Valparaiso (0-7, 0-4 PFL)
Game #8: Saturday, Oct. 29, 1 p.m. CDT
vs. Dayton (5-3, 3-2 PFL)
Brown Field (ProGrass - 5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
This Week in Crusader Football: Valparaiso returns home to Brown Field on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders celebrate Parents’ Weekend entertaining Dayton. The Crusaders are still in search of their first victory of the season both overall and in the Pioneer Football League.
On the Air: For the seventh 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), which will carry every game all season long along with WJOB (1230-AM, Hammond), which will carry select games. Todd Ickow will handle all the play-by-play with Keaton Gillogly adding the color commentary this week. The game can also be heard live online at valpoathletics.com. This week’s game can also be viewed online through valpoathletics.com as part of the Horizon League Network. Live stats will also be available for the game through valpoathletics.com.
Head Coach Dale Carlson: Dale Carlson is 0-18 in his second season with the Crusaders and 110-121-3 overall entering his 23rd season as a collegiate head coach. He arrived at Valpo from Ohio Dominican where he 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 the 16th head coach in Valpo history, and just the seventh since 1946.
Series Notes: Dayton and Valpo are meeting for the 21st time in a series which dates back to 1988 with the Flyers holding an 18-2 all-time advantage. Dayton has won seven straight meetings between the two schools, including a 48-14 triumph last season in the Buckeye State. The last Crusader victory against the Flyers came on Oct. 11, 2003, a 33-28 win at Welcome Stadium in Dayton. Valpo is 1-8 against Dayton all-time at Brown Field.
Wrapping Up Drake: Drake jumped out to a 35-0 lead one play into the second quarter and held Valparaiso to just 125 yards of total offense on the afternoon last Saturday as the Bulldogs defeated the Crusaders 50-0 in Des Moines, Iowa. The Crusaders committed three first half turnovers which led to 21 Bulldog points. Valpo converted just 2-of-15 third downs as well while committing eight penalties for 60 yards, nearly twice the team’s average.
Scouting Dayton: The Flyers have won back-to-back games following a 30-28 victory on the road at Morehead State last Saturday. Daytons is holding oponents to just 17.9 points per game, and ranks eighth nationally in scoring defense. The Flyers lead the country averaging 4.25 sacks per contest, led by Devon Langhorst, who is third individually with 1.31 per game. Dayton’s run defense ranks seventh in the nation allowing just 88 yards per game. Taylor Harris leads Dayton’s rushing attack, carrying 110 times for 781 yards on the season. Luke Bellman is the leading receiver, with 27 grabs for 386 yards.
Derbak Continues to Lead the Defense: Pat Derbak continues to lead the Crusaders with 56 tackles on the season, ranking third in the Pioneer Football League with 8.0 stops per contest. He has 6.5 tackles for loss included among his season totals. Last week against Drake, Derbak led Valpo the Crusaders with nine tackles, including 2.5 for loss. He also registered his first collegiate interception against the Bulldogs.
Larson Picks Up First Career INT: Keith Larson recorded his first collegiate interception last week at Drake, picking off a pass in the fourth quarter.
Getting in the Backfield: Valpo did a good job of getting into Drake’s backfield last week as the Crusaders posted a season-high nine tackles for loss. Pat Derbak led the way for the Brown and Gold with 2.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. Valpo entered last week’s game with just 22 total tackles for loss in the first six games of the season total.
Finally Getting Takeaways Again: Valpo opened the season with four takeaways during the first three games of the season but had managed just one over the next three contests prior to last week. Against Drake both Keith Larson and Pat Derbak recorded interceptions, giving Valpo seven total takeaways on the year now against 14 giveaways (-1.0 turnover margin per game).
Not Many Field Goal Tries in Valpo Games: Fourth downs have seen teams either go for the conversion or punt away the football for the most part this season when Valparaiso is involved in the game. The Crusaders have tried just two field goal attempts this season, both of which were missed. Valpo opponents have attempted just one field goal as well, with Morehead State making a 33-yarder.
Weinel Perfect on the Season: Adam Weinel is the lone kicker in the Pioneer Football League still perfect on point after touchdown attempts this season. The freshman has made all 10 of his attempts following Crusader scores and has been the go-to kicker for Valpo after sharing the job earlier in the season.
Sharing the Wealth: Andrew Cassara became the 17th different Valpo player to have caught at least one pass this season with his first collegiate reception last week at Drake. A total of 14 of the 17 have at least two receptions on the year.
Racking Up the Offense: Valpo tallied 463 yards of total offense against Butler two weeks ago, matching the Crusaders’ season high in yardage. The Crusaders also put up 463 yards in the season opener against Franklin, marking the Crusaders’ highest offensive output since the Brown and Gold rolled up 469 yards at Drake on Sept. 29, 2007.
Summerville Has All-Around Big Day: Sterling Summerville stepped in and started at running back for the first time in his career against Butler and piled up a pair of career highs. The transfer from Missouri carried the ball 26 times for 81 yards, including his first collegiate touchdown. Summerville also made eight catches for a career-best 77 yards out of the backfield.
Passing Offense Among Nation’s Leaders: Valparaiso ranks 37th among all NCAA I-FCS schools averaging 240.0 passing yards per game this season. Crusader quarterbacks have completed 54.6 percent of their passes this season for 1,680 yards in seven games.
A Strong Leg: Greg Wood, a First Team All-Pioneer Football League punter one year ago, is averaging 43.4 yards per kick over his 51 punts this season and ranks 10th among all NCAA I-FCS punters. The junior had a long of 71 yards against San Diego, and has already has 11 50+ yard kicks on the season. He has landed 13 kicks inside of the 20-yard line for the year. For his career Wood averages 43.6 yards per punt. Wood has had at least one 50-yard punt in 14 of his 16 collegiate games.
Behaving Themselves: Valpo leads the PFL averaging just 37.7 yards in penalties per contest. The Crusaders have been whistled for infractions just 34 times (4.8 per game) this season for 264 total yards. There is no other team in the PFL averaging less than 40 yards per game in miscues. Valpo committed just two turnovers last week in the game against Butler.
Lighting Up the Scoreboard: Valpo’s 35 point outburst against Franklin in the season opener marked the highest point total for the Crusaders since the Brown and Gold scored 47 in a 47-14 victory at Campbell on Nov. 15, 2008. In fact, the Crusaders never scored more than 19 points in all of 2010, and had surpassed that total just 1:47 into the second quarter against the Grizzlies.
Team Captains: Valpo has tri-captains for the 2011 season. Fifth-year senior defensive back Laurence Treadaway and senior defensive lineman Grant Bushong represent the defense while senior center Ferdinand Velez 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 Jacksonville to take home the 2011 championship.
This and That: Gabe Ali-El leads Valpo rushers with 130 yards on the ground ... Tanner Kuramata is the Crusaders’ top receiver with 23 catches for 244 yards ... Sean McCarty has 294 yards worth of receptions on 16 grabs ... Eric Hoffman has completed 133-of-233 passes for 1,413 yards.