October 20, 2010

Amherst/Wesleyan Game Preview

More news about: Amherst

Week 5 Football Preview: Amherst @ Wesleyan

Amherst College (4-0) vs. Wesleyan University (3-1)
October 23, 2010 * Andrus Field
Middletown, CT * 12:30 p.m.


LIVE COVERAGE
Saturday's game between Amherst and Wesleyan will feature a free webcast (http://www.wesleyan.edu/athletics/webcasts/index.html) and live statistics (http://condor.wesleyan.edu/cascademedia/athletics/stats/football/xlive.htm).


THIS WEEK IN THE NESCAC

Hamilton (1-3) @ Colby (1-3) – 12 p.m.

Trinity (3-1) @ Bowdoin (1-3) – 12:30 p.m.

Bates (1-3) @ Middlebury (1-3) – 1 p.m.

Williams (4-0) @ Tufts (1-3) – 1:30 p.m.


THE SERIES
Amherst won 50 of the first 99 games in what was once a tug-of-war Little Three rivalry, but the Lord Jeffs have defeated the Cardinals in 15 of the past 16 attempts to take a commanding 65-41-9 lead in the all-time series. Amherst has out-scored Wesleyan by a 207-22 margin during its current seven-game unbeaten streak, shutting out the Cardinals four times during that stretch. The last time these teams met in Middletown, Conn., Amherst overcame a 10-7 deficit and scored the game-winning touchdown early in the fourth quarter, holding on for a 17-10 victory.

 

LAST MEETING
Amherst used four interceptions from its defense and a then-season-high 23 points from its offense to earn a shutout victory over Wesleyan at Pratt Field. The Lord Jeffs ran for a season-high 158 yards while holding the Cardinals to 14 yards on 17 carries. Amherst scored on all four of its red zone chances and the Cardinals were unsuccessful on all four of theirs, as the Jeffs continued to come up with timely plays on defense. Matt Rawson '12 booted a 21-yard field goal with 6:01 to play in the second quarter and Sean Legister '11 caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Alex Vetras '11 less than two minutes later, with Aaron Rauh '10 running for a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter.


AMHERST LAST TIME OUT
Amherst faced a 3-0 deficit after one quarter but scored 30 unanswered points to earn a 30-3 win over Colby, becoming the program's first squad since 1957 to score at least 30 points in each of the first four games of a season. The swarming Lord Jeff defense allowed only three points and 207 total yards while forcing five turnovers and adding its own touchdown. Linebackers Jeff Katz '11 and Matt Pieterse '13 stood out all over the field, with Pieterse recovering a fumble and returning it 81 yards for a touchdown in the final minute of the opening half. Katz finished with a team-high 10 tackles, also forcing a fumble and having a hand in two sacks. 

 

WESLEYAN LAST TIME OUT
Matt Coyne '12 scampered 20 yards on a bootleg to the left side with 51 seconds remaining to score the deciding points as Wesleyan survived with a 27-20, come-from-behind victory at Bates. Neither team led by more than seven points during the battle in Lewiston, Maine. In the end, the Cardinals took advantage of a Bates fumble at the Bobcat 29-yard line in the closing moments of the game. Recovering the loose ball was Cyprian Oyomba '12, who also led all tacklers in the contest with 16 (10 solo). With the teams knotted at 20-20, Wesleyan had a 4th-and-1 at the Bates 20 when Coyne faked to Shea Dwyer '10 and rolled around the left side to the endzone for the go-ahead score.

 

KEYS TO THE GAME
Amherst will need to slow down Wesleyan running back Shea Dwyer '10, who leads all of Division III with 189.0 rushing yards per game. The Lord Jeffs led the nation in rushing defense in 2009 (50.9 ypg) and rank third in the conference in 2010 (81.8 ypg), but Dwyer has run wild in each of his first four games this year. In a 35-21 win over Hamilton he gained 213 yards to set the school's single-game record, also accounting for all five of Wesleyan's touchdowns. He broke his own record the following week, gaining 255 yards with three scores in a 27-20 win at Colby. The Jeffs have allowed only one opponent to gain more than 100 yards on the ground this year (Colby, 102), but they will be up against a different beast this weekend.

 

Although Wesleyan's ground attack has been the clear-cut leader in the NESCAC, Amherst will hold a considerable edge in the passing game this weekend. Alex Vetras '11 has thrown nine touchdowns and only one interception, with four players accumulating more than 100 receiving yards thus far. Vetras is only 413 yards shy of setting Amherst's all-time record for career passing yards, as his 235.8-yards-per-game average will be going up against the conference's seventh-ranked pass defense on Saturday. The Cardinals rank ninth in pass offense (154.8 ypg), as only 84 of their 257 plays have resulted in pass attempts (33 percent).  The Jeffs have featured a much more balanced attack, having run the ball 155 times and gone to the air on 142 occasions.

 

The Jeffs and Cardinals have put points on the board in different ways this season (Wesleyan has yet to attempt a field goal), but both teams are capable of changing a game with big plays. Eleven of Wesleyan's scoring drives have been capped off by plays of at least 10 yards, six of which have been for at least 25 yards. Similarly, 13 of Amherst's touchdowns have been scored on plays of at least 10 yards, eight of which were for 25 yards or more. Each team has scored nine times on drives that lasted less than two minutes, with only two of Amherst's 24 scoring drives taking more than five minutes to develop. If the defenses fail to prevent those big plays and quick strikes, Saturday's game could resemble the 38-31 shootout that took place at Middlebury in the second week of the season.

 

This rivalry has been lopsided since 1994, but Saturday's game will not feature the typical Amherst-Wesleyan matchup. The Cardinals have finished above .500 only twice since 2000 (5-3 in 2000 and 2002), but first-year head coach Mike Whalen has his alma mater headed down the right track. Amherst head coach E.J. Mills will be familiar with the style of Whalen, who posted a 38-10 record in six seasons at Williams and earned NESCAC Coach of the Year honors in 2006 for leading the Ephs to an 8-0 record. Wesleyan hasn't gotten off to a 4-1 start since the 2002 squad opened at 5-1, while the Jeffs have won 12 consecutive games and are inching toward the program record for longest winning streak (14).  

 

PROBABLE STARTERS

Amherst Offense

QB - Alex Vetras - 12

RB - Eric Bunker - 14

TE - Charlie Pratt - 46

WR - Sean Legister - 22

WR - Brian Murphy - 4

WR - Andre Gary - 2

RT - Ian Mahoney - 70

RG - Marcus Richtel - 76

C - John Ceccio - 54

LG - Rick Morgan - 62

LT - Jack Reynolds - 51

 

Amherst Defense

SS - Evan Rosenstein - 23

FS - Kevin Heller - 10

CB - Nick Edwards - 25

CB - Landrus Lewis - 1

OLB - Sam Clark - 34

OLB - Jeff Katz - 98

ILB - Brandon Quinn - 31

ILB - Matt Pieterse - 42

DE - Brady Benelli - 55

NG - Matt Sponheimer - 50

DE - Kevin Ferber - 3

 

Wesleyan Offense

TE - Tim Morley - 37
LT - Zach Sadler - 55
LG - Matt Sheeks - 69
C -  Nick Seara - 60
RG - Bobby Rosenthal - 68
RT - RJ Dabbar - 65
WR - Kyle Weiss - 3
WR - Peter Modera - 1
FB - Chris Russell  - 48
RB - Shea Dwyer - 5
QB - Matt Coyne - 7

Wesleyan Defense
DE - Bo Brown - 33
DT - Mandela Kazi - 90
DT - Adam Schwartz - 96
DE - Matt Maloney - 40
LB - Brett Bandazian - 56
LB - Cyprian Oyomba - 28
LB - Eric Ekhardt - 17
DB - Jordan Greene - 24
DB - Derrick Williams - 21
DB - Cam Davila - 2
DB - Justin Freres - 46

 

AMHERST STATISTICAL LEADERS

Passing

Alex Vetras (81-of-142/943 yds/9 TD/1 INT)

Rushing

Eric Bunker (66 att/326 yds/4.9 ypc/5 TD)

Ryan Silva (25 att/104 yds/4.2 ypc/0 TD)

Receiving

Andrew Reed (7 rec/212 yds/30.3 ypc/3 TD)

Brian Murphy (22 rec/191 yds/8.7 ypc/2 TD)

Defense

Matt Pieterse (36 tackles/1.5 sacks/1 FR/1 TD)

Evan Rosenstein (31 tackles/2 INT/2 FF)

 

WESLEYAN STATISTICAL LEADERS

Passing

Matt Coyne (46-of-82/487 yds/3 TD/2 INT)

Rushing

Shea Dwyer (107 att/756 yds/7.1 ypc/9 TD)

Vince Miller (17 att/114 yds/6.7 ypc/2 TD)

Receiving

Pete Modera (11 rec/238 yds/21.6 ypc/2 TD)

Kyle Weiss (11 rec/100 yds/9.1 ypc/0 TD)

Defense

Cyprian Oyomba (50 tackles/5.0 TFL/1 FR)

Justin Freres (34 tackles/1 INT/1 blk)

 

TEAM STATISTICS

Rushing Offense

A: 178.2 ypg

W: 239.8 ypg

 

Passing Offense

A: 235.8 ypg

W: 154.8 ypg

 

Total Offense

A: 414.0 ypg

W: 394.5 ypg

 

Scoring Offense

A: 37.5 ppg

W: 27.5 ppg

 

Rushing Defense

A: 81.8 ypg

W: 112.0 ypg

 

Passing Defense

A: 211.8 ypg

W: 234.8 ypg

 

Total Defense

A: 293.5 ypg

W: 346.8 ypg

 

Scoring Defense

A: 10.2 ppg

W: 21.2 ppg

 
Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Bridgewater State 34, Fitchburg State 25
Box Score
Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
Final
at Hobart 27, Union 23
Box Score Recap
Final
at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
Box Score Recap
Final
at Massachusetts Maritime 32, Worcester State 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Endicott 37, Nichols 0
Box Score
Final
MIT 30, at Maine Maritime 13
Box Score
Final
at Buffalo State 40, Morrisville State 24
Box Score Recap
Final
at Salve Regina 48, Coast Guard 10
Box Score
Final
St. Lawrence 20, at RPI 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Framingham State 23, Western Connecticut 17
Box Score
Final
at Montclair State 21, Rowan 14
Box Score
Final
at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
Box Score Recap
Final
at Trinity (Conn.) 38, Bates 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Western New England 59, Curry 28
Box Score
Final
at Utica 24, Cortland 13
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Colby 9, at Williams 7
Box Score Photos
Final
at Middlebury 40, Bowdoin 3
Box Score
Final
at Amherst 34, Hamilton 0
Box Score
Final
Kean 24, at William Paterson 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at DePauw 66, Hiram 17
Box Score Recap
Final
Franklin and Marshall 45, at Juniata 22
Box Score
Final
at Kenyon 31, Allegheny 7
Box Score
Final
Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
Box Score
Final
Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
Box Score Recap
Final
Lycoming 28, at Misericordia 24
Box Score
Final
at Plymouth State 30, Mass-Dartmouth 14
Box Score
Final
at Husson 35, Alfred State 0
Box Score
Final
at Springfield 28, WPI 23
Box Score Recap
Final
at Moravian 24, Dickinson 10
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Denison 45, Wooster 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
Box Score
Final
at St. Vincent 57, Grove City 32
Box Score Recap
Final
at Susquehanna 55, Gettysburg 40
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at King's 21, Lebanon Valley 17
Box Score Recap
Final
at Alfred 20, Ithaca 6
Box Score Recap
Final
at Widener 25, Wilkes 23
Final
at McDaniel 30, Ursinus 27
Box Score Recap
Final
at Muskingum 28, Marietta 10
Box Score Photos
Final
at Minnesota-Morris 28, Iowa Wesleyan 27
Final
at John Carroll 42, Heidelberg 14
Box Score
Final
Ohio Northern 16, at Otterbein 10
Box Score Photos
Final
Case Western Reserve 35, at Waynesburg 7
Box Score
Final
at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
Box Score Recap
Final
Rose-Hulman 23, at Defiance 15
Box Score
Final
at Centre 49, Chicago 27
Box Score
Final
at Mount St. Joseph 38, Manchester 19
Box Score Recap
Final
Hanover 49, at Anderson 25
Box Score
Final
at Merchant Marine 55, Rochester 7
Box Score
Final
Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
Box Score Recap
Final
Concordia-Chicago 42, at Maranatha Baptist 10
Box Score Photos
Final
Washington U. 36, at Birmingham-Southern 21
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
Box Score
Final
at Northwestern (Minn.) 38, Martin Luther 20
Box Score
Final
at Eureka 28, MacMurray 13
Box Score
Final
at Westminster (Mo.) 35, Greenville 14
Box Score
Final
Dubuque 30, at Luther 17
Box Score Recap
Final
Monmouth 52, at Lake Forest 6
Box Score Photos
Final
St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Augsburg 49, Carleton 17
Box Score Photos
Final
Bethel 44, at St. Olaf 7
Box Score
Final
at Hamline 42, Gustavus Adolphus 40
Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
Box Score Photos
Final
at UW-River Falls 42, Southwestern 22
Box Score
Final
Simpson 17, at Buena Vista 9
Box Score
Final
at St. Scholastica 49, Crown 13
Box Score Recap
Final
Cornell 46, at Beloit 41
Box Score
Final
at Carthage 27, Augustana 24
Final
Coe 48, at Nebraska Wesleyan 17
Box Score Recap
Final
at Wartburg 56, Finlandia 0
Box Score
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
Final
Hendrix 42, at Millsaps 14
Box Score
Final
Illinois Wesleyan 45, at North Park 10
Final
at Macalester 34, Grinnell 0
Box Score
Final
at Ripon 33, Knox 19
Final
Illinois College 40, at Lawrence 15
Final
UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
Box Score
Final
Central 42, at Loras 34
Box Score Recap
Final
at Geneva 35, Thiel 27
Final
UW-Eau Claire 40, at Wisconsin Lutheran 14
Box Score
Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
Box Score Recap
Final
UW-Stevens Point 44, at Adrian 19
Box Score
Final
UW-La Crosse 41, at Carroll 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Berry 41, Sewanee 3
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Westminster (Pa.) 38, at Bethany 9
Final
Ohio Wesleyan 29, at Oberlin 16
Box Score
Final
at Tufts 17, Wesleyan 14
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Capital 35, Wilmington 21
Box Score
Final
at Southwestern Assemblies 23, Austin 17
Photos
Cancelled
Langston at McMurry
Video Live Stats
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Chapman 19, Trinity (Texas) 17
Box Score Recap
Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hobart 27, Union 23
Box Score Recap
Final
Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
Final
at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
Box Score
Final
Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
Box Score
Final
Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
Box Score Recap
Final
at Utica 24, Cortland 13
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
Box Score Recap
Final
at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
Box Score Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
Box Score Recap
Final
St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
Box Score Photos
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
Final
UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
Box Score
Final
UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
Box Score
Final
Central 42, at Loras 34
Box Score Recap
Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
Box Score Recap
Final
Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
Box Score Recap