WEBCAST / LIVE STATS / GAME NOTES
DEFIANCE, Ohio - Defiance will kick off its 2012 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference schedule on Saturday, when it welcomes Rose-Hulman into Justin F. Coressel Stadium for 1:30 pm start. DC has never faced the Fightin' Engineers for a conference opener prior to Saturday's meeting.
DC FOOTBALL PARTICIPATING IN COACH TO CURE MD: The Defiance College football coaches will be helping to fight another opponent on Saturday, as they participate in the fifth-annual Coach to Cure MD program designed to raise money for Duchenne muscular dystrophy research. The coaches will be wearing a logo patch on the sidelines to show their support and fans are asked to donate to the cause. For more information, please go to www.CoachtoCureMD.org.
SCOUTING DEFIANCE: The Jackets will look to improve against the run, after allowing over 200 yards on the ground in each of their first two outings this season. DC has given up 243.0 rushing yards per game and will need to lower that number significantly in order to contend within the HCAC.
SCOUTING ROSE-HULMAN: Kyle Kovach became Rose-Hulman's all-time leading rusher one week ago and enters play on Saturday with 3,366 rushing yards. Kovach leads a potent offense for the Fightin' Engineers, that ranks first in the conference with 462.0 total yards per game in 2012.
LAST MEETING: Defiance held Rose-Hulman to zero rushing yards and found pay dirt in each of the final three quarters to pull out a 21-18 win in Terre Haute on October 29 of 2011. The Jackets dominated the trenches by rushing for 254 yards on 61 carries and controlled the ball for over 40 minutes of action. Gregg Pickett anchored the defensive line for DC and was named to the D3football.com Team of the Week after notching one sack and 2.5 tackles for lost yardage in the Defiance victory.
SERIES HISTORY: Defiance has had its way against Rose-Hulman on the gridiron, winning five-of-six meetings and each of the past three against the Engineers. The lone R-H triumph came at Coressel Stadium however, with DC falling by a 28-21 count on October 18 of 2008. The difference has been on the ground, where Defiance has averaged 216.8 rushing yards per game in the all-time series with Rose-Hulman and has eclipsed the 250-yard barrier in each of the last two contests.
LAST TIME OUT: The Jackets made significant strides in their week-two loss at Adrian. Defiance held the host Bulldogs to only two touchdowns and used a 54-yard touchdown pass from Garrett Teague to Joey Chester to take a 13-12 lead with 13:23 left in the fourth quarter. DC could not hold on though, eventually falling by a 23-13 score. Chester ended with three catches for 79 yards and a score, while Aaron Smith led the ground game with 75 rushing yards and a touchdown. Hunter Robertson highlighted the defense with 13 tackles and Andrew Leverenz added 1.5 sacks among his nine stops.
SPENCE CLAIMS WEEKLY HONORS FROM HCAC: Aaron Spencegrabbed his first Player-of-the-Week award from the HCAC after averaging 43.0 yards per punt over five attempts at Adrian. The Three Rivers, Mich., native unleashed a career-best 67-yard punt, pinned AC inside its own 20-yard line on two occasions and forced one fair catch.
SMITH TAKES TOP PLAY HONORS: Aaron Smith joined Aaron Spence in the spotlight for the Purple and Gold this week, as footage of the freshman running back's 58-yard touchdown run at Adrian was voted by a 253-6 margin as the HCAC's Highlight of the Week.
LEVERENZ MAKING A MARK: DC's Andrew Leverenz is off to a blistering start, having piled up 6.0 tackles for a loss and a pair of sacks in his first two outings. The six tackles for negative yardage put Leverenz atop the rankings in the HCAC and rank the Clinton, Mich., native seventh among all NCAA Division III performers.
AROUND THE HCAC: After limping to a 2-15 non-conference record, the HCAC will begin conference play on Saturday. Key matchups on the slate include No. 20 Franklin traveling to Manchester, Hanover hosting MSJ and the Jackets welcoming Rose-Hulman. All games are scheduled to start at 1:30 pm.
ONLINE WEBCASTS: Defiance College would like to thank Hubbard Company, Mark Moats Ford and The Plaza Motel for their support of the Yellow Jacket Sports Network in 2012. Each of DC's five home football games in 2012, along with the road games at Adrian and Bluffton will be broadcast live at www.DefianceAthletics.com/video. Past broadcasts will also be archived and available at that link.