GAMEDAY CENTRAL - Defiance vs Muskingum - Game One

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When Muskingum invades Justin F. Coressel Stadium on Saturday to kick off the 2011 campaign, it will mark the fourth-straight year that the two squads have faced off in a season opener. Both sides will field experienced rosters, with the Muskies returning 17 starters and DC bringing back 18 from one year ago.

SCOUTING DEFIANCE - Two staples of DC football have been a strong ground game and a stingy defense. In order for the Jackets to have a successful 2011 campaign, it will need more of that same vintage style. Defiance features an explosive one-two punch of Rick Powell and Drew Kuesel, with each rushing for over 85 yards per game last year. As a team, the Jackets churned out 198.8 yards per contest on the ground and leaned on the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's second-rated defense to keep opponents out of the end zone.  

SCOUTING MUSKINGUM - The Fighting Muskies will present Defiance with an opponent who features similar strengths. MU expects a much-improved ground game with the return of starter Palmer Smith to the backfield. Smith ran for 4.9 yards per carry in 2009 and is now back and healthy for the start of his senior campaign. Muskingum also relies heavily on its defensive unit, boasting one of the best linebackers in the Ohio Athletic Conference in the form of Alex Thomas. The team captain posted 84 tackles one year ago and has 187 for his career. 
LAST MEETING - The last time Defiance and Muskingum hooked up, it took all four periods and two overtime sessions to settle the score. After DC blocked a field-goal with time expiring in the fourth quarter, both sides split the uprights in the first overtime. The Muskies then found pay dirt in the second session and pounced on DC's fifth fumble of the afternoon to send the Jackets to a heart-breaking 19-13 loss in the 2010 season opener. As the final score suggested, the game was a defensive slugfest, with DC and Muskingum combining to muster only 295 total yards of offense. Hunter Robertson and Joemese Scott sparkled in the affair, with Robertson chasing down nine tackles and an interception and Scott racking up 3.5 sacks.

SERIES HISTORY - Defiance trails the all-time series with the Muskies by a 3-1 margin, after having gone 1-2 in the past three years. The Jackets lone win came two years ago at Coressel Stadium, as Defiance earned a 13-7 victory to open the 2009 campaign.



With 18 starters returning, including eight All-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference performers from 2010, expectations are high surrounding the Defiance College football program. The Purple and Gold took second place in the HCAC last season, battling to a 6-2 league mark with wins in five of the last six contests. Those outside of the Defiance College campus are also keeping an eye on the Jackets, as the conference coaches selected DC second in the league's annual preseason poll.



Seniors Joemese Scott and Andy Cessna were each recently tabbed by D3ProDay.com as Preseason All-Americans. Scott was named as a Third-Team All-American, with Cessna earning Honorable Mention All-American accolades. Scott ranked 34th in the nation one year ago with 8.5 sacks from his defensive end position, while Cessna helped the Jackets to nearly 200 rushing yards per game from his tight end slot.



Anderson and Manchester got things started in the 2011 season with debuts on Thursday night. The rest of the league will get started on Saturday, with seven more non-conference tilts on the slate. After another week of non-conference competition, the race for the 2011 HCAC Championship will get underway on September 17, when the first wave of league clashes takes place. Defiance will welcome Hanover in an early test of two possible contenders, while defending champion Franklin heads to Bluffton.

ONLINE WEBCASTS - Defiance College would like to thank Hubbard Company, Mark Moats Ford, Scotty's, City Beverage Company and Benedict's Pro Vending Solutions for their continued support of the Yellow Jacket Sports Network in 2011-2012. Each of DC's six home football games in 2011, along with the road games at Franklin and Anderson will be broadcast live at www.DefianceAthletics.com/video. Past broadcasts will be archived and will also be available by going to that link.

PARTNER UP! - Defiance College Athletics is offering an opportunity for you and your business to team up with the Yellow Jackets to provide exposure for your company, while supporting DC Athletics and the Yellow Jacket Sports Network. By teaming up with the Jackets, businesses will have their corporate logo placed on www.DefianceAthletics.com, which nets an average of 450,000 page views per month from DC students, parents, alumni and fans from in and around the region and across the nation. The partnership will also benefit student-athletes from all 21 varsity sports at Defiance College by helping to create a better collegiate experience for them all. To learn more about this exciting new opportunity with DC Athletics, please contact Seth Mikel at 419-783-2566 or smikel@defiance.edu.




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