Football Preview: Urbana at Kentucky Wesleyan
OWENSBORO, Kentucky (October 6, 2012) - On Saturday, the Blue Knights travel down to Owensboro, Kentucky where they will face GLVC opponent Kentucky Wesleyan College. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 pm Central Time, 2:00 pm Eastern. The Blue Knights need a win against the Panthers to improve to 2-1 in conference play, just 1 game back of the only undefeated teams left in the GLVC, Indianapolis and St. Joseph's, who happen to face off against each other in Indy on Saturday night.
Kentucky Wesleyan is currently 0-3 in the GLVC and 1-4 overall. Last week KWC faced GLVC opponent McKendree at home. The game was 1 of 5 straight home games for the Panthers, but that didn't help them on the field against the previously winless Bearcats. KWC fell 41-17.
Against McKendree, the Panthers lost their drive and focus late. KWC trailed by just 11 at the half, but on the first play of the third quarter Panther QB Will Barnes was hit hard by McKendree’s Cameron Ford. Ford forced a fumble, scooped it up and ran it in for the 20-yard TD. After the play, Barnes left the game with a head injury and did not return. The Panthers turned to true freshman QB Dalton Oliver for the remainder of the second half. Oliver finished a respectable 6 for 9 passing, but he also threw an interception and was sacked 5 times for a loss of 35 yards. McKendree scored the game's final 14 points to run away with a rout. (The Blue Knights host McKendree for Homecoming on October 20th at 12pm.)
Urbana leads the all-time series with Kentucky Wesleyan 3-0. All 3 wins have come in the past 3 seasons, when the teams faced off as GLFC opponents. The average score over Urbana's 3 wins against KWC is 36-17. Last season in Owensboro, the Blue Knights scored their biggest win over the Panthers, a 45-9 runaway victory. Urbana outgained the Panthers 520-249. QB D.J. Mendenhall accounted for 5 TDs (4 passing, 1 rushing), and Perry Jenkins had a pair of sacks in the rout.
If Urbana is going to get back on track after last week's 33-21 loss at West Virginia Wesleyan, the Blue Knights need to get healthy and win the battle in the trenches. So far this season, Urbana has allowed 15 sacks on offense while racking up just 9 sacks on defense. At this point last season, Urbana was 2-3 overall and they were losing the sack battle in the trenches 12-4. In Game #6 against KWC, Urbana won the sack battle 4-0. From that point on, Urbana never lost another sack battle, and the Blue Knights finished the year on a 6-game winning streak.
For fans unable to make the trip to Steele Stadium in Owensboro, check in here for links to LIVE AUDIO, LIVE STATS, and as always, follow @UUSports on Twitter for live in-game updates to your phone. For additional game information, check out KWC's GAME NOTES and read the GLVC's Weekly Notes below.
Another Undefeated Matchup For League Lead
Conference-leader Indianapolis will prepare for yet another undefeated GLVC showdown this week as the 3-0 Greyhounds welcome 2-0 Saint Joseph’s for a first-place battle Saturday night. Missouri S&T, which earned its first league loss last week to Indianapolis, travels to Central State on Saturday to square off against another 2-1 conference team. Urbana sits 1-1 in league play and will look for that second win at Kentucky Wesleyan this weekend, while William Jewell (1-1) heads to McKendree (1-2) for league action. Quincy stays home this week with hopes of its first win of the season against non-conference foe St. Ambrose.
UIndy’s Fiechter Honored by Beyond Sports Network
For the second consecutive week, Beyond Sports Network has recognized a GLVC standout, this time Indianapolis junior running back Klay Fiechter. The current GLVC Special Teams Player of the Week was one of six student-athletes on this week’s list of BSN’s Division II Offensive Players of the Week. Fiechter rushed for 190 yards and four touchdowns in UIndy’s 54-35 win at Missouri S&T last Saturday. He joins fellow GLVC competitors Sean Shelton of William Jewell (Offensive), Darius Wilson of Central State (Defensive) and Brandon Mulloy (Quincy), who were all honored by BSN last week.
Fiechter GLVC’s New Chart Topper
Indianapolis junior running back Klay Fiechter’s efforts last week at Missouri S&T resulted in several game-high totals in the conference this year. Fiechter now sits atop the conference charts in points scored (24), touchdowns (4), rushing yards (190), rushing TDs (4), and longest rush (78). In addition to his single-game highs, Fiechter also boasts the conference’s top rushing average (129.0) -- 46 yards more than second-place Michael Wilson of Central State -- as well as scoring (14.4) and all-purpose yardage (199.4).
Top Air-Ground Performances
This past week, the GLVC saw impressive individual efforts that rank among the top performances in the league. On the ground, Indianapolis’ Klay Fiechter (190 yards) and Central State’s Michael Wilson (140) posted the conference’s top-two rushing performances of the year, while Wilson (353) and Missouri S&T’s Josh Firm (322) recorded the first and third-best passing totals, respectively. While Wilson holds the top number in passing, Firm has recorded the next three best efforts as he also threw for 352 yards at McKendree on Sept. 15 and 308 yards at Arkansas Tech on Sept. 6. Also in the air, William Jewell’s Jon Molzen (188) registered the second-best receiving effort in the league this year, while Central State’s Steven Heard (136) ranks eighth overall.
Indianapolis Earns Votes in AFCA D-II Poll
In the latest AFCA Division II Poll released Monday, Indianapolis is the lone GLVC team to earn recognition as the Greyhounds are receiving votes outside the top 25. UIndy earned votes in the preseason poll, but dropped out of consideration following the season opener. Since then, a GLVC team has received votes outside the top 25 each week, as Urbana was recognized after the first two weeks of play, and Missouri S&T was represented the following two weeks until dropping out of this week’s consideration.
GLVC Ranked Among Top-10 Nationally
Missouri S&T remains one of the top-rated programs in the country, while several GLVC standouts rate as high as first nationally in select statistical categories. Among the individual notables in the top 10, UIndy’s Klay Fiechter paces the country in scoring (14.40), is second in all-purpose running (199.40), and 16th in rushing (129.00). Missouri S&T’s Carlton Westbrook remains first overall in punt return average (29.13), while teammate Smook Thomas is second in receptions per game (9.80). In that same category, Saint Joseph’s Julian Walker is fourth (9.40), Kentucky Wesleyan’s Jeff Ward is 15th (7.40) and UIndy’s Mar’Quone Edmonds is 25th (6.60). On the defensive side of the ball, Central State’s Darius Wilson is third in tackles per game (12.60) and Urbana’s Perry Jenkins is 11th in tackles for loss per game (2.10). On the team side, Kentucky Wesleyan (33.25) and Indianapolis (33.00) rank first and second in punt returns, respectively, while Missouri S&T ranks 11th in passing (331.80), 17th in total defense (289.40) and 18th against the rush (94.60).
Prior to this past week, four GLVC defenders shared a single-game conference record with two sacks each. On Saturday, three standouts either reached or eclipsed that mark in road wins, including new GLVC record holder Tim Weidenbacher of McKendree, who tallied four sacks in the win at Kentucky Wesleyan. Central State’s Darius Wilson, one of the league’s top defenders, recorded three sacks at William Jewell, while UIndy’s Vince Maida reached the previous conference mark of two sacks in the road win at Missouri S&T. In addition to his three sacks, CSU’s Wilson fell just a half-TFL shy of the GLVC single-game record with 3.5 tackles for loss at William Jewell. On the team side, McKendree (9) and Central State (7) combined for 16 sacks in their respective wins over the Panthers and Cardinals. McKendree’s total is a new conference single-game high, while Central State’s mark equals Missouri S&T’s seven sacks, which also came against Kentucky Wesleyan two weeks ago on Sept. 22.