Football Preview: Urbana at Central State
WILBERFORCE, Ohio (September 15, 2012) - On Saturday, the Blue Knight football team makes the short trip south to take on Central State University in the school's first ever GLVC conference matchup. Urbana and Central State are both 1-year associate members of the GLVC. Next season, the Blue Knights will find a permanent conference home in the Mountain East Conference, while CSU will take its football program to the SIAC.
Saturday's meeting is the 6th matchup between these 2 schools on the gridiron, but the first as conference foes. Urbana is 3-2 all-time against the Marauders, including a 40-12 victory in their last meeting in Week 10 of the 2010 season. Reigning OCF.com Offensive Player of the Week D.J. Mendenhall had a big game as a true freshman in the win over CSU 2 seasons ago. Mendenhall rushed 60 yards and a score in addition to completing 11 of 15 passes for 123 yards and 2 more scores. He also caught 2 passes for 4 yards while splitting snaps with QB Evan Gehlert. Junior WR Joe Webb also had a big day in the win, catching 2 passes including another bomb that went for a 64-yard score to give UU its first lead at 12-6. Defensively, Perry Jenkins had 3 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and 2 pass break-ups as UU held CSU to just 269 total yards at UU Stadium.
Urbana enters Week 3 with a 2-0 record, while CSU is 0-2 after suffering a 59-0 loss at D-I FCS Northern Iowa. The Marauders last win over UU came during the 1989 season. Urbana will try to make it 4 in a row against their area rivals on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The game is being played at CSU's McPherson Stadium in Wilberforce, Ohio just 33 miles south of Urbana. Tickets are $10 apiece. If you can't make it to CSU to cheer on the Blue Knights, you can follow along with a LIVE BROADCAST HERE. To receive live game updates via Twitter, follow @UUSports. Below are more GLVC Week 3 Notes.
Conference Season begins
After two weeks of non-conference action, it is time to begin the road to determining the inaugural GLVC Football Champion. Five games are scheduled to be contested this week, including the league’s first-ever head-to-head conference games. William Jewell will host Kentucky Wesleyan, Indianapolis heads to Quincy, and McKendree welcomes Missouri S&T on Saturday. In a battle of the GLVC associate members, Urbana travels to Central State. The only non-conference play this week involves Saint Joseph’s traveling to Robert Morris in Chicago.
Another Three For The GLVC
Just as it did in the opening week of the inaugural season of GLVC football, conference teams recorded three wins in week two, including victories by Kentucky Wesleyan, Missouri S&T and Urbana. The latter two schools sits atop the non-conference standings at 2-0 overall.
Four GLVC standouts reached single-game milestones for their respective positions this past weekend. Indianapolis’ Klay Fiechter eclipsed 100 yards rushing with 122 yards on the ground at Western Illinois, Missouri S&T’s Josh Firm set a conference single-game high with 308 yards passing at Arkansas Tech, and Urbana’s Joe Webb and Missouri S&T’s Smook Thomas easily reached 100 yards receiving with 149 and 134 yards respectively, in wins over Seton Hill and Arkansas Tech.
Two GLVC Teams Passing Others
Through the first two games of the season, Missouri S&T and Urbana have begun to distance themselves from the conference in select statistical categories. Urbana (43.5) and S&T (41.0) are ranked 1-2 in the conference in scoring offense, while Saint Joseph’s ranks more than two touchdowns behind in third at 25.0. In total offense, Urbana (542.0) and S&T (421.0) rank ahead of SJC (386.5), while the same can be said in the passing game as the Miners (327.5) and Blue Knights (299.0) hold an advantage over the Pumas (267.0)
Lucky Pick-6 No. 3?
Missouri S&T’s secondary stole the show last week with five interceptions against Arkansas Tech, but it was McKendree’s defense that impressed yet again, despite a 47-24 loss to Henderson State. For the second straight week, the Bearcats intercepted a pass and returned it 50 yards for a score. Zach Haselhorst accomplished the feat against Tiffin in the opener, while current GLVC Defensive Player of the Week Jamison Wilson scampered 49 yards for a TD following his pick of Henderson State last week.
A Punting Pair
At 2-0 overall, Missouri S&T and Urbana are a common pair atop several statistical categories. Perhaps one of the most eye-opening categories has been in special teams, where Urbana has dominated the punting game, while S&T has specialized in the return game. Current GLVC Special Teams Player of the Week Clay Lust opened the season with a 61-yard boot against Tusculum and improved it by a yard last week with a 62-yarder against Seton Hill. Both punts are the conference’s biggest gainers this year. On the return side, S&T and last week’s Special Teams Player of the Week Carlton Westbrook have provided some thrilling takebacks. Westbrook returned a punt 58 yards for a score in the opener against Oklahoma Panhandle State and then backed it with a 51-yard return last week at Arkansas Tech. Both returns are tops among single-game highs in the league.
Two running backs and three wideouts are currently averaging more than 100 yards per game at their respective position. UIndy’s Klay Fiechter (112.5) and Urbana’s David Hill (102.0) pace the conference in per-game rushing totals, while Urbana’s Joe Webb (150.0), Saint Joseph’s Julian Walker (126.0) and Missouri S&T’s Smook Thomas (107.5) lead the conference’s contingent in receiving yards per game.
Urbana Earns Recognition in AFCA D-II Poll
In the latest AFCA Division II Poll released Monday, Urbana is the lone GLVC team to earn recognition as the Blue Knights are receiving votes outside the top 25. Urbana has received votes the past two weeks, while Indianapolis was the only conference squad to garner votes in the preseason poll.
GLVC Ranked Among Top-10 Nationally
Through two weeks of the regular season, a handful of GLVC players and teams rank among the nation’s top-10 in select categories. Among the individual notables, Urbana (542.0) is ninth in total offense and Missouri S&T (79.19) is ninth in passing efficiency defense. Individually, S&T’s Carlton Westbrook (40.00) ranks first in the nation in punt return average, Kentucky Wesleyan’s Julian Walker (10.0) is fifth in receptions per game, and S&T’s Billy Foster (1.00) and Adam Peden (2.00) are fifth in interceptions and field goals per game, respectively. Additionally, Urbana’s Joe Webb (150.0) is sixth overall in receiving yards per game, while teammate Clay Lust (44.64) is eighth overall in punting average.