WEBCAST / LIVE STATS / GAME NOTES
SATURDAY'S GAME - Defiance and Bluffton will battle for the hammer once again on Saturday, as the two sides hook up for the 88th time on the gridiron. Kick-off is slated for 1:30 pm at Bluffton's Salzman Stadium.
SCOUTING DEFIANCE - Defiance is looking to avoid posting its first five-game losing streak in a season since getting off to an 0-6 start during the 2008 campaign. The Jackets boast much better statistics than a 2-7 overall clip suggests, as the squad ranks second in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference and 39th in the nation in pass defense with only 169.3 yards allowed per game through the air. DC also rates second in the league by allowing only 328.8 total yards of offense per game and showcases Andrew Leverenz, who leads all HCAC performers while ranking 12th in the nation with 18.0 tackles for a loss and 21st with 8.5 sacks.
SCOUTING BLUFFTON - The Beavers have not lost back-to-back games all season and are fresh off a 23-9 setback at Franklin on November 3. BU is 3-0 after defeats in 2012, winning those games by an average score of 26-18. Bluffton ranks among the top-four teams in the conference in defense and the bottom half in offense, but leads the HCAC and ranks 26th in the nation with a turnover margin of +1.0 per game. Bluffton also tops the conference in field goals, as Austin Sweeney has connected on eight-of-18 attempts. Josh Runda paces the defense and ranks fourth in the HCAC with 90 tackles entering Saturday's action.
LAST MEETING - Bluffton found the end zone on four of its first five touches in last season's meeting, blitzing the Jackets for a 30-0 halftime advantage. Defiance fired back with 27 points in the second half but ultimately suffered a 46-27 loss. Blaine McGowan led all players with 16 tackles on the afternoon, while Gregg Pickett and Hunter Robertson added 13 and 10 each. Despite those lofty tackling totals, DC had no answer for the Bluffton ground game, as the Beavers rushed for 381 yards and four scores in the game. Airic Steagall was right in the middle of the Bluffton onslaught, carrying the ball 23 times for 123 yards and a touchdown.
SERIES HISTORY - Long-time rivals Defiance College and Bluffton University have met each other 87 times in the all-time series. DC holds a 44-41-2 edge but will be looking to snap a current two-game skid against the Beavers. Recent history could be on the side of the Jackets, as the two programs have split the last eight meetings, with the visiting squad going 6-2 in that stretch.
LAST TIME OUT - Defiance will enter play on Saturday fresh off its bye week. The last time the Jackets took the field was in a 35-14 home defeat to Franklin on October 27. DC snapped Franklin's three-game shutout streak with an early score and trailed only 21-14 deep into the third quarter, before the Griz pulled away in the final 16 minutes of action. Andre Doran sparked the DC offense with seven receptions for 113 yards, while Mason Foulk highlighted a strong performance from the defense with 10 tackles and one forced fumble.
AROUND THE HCAC - While Saturday's rivalry matchups around the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference fill the schedule with exciting clashes, most eyes will be set on the contest between Hanover (6-1) and No. 16 Franklin (7-0). The winner will claim the HCAC Championship and the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. The Grizzlies are gunning for their third title in a row, while Hanover is in search of its first win over Franklin since 2004 and its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2003.
CHECK OUT SHOPDEFIANCEGEAR.COM - Defiance College launched www.ShopDefianceGear.com on October 19. The site offers over 500 DC items including hats, hoodies, polos, office and tailgating supplies, personalized jerseys and much more. Be sure to check the site regularly for new sales and promotions!
A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS - Fans can choose from over 10,000 high-resolution photos of their favorite Yellow Jackets in action by visiting DC's online photo store at www.DefianceAthletics.com/galleries.
BASKETBALL SEASON TICKETS - The installation of the new bleachers has been completed inside the Karl H. Weaner Community Center and fans can now purchase season, or single-game tickets for the section with seat backs and arm rests. The section contains 78 seats and is located at mid-court behind the scorer's table. For more information, call 419-782-2342, or go to www.myonlinecamp.com/defiancetickets/.
ONLINE WEBCASTS AND REPLAYS - 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. Broadcasts will also be replayed all season long by DCTV5 on Tuesday's and Friday's at 9:00 pm and by Bryan City Cable channel 3 on Tuesday and Thursday's at 9:00 pm.