this week, the Golden Knights would pick up their most wins in a season since going 6-5 in 2010.
IUP defeated Clarion 42-14 for their second straight road win. RB De’Antwan Williams ran for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns in the win. The senior has ran for over 100 yards in each of the last 3 games.
Mercyhurst (5-4) at California (6-3) 3:30pm
The Lakers are 3-3 in the PSAC West. Mercyhurst defeated Edinboro 19-6 last week. Allen Jones II ran for 148 yards after Brandon Brown-Dukes left the game in the second quarter. Jones picked up his 3rd 100 yard game of the season.
The Vulcans are 4-2 and have been eliminated in the division race, even if Slippery Rock loses and Gannon wins, the Golden Knights hold the tiebreaker. Senior WR Mike Williams posted his third 100 yard day receiving and eighth of his career. QB James Harris was replaced by former starter Cody Schroeder in the third quarter.
Bethany (3-5) at Thomas More (7-1) 1:30pm
The Bison are 3-3 in the PAC, falling 30-28 to Thiel last week. WR Eric Blinn has broked the record for catches in a season with 74, the former Western Beaver star made 14 grabs last week. Blinn needs 58 yards to break the single season receiving mark. QB Matt Grimard is third in the country in passing with 2,616 yards.
The Saints are 6-1 in the PAC and play their final conference game this week. A win and one loss by W & J will give Thomas More the outright title. Thomas More blanked Saint Vincent 31-0 for their 4th shutout of the season, a school record. Erik Butler was named the PAC Defensive Player of the Week with 7 tackles and 2 sacks, the Thomas More D held Saint Vincent to 149 yards. QB Jensen Gebhardt threw for 178 yards and 3 touchdowns, two to Ryan Winkler. RB Domonique Hayden leads the PAC with 1,649 yards.
Thomas More leads the series 6-2, but needed overtime to beat the Bison last season.
Saint Vincent (0-8) at Grove City (3-5) 1:30pm
The Bearcats have dropped 19 straight games. Saint Vincent is 3-5 all-time and 1-5 since the program restarted in 2007. The lone win came in 2010.
The Wolverines have not played at home in 28 days. Grove City is 1-5 in the PAC. The Wolverines got 10 catches for 135 yards in the loss to Geneva. Ritchie has 613 yards for the season, the most for a Grove City receiver since 2008. Bobby Tutle and Ben Manwaring each had 15 tackles last week.
Westminster (3-5) at Thiel (2-6) 7pm
Both teams are 2-4 in the PAC. Westminster fell to Waynesburg 38-19 last week. The Titans turned the ball over six times in the loss.
The Tomcats defeated Bethany 30-28 last week. Josh Wannamaker ran for 248 yards on 29 carries and three touchdowns, the freshman running back from Derry was named the PAC Offensive Player of the Week. Thiel has three players in the PAC top 10 in rushing, Wannamaker at #3, Josh Potter is #4 and Ryan Radke #10. K Jon Fennick has made 5 field goals this season, second highest in the conference.
Westminster leads the series, 45-20-7.
Carnegie Mellon (3-5) at Chicago (5-3) 1pm
The Tartans are 0-1 in the UAA after falling to Washington University 9-7 last week. Malcolm Guya was named UAA Defensive Athlete of the Week, making 11 tackles and forced a fumble in last week’s game. QB Rob Kalkstein needs 368 yards to become the all-time leading passer at CMU.
Chicago fell 16-3 to Case Western Reserve University last week, the Maroons are 0-1 in UAA.
The Tartans lead the series 20-5.