Juniata at McDaniel
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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 22nd meeting between McDaniel (2-2, 0-2 CC) and Juniata (0-4, 0-2 CC) in a series that dates back to 1923. The Eagles snapped a three-game losing streak in the series with a 12-10 win in Huntingdon and now lead the all-time series, 11-9-1.
WHEN LAST WE MET: Last season, Juniata quarterback Jay Leonard threw for 186 yards, completing 15 of 30 passes and ran for another 27 yards to lead his squad to its first-ever CC victory in two seasons in the league - a 12-10 triumph over McDaniel. The Eagles, who came into the game at a CC-low 57.0 rushing yards per game, ran for a season-high 153 yards as part of its season-best 339 yards of total offense. T.J. Develin (Boyertown, Pa./Boyertown Area) led the Green Terror with 88 yards rushing on eight carries but 70 of those yards came on one play. On McDaniel's third play from scrimmage, Develin - who ran for short gains on first and second downs - found a hole in the middle of the line and took it 70 yards for his second rushing touchdown of the season and a 7-0 Green Terror lead 3:17 into the game.
LAST TIME OUT: Ian Mitchell threw for 156 yards and a touchdown while rushing for another 126 and three scores to lead Dickinson to a 35-7 CC victory over McDaniel last week. The Red Devils rushed for 256 yards as a team, scoring at least one touchdown in each quarter. Matt Cahill (Broomall, Pa./Haverford Twp.) caught seven passes for 87 yards and a touchdown for the Green Terror, who were outgained 412-231 on the day.
HEAD OF THE CLASS: Jake Nichols (Frederick, Md./Gov. Thomas Johnson) was named the CC Special Teams Player of the Week after averaging a career-best 39.8 yards per punt, booting the ball eight times for a total of 318 yards. He placed two balls inside the 20-yard line without a touchback. He also averaged 54.0 yards on two kickoffs.
WITH HONORS: Matt Cahill and Ryan Blaser (Damascus, Md./Einstein) earned spots on their respective CC Weekly Honor Rolls last week. Cahill earned the offensive nod after catching seven passes for 87 yards, including a touchdown. Bender earned a spot on the defensive ledger after recording a career-high 12 tackles, including a sack.
LEADING THE WAY: Matt Cahill, Austin Herr (Millersville, Pa./Penn Manor), Aaron Slaughter (Baltimore, Md./Loyola), Mike Weick (Holland, Pa./Penn Charter) and Eric Zwilsky (Knoxville, Md./Brunswick) will all captain the squad in 2009. The five captains are the most named by the Green Terror since five players led the 2003 squad. Three of the four elected to the post this season are two-time captains. Cahill, Slaughter and Zwilsky were all captains in 2008 as well. They are the 11th, 12th and 13th two-time captains during Tim Keating's tenure.
RUNNING WITH THE DEVELIN: T.J. Develin has rushed for 339 yards this season, accounting for more than 70 percent of the Green Terror's 477 rushing yards as a team. The senior tailback ranks fifth in the CC with an average of 84.8 yards per game through the first four games of the season. Develin also has four touchdowns to lead the team in scoring. Ray O'Hara (Yardley, Pa./Conwell-Egan Catholic) ranks second on the team in rushing with 89 yards.
HOME, SWEET HOME: McDaniel returns to Scott S. Bair Stadium this afternoon where the squad has posted a 2-0 record this season. The Green Terror has notched wins of 52-37 and 21-17 over non-conference foes St. Vincent and Catholic, respectively. Today, however, is the team's first CC game at home after extending its road conference losing streak to 13 games last week at Dickinson.
TURNING IT INTO NO POINTS: The McDaniel offense has turned the ball over nine times in the first four games of the season but the defense has yet to allow the opposing offense to score off any of those turnovers. The Green Terror offense has yet to the turn the ball over at a point that has put the defense in a position where it has to defend only half of the field. Outside of the four turnovers that have occurred late in halves, leading to the opponent kneeling on the ball, the defense has forced two three-and-outs and forced a turnover on two of the other drives.
WHERE'S THE DEFENSE?: McDaniel's defense is allowing 365.8 yards per game this season - a total which ranks sixth in the CC. However, defenses across the league have not faired much better through the first four weeks of 2009. Johns Hopkins currently leads the conference, allowing an average of 295.8 yards per game and Franklin & Marshall is the only other team to allow fewer than 300 yards per game (298.0). The large number of yards hasn't necessarily translated into points, however. Seven of the nine CC teams are allowing fewer than 30 points per game and three are giving up fewer than 20.
ALL IN THE FAMILY: Despite its less-than-spectacular record over the last few years, the Green Terror has continued one trend - winning on Parents and Families Weekend. The lone home wins over the last two seasons for McDaniel have come on the last two Families Weekends. The Green Terror downed Juniata 14-10 in 2007 and defeated Dickinson 20-13 in the rain last season. The streak is known to date back to 1994 but it has not been able to be confirmed which game had the designation in 1993 to know if head coach Tim Keating is a perfect 16-0 in front of the Families Weekend crowd.
WHAT A BOOT: Sophomore P Jake Nichols has basically improved each week this season as the team's starting punter. After just one attempt in week one that went 36 yards, Nichols' average has improved each week he has multiple attempts. At Moravian, he averaged 35.0 yards on five kicks but did drop two inside the 20-yard line. A week later at home, he booted eight kicks for an average of 37.6 yards that included a career-long 51-yarder. Last week at Dickinson, he boomed his eight kicks for an average of 39.8 yards. He dropped another two inside the 20 and forced two more to be fair caught.
TERROR TIDBITS: McDaniel had a season-low 231 yards of total offense last week after starting the season with three consecutive 300-yard outings... The Green Terror defense allowed 400-plus yards for the third time last week... McDaniel has alternated wins and losses this season, winning both home games and losing both road games... The Green Terror is 2-0 in games that kick off at 1 p.m. and 0-2 in games that kick off after 1 p.m.
COACHES' CORNER: Tim Keating is in his 17th season at the helm of the Green Terror. His 100 victories are the most by any McDaniel coach. Keating enters today's game with record of 100-67-3, guiding the program to seven CC championships and a pair of NCAA playoff wins. Before coming to the Hill, Keating notched a 26-23 record in five seasons at Wesley... Carmen Felus is in his first season leading the Eagles. He enters this afternoon's contest winless in his first four games. Felus came to Juniata with 14 years of coaching experience, spending time at Tennessee-Chattanooga, Indiana (Pa.), Shepherd and St. Francis (Pa.). A 1995 graduate of Western Maryland, Felus has recorded 755 receiving yards in his career on the Hill.
THE WORD ON JUNIATA: The Eagles enter today's game off a 34-7 loss to Franklin & Marshall last week... The Diplomats jumped out to a 34-0 halftime lead before cruising to the victory in the second half. Abram Mellinger caught a 15-yard touchdown pass with two seconds left to avoid the team's third shutout of the season... Juniata netted just 164 yards of total offense in last week's loss, including just 43 on the ground... The Eagles have scored just 20 points over their first four games of the season and have been shut out twice... The offense is averaging just 178.0 yards per game while the defense is allowing an average of 388.2 yards per game... The defense has allowed 400 yards or more in each of the last three games... Alex Snyder is completing 44.0 percent of his passes, throwing for 383 yards without a touchdown or interception... Matt Dunker leads the receiving corps with 13 catches for 158 yards... Derek Kramer has rushed for a team-best 131 yards on 41 carries with one of the team's two touchdowns this season... Juniata takes to the road today for the first time since a season-opening 13-0 loss at Allegheny... Today is a homecoming for head coach Carmen Felus, who played for Coach Keating and the Green Terror in 1993 and 1994.