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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 62nd meeting between McDaniel (4-4, 2-4 CC) and Gettysburg (3-5, 3-3 CC) in a series that dates back to 1891. The Bullets lead the all-time series 45-16-1. The Bullets won in Westminster last year to snap a six-year stretch where the teams alternated wins and losses with the home team winning each time since the Green Terror won six straight in the series.
WHEN LAST WE MET: Nick McConnell ran for 99 of Gettysburg's 267 rushing yards, adding two touchdowns to lead his squad to a 38-9 victory at McDaniel last season. Matt Flynn, who entered the game as the CC's leading passer at 244.8 yards per game, was held to 96 yards through the air on 11-for-21 passing. The Green Terror pulled within 7-6 late in the second quarter but Josh Huson hit a 47-yard field goal as the first half came to an end and the Bullets outgained McDaniel 249-67 in the second half, including a commanding 124-44 in the third quarter. Tom Massucci (Tablernacle, N.J./Seneca), making his first collegiate start, hit on 14 of his 33 attempts for 150 yards with three interceptions.
LAST TIME OUT: John Harrison threw for a program-record 404 yards on 26 of 35 passing with five touchdowns to lead Franklin & Marshall to a 41-20 CC victory over McDaniel last week. The Diplomats became the fifth team this season to roll up more than 400 yards of total offense on the Green Terror, putting up 437 yards, including 406 through the air. C.J. Billera (Allentown, Pa./Emmaus) caught seven passes for a career-high 110 yards, including a touchdown, in the loss for McDaniel. Tom Massucci had his fourth 200-yard passing day of the year, completing 16 of 33 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown.
WITH HONORS: C.J. Billera and Travis Wenrich (Wernersville, Pa./Conrad Weiser) each earned a spots on their respective CC Weekly Honor Rolls last week. Billera earned the offensive nod after catching seven passes for a career-best 110 yards and a touchdown. Wenrich was named to the defensive ledger after leading the defense with eight tackles and a pass breakup.
LEADING THE WAY: Matt Cahill, Austin Herr (Millersville, Pa./Penn Manor), Aaron Slaughter, Mike Weick 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.
THREE'S COMPANY: With his 211-yard performance on Saturday, Tom Massucci became just the fifth different Green Terror signal caller to throw for 1,500 yards in a season. However, even more impressive is where his 1,613 yards ranks him. His fourth 200-yard game of the season vaulted him past the best season put up by Brad Baer (1,513, 2006) and Jamie Harris (1,595, 2001). Massucci is eighth on the all-time list and the only names ahead of him are those of arguably the two greatest passers in program history - Brian Van Deusen and Ron Sermarini. Van Deusen has the top three single-season performances while Sermarini occupies spots five, six and seven.
ROOKIE SENSATION: C.J. Billera has quickly made his presence known. Since putting on a McDaniel uniform, the freshman has made an impact on special teams as well as in the offense. He made his debut with a 90-yard punt return for a touchdown, racking up 169 all-purpose yards in the opener against St. Vincent. Since then, he has had three other games where he has eclipsed 100 all-purpose yards, including 158 last week against Franklin & Marshall. Among those yards was a career-best 110 in the receiving game. He made seven catches, including his third touchdown. For the season, he is tied with T.J. Develin (Boyertown, Pa./Boyertown Area) for the team lead with 829 all-purpose yards.
SACK LUNCH: The Green Terror defense has been getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks this season better than any other conference team. McDaniel has recorded 29 sacks this season - a total which is not only best in the CC but also ranks sixth in Division III. It is also the fifth-best single-season total in program history with two games to play. Only the totals from 1998 (43), 1997 (39), 2005 (34) and 1995 (31) have been higher. Mike Ford (Drexel Hill, Pa./Haverford Twp.) and Sam Cox (Towson, Md./Towson) have led the defensive effort thus far. Ford leads the team with 8.0 sacks while Cox has 6.5. The two defensive linemen rank 1-2 in the CC in sacks per game. Ford also leads the conference in tackles for loss (13.5) while Cox is third in the category (10.0).
WHERE'S THE DEFENSE?: The Green Terror has allowed 89 points over the last two games. In the two games prior, McDaniel had allowed just 10 combined points and had given up just 122 through the first six games of 2009. A week after Ursinus scored 48 points, Franklin & Marshall lit up the scoreboard for 41. It marked the first time in the 115-year history of football on the Hill that the Green Terror allowed 40-plus points in back-to-back home games. Twice in 2007, McDaniel allowed 40 points in consecutive games but three of those four games were on the road. It was only the fourth and fifth times that a Tim Keating-coached team allowed an opponent to score 40 points at Scott S. Bair Stadium. Ursinus has turned the trick three times. Muhlenberg (2008) and Franklin & Marshall are the only other teams to accomplish the feat.
RUNNING WITH THE DEVELIN: T.J. Develin has rushed for 538 yards this season, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the Green Terror 840 net rushing yards this season. He enters today's game needing just six yards to match his 2008 total. For his career, he has rushed for 1,388 yards and is just 20 yards from breaking into the top 15 all-time on the career rushing list.
TERROR TIDBITS: For the second week in a row, the Green Terror allowed a non-offensive touchdown. A week after having a kickoff returned for a score, the Diplomats returned an interception 62 yards for a touchdown... Eric Zwilsky (Knoxville, Md./Brunswick) recorded his first touchdown of the season, running 29 yards to the end zone on the first play of the fourth quarter... McDaniel is 1-13 over its last 14 CC road games. The Green Terror snapped its 13-game conference road losing streak in its last road game 16-9 at Muhlenberg on Oct. 17.
COACHES' CORNER: Tim Keating is in his 17th season at the helm of the Green Terror. His 102 victories are the most by any McDaniel coach. Keating enters today's game with record of 102-69-3, 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... Barry Streeter, the dean of CC coaches, is in his 31st season guiding the Bullets. His 155-152-5 record not only ranks best amongst those to guide Gettysburg but is also the best record among active coaches in the conference. He has three CC titles to his credit and one appearance in the NCAA semifinals (1985).
THE WORD ON GETTYSBURG: The Bullets enter this week's game off their bye, marking the seventh consecutive year Gettysburg faces the Green Terror with two weeks to prepare... In their last outing, the Bullets dropped a 38-28 decision to Dickinson on Oct. 24. In the game, Matt Flynn threw for 195 yards with no touchdowns. He completed 16 of 22 passes with three interceptions... Over the last three games, Flynn, who ranks second in the CC with 2,259 yards, has been held to 490 yards through the air. However, over the same stretch he has ran for 237 of his 321 rushing yards this season. Flynn is already the conference's career passing leader with 7,466 yards, passing former Green Terror standout quarterback Brian Van Deusen (7,239). With 1,092 career rushing yards to his credit, Flynn needs just 69 yards of total offense to take that conference record as well, surpassing another former Green Terror standout Ron Sermarini (8,627) in the process... Jamel Mutunga ranks second in the CC in rushing with 822 yards on the ground. He needs just 178 yards to reach the 1,000-yard mark. It would be the fourth time in five years that Gettysburg has had a running back rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Tom Sturges did it each year between 2005 and 2007... The Bullets return home for the third straight game. On Oct. 17, the team celebrated Homecoming with a 59-14 win over Juniata before falling 38-28 to Dickinson on Families Weekend. Today is Senior Day for Gettysburg. The Bullets are 2-2 on Shirk Field at Musselman Stadium this season.