Valparaiso (0-8, 0-5 PFL)
Game #9: Saturday, Oct. 30, 1 p.m. CDT
vs. Butler (3-5, 1-4 PFL)
Brown Field (5,000 - ProGrass) - Valparaiso, Ind.
This Week in Crusader Football: Valparaiso returns to Brown Field for the final time in 2010 on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders “Battle for the Hoosier Helmet” against longtime instate rival Butler. Saturday is also Senior Day, with the Crusader football program honoring 12 players prior to kickoff.
On the Air: For the sixth straight season the Valpo Sports Radio Network will be home to all 11 Crusader football games in 2010. The Valpo Sports Radio Network consists of WAKE (1500-AM, Valparaiso) and WE-FM (95.9-FM, Michigan City). Todd Ickow will handle all the play-by-play with Adam Amin adding the color commentary this week. The game can also be heard live online at www.valpoathletics.com. Live stats will also be available for the game through www.valpoathletics.com.
Head Coach Dale Carlson: Dale Carlson is 0-8 in his first season with the Crusaders and 110-111-3 overall entering his 22nd season as a collegiate head coach. He arrived at Valpo from Ohio Dominican where he was 7-3 last season and 36-27 over six years. Carlson began the Ohio Dominican program from scratch in 2004, just as he did at Tri-State University prior to his tenure with the Panthers. He is now the 16th head coach in Valpo history, and just the seventh since 1946.
Series Notes: In a series that dates all the way back to 1927, the Bulldogs hold a 44-24 all-time advantage against the Crusaders as the two schools meet for the 69th time on Saturday. Valpo has faced Butler more than any other opponent in program history, and will be looking to snap a two-game Bulldog win streak in the series. Last year, Butler earned a 23-14 victory in Indianapolis. Valpo’s last win against the Bulldogs came at Brown Field, 42-37, back in 2007.
Wrapping Up San Diego: The Crusaders trailed the Toreros just 10-7 at halftime last Saturday in San Diego, Calif., but two big plays, a 59-yard touchdown pass and a 31-yard scoring strike on fourth-and-20, proved to be the difference as San Diego defeated Valpo 30-10. Eric Lemon connected with Kevin Becker from seven yards out for the Crusader touchdown while Mike Pando added a 29-yard field goal. Mason Mills completed 27-of-35 passes for 327 yards for the Toreros and three touchdowns.
Scouting Butler: The Bulldogs look to snap a two-game losing skid on Saturday after falling 21-20 last weekend to Morehead State at home. Andrew Huck leads the Butler offense having thrown for 1,282 yards and eight touchdowns while also rushing for 294 yards. Zach Watkins and Jordan Koopman each have 435 yards receiving on the year while Ryan Hitchcock also has run for 296 yards. Jordan Ridley leads the Pioneer Football League with 94 total tackles, including five for loss.
Thanks Seniors: The Valpo football program will honor 12 players that are appearing at Brown Field for the final time during their collegiate careers today. Travis Anderson, Eli Crawford, Tyler Evanko, Adrian Gober, Nate Goergen, Sean McCarty, Ryan Myers, John Moriarty, Corey Nash, Alex Petrik, Alex Soller, and Matt Upshaw make up the football Class of 2010.
Wood Sixth in the Nation: Greg Wood’s strong punting effort continues. The sophomore has moved up to sixth in the nation in punting, and still leads the PFL, averaging 43.9 yards per kick. He is on pace to set a school record for season punting average which is currently 42.1 set by Roy Carlson in 1953. Wood has landed 11 of his 47 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line, and has had nine boots of 50 yards or more.
Becker Solid at Tight End: Kevin Becker has performed well at tight end for the Crusaders this year in a receiving role. He has 16 catches for 171 yards, including his first collegiate score last week at San Diego. Last year, Valpo tight ends caught one pass total.
Wood Honored Twice: Greg Wood was honored by the College Football Performance Awards as an Honorable Mention Punter of the Week in NCAA I-FCS following his games against both Dayton and Jacksonville.
McCarty Leads Receiving Corps: Sean McCarty has grabbed a team-leading 35 passes for 433 yards and a pair of touchdowns this season. He hauled in a 58-yard touchdown pass from Nate Goergen against Dayton, McCarty’s third reception of more than 30 yards already this season. He caught a 31-yard pass at Franklin and had a 47-yard reception in the home opener against Saint Joseph’s (Ind.).
Check Your Roster: Valparaiso has had 71 different Crusaders see action on the field this season, with only 25 players appearing in all seven contests thus far. The starting lineup has been even more inconsistent, as 40 different players have drawn starting assignments, with just six Crusaders (Nate Blair, Grant Bushong, Adrian Gober, Sean McCarty, Alex Soller, and Ferdinand Velez) starting ever game.
Team Captains: Valpo has co-captains for the 2010 season. Senior defensive back Eli Crawford represents the defense while redshirt-sophomore Eddie Morelli represents the offense.
Crusaders Picked 10th in Preseason Poll: The head coaches selected Valparaiso to finish 10th in the Pioneer Football League this season according to the preseason poll. The prognosticators selected Dayton to take home the 2010 championship.
This and That: Erik Lemon threw for a season-high 194 yards last week at San Diego ... Eric Slenk leads the team with 888 all-purpose yards ... Adrian Gober leads the defense with 53 tackles, three interceptions, and a fumble recovery ... Mike Pando kicked his first collegiate field goal last week (29 yards).