September 24, 2013

W&J-Thiel Game Notes

More news about: Washington and Jefferson

NCAA Division III Football – Presidents' Athletic Conference

Thiel College (0-3, 0-1 PAC) at Washington & Jefferson College (2-1, 1-0 PAC)

Washington, Pa. – Cameron Stadium (3,500)

 

Saturday, September 28 – 2:00 pm

 

HOMECOMING 2013 AT W&J

 

Video: http://washjeffsports.tv

 

Audio: 95.3-FM WJPA (Bob Gregg, Mark Uriah); http://www.msasports.net/broadcasts/thiel-football-at-washington-and-jefferson-mens-football

Live Stats: http://www2.washjeff.edu/Athletics/xlive.htm

Series:  W&J leads 42-22-2

Series Streak: +7 W&J

Last Meeting: W&J 17, THI 0 -- 9/22/2012

First Meeting: W&J 54, THI 0 -- 10/17/1896

Last W&J Win: W&J 17, THI 0 -- 9/22/2012

Last THI Win: THI 38, W&J 35 (OT) -- 10/1/2005

Last W&J Win at W&J: W&J 21, THI 7 -- 11/5/2011

Last THI Win at W&J: THI 38, W&J 35 (OT) -- 10/1/2005

 

THE SERIES:  Washington & Jefferson and Thiel are meeting for the 67th time in history with the Presidents owning a 42-22-2 edge.  W&J has won the last seven in the series by an average margin of 18.7 points.  Since 1982, Washington & Jefferson holds a 30-1 record against the Tomcats. 

THE HEAD COACHES: Mike Sirianni (Mount Union '94) owns a 95-22 (.810) record at W&J during his 11th season as head coach.  The three-time PAC Coach of the Year and 2004 South Region Coach of the Year is second among all active NCAA head coaches in winning percentage (minimum 10 years of experience).  Sirianni was the W&J offensive coordinator for four years before taking over as head coach.  Kurt Reiser (Allegheny '93) coaches the Tomcats for a fifth season this fall and owns a 6-37 record (.140). 

 

W&J vs. THE PAC:  W&J sports a 263-85-4 (.753) all-time record against current members of the Presidents' Athletic Conference.  Washington & Jefferson has claimed 22 PAC Championships throughout history.  The Presidents have produced a 49-9 record (.844) in conference games since Sirianni took over as head coach in 2003. 

 

Bethany (69-20)                 

Geneva (39-19-2)   

Grove City (36-13)    

Saint Vincent (5-1)            

Thiel (42-22-2)        

Thomas More (3-5)                                    

Waynesburg (37-3)

Westminster (32-2)

 

THE LAST MEETING {W&J 17, THI 0 -- 9/22/12}:   The Washington & Jefferson College defense held Thiel to 168 total yards, produced five sacks and picked off a pair of passes during a 17-0 PAC shutout of the Tomcats at Alumni Stadium.  The Presidents pitched their first shutout since a 40-0 drubbing of Juniata in the 2011 season opener.  John Hunter led the defense with seven tackles and two sacks, including a key sack on a fourth-and-goal play deep in W&J territory during the fourth quarter.  Washington & Jefferson appeared ready to claim a 7-0 lead on its second possession of the game when Dion Wiegand started a 45-yard drive with a 25-yard run.  W&J eventually advanced to the one-yard line, but fumbled on a third down play and the Tomcats recovered.  The Presidents' defense forced a quick punt and Alex Baroffio returned it 54 yards to set W&J up at the Thiel seven-yard line.  Two plays later, Wiegand scored from a yard out for a 7-0 lead at the 5:08 mark of the first quarter.  Matt Bliss was injured during the second series of the second quarter and Baroffio took over as quarterback.  He led the Presidents on a nine-play, 62-yard drive late in the quarter which culminated on a 30-yard scoring pass to Hunter Creel 17 seconds before halftime.  W&J limited Thiel to a pair of first-half first downs and forced six punts.  The Tomcats punted after three plays to start the third quarter and W&J strung together a long drive which took 7:12 off the clock, yet only covered 32 yards.  Eric Eberle nailed a 44-yard field goal for a 17-0 lead at the 6:25 mark of the third quarter.  That field goal was the longest by a W&J kicker since Mike Evan '97 booted a 48-yarder during the 1995 season.  Thiel had its best chance to score early in the fourth quarter with a first-and-goal situation from the W&J 3.  After two one-yard runs, Ian Hennessy stuffed Josh Potter for a two-yard loss and Hunter sacked Andrew Smith on the next play for a seven-yard loss.  Smith was picked off by Nathan Melhorn and B.J. Monacelli on TC's final two possessions.  W&J used a large time of possession advantage (36:11-23:49) and an all-around performance from Baroffio to record its second conference win of the year.  Baroffio, who had never played quarterback in college before, rushed 16 times for 62 yards, completed 6-of-11 passes for 72 yards (1 TD), caught three passes for 34 yards and returned one punt for 54 yards.

 

SCOUTING THIEL:  The Tomcats have scored at least 20 points in each of their first three games, but are still searching for the first win.  Thiel has lost to a pair of unbeaten teams (Geneva and Juniata both 3-0), while Rochester (1-1) handed the Tomcats a 28-27 home loss two weeks ago.  Geneva and Thiel were tied at 28 early in the third quarter Saturday night in Beaver Falls, but the Golden Tornadoes pulled away with three touchdowns in a 15 minute span, including an 81-yard TD pass and a 69-yard punt return for a score.  Teams are averaging 468.0 yards of total offense against the Tomcats, 283.7 of which come through the air.  Opponents have enjoyed their most success during the third quarter as Thiel has been outscored 42-13.  Offensively, sophomore tailback Josh Potter has rushed for 233 yards and a touchdown, while senior quarterback Andrew Smith has passed for 316 yards and four touchdowns (2 INT).  Junior linebacker Wes Schmidt is the team's leading tackler (27 stops), while senior cornerback Rob Edwards has seven pass breakups and one interception. 

 

HISTORY LESSON:  Washington & Jefferson has won 691 games in its 122-year history (691-380-40), third behind Wittenberg (718) and Mount Union (716) among NCAA Division III schools.

 

MOVING UP:  After passing for 741 yards during the first three weeks, senior quarterback Matt Bliss can move into fifth place on the W&J passing yardage list ahead of Bob Strope '93 with 63 yards.  He will also pass Gino Rometo '11 and Pat Aigner '89 for fifth place in career touchdown passes with eight more.

 

NIGHT STREAK:  The Presidents started playing regular home night games in 2003 and own a 15-0 record in games starting at 6:00 pm or later on their home turf.  W&J has also played seven road night games during that time frame and won all six making Sirianni's teams a perfect 22-0 under the lights.

 

RUSH HOUR:  W&J rushed 54 times for 320 yards on Saturday night at Grove City, marking just the third time since 2008 that the Presidents amassed 300-plus yards on the ground.  The previous two occasions both came against Saint Vincent (377 in 2008; 359 in 2012).

 

ALL-TIME BEST: Preseason All-America wideout Alex Baroffio established a W&J record two weeks ago at St. John Fisher.  With 207 career receptions, Baroffio is on pace to finish as high as 20th in NCAA history for career receptions.  Only 22 players in NCAA Division III history have caught 260 or more passes.  In addition, Baroffio has racked up 2,434 receiving yards, leaving him 721 yards shy of W&J Hall of Famer Ryan Silvis' school record.

 

ON PURPOSE:  Baroffio ranks fourth in NCAA Division III this season with 218.7 all-purpose yards per game, including a career-high 303 yards at St. John Fisher.  With 3,436 career all-purpose yards, Baroffio ranks 10th among active Division III players. 

 

NATIONAL LEADER:  After  his five-touchdown performance at Grove City Saturday night, senior running back and PAC Offensive Player of the Week Dion Wiegand is tied for the NCAA Division III lead with 18.0 points per game.  The PAC owns two of the top four scorers nationally as Geneva's Rocco Collavecchia also averages three touchdowns per game.  The PAC duo is tied with Evan Bunker of Trinity (Conn.) and Robert Small of Anna Maria.  Collavecchia leads the nation with nine rushing TDs, while Wiegand is second at eight. 

TURNOVER FREE: Since Mike Sirianni took over as head coach in 2003, the Presidents have played turnover-free football 21 times and hold an 19-2 record in those contests.  W&J did not commit a turnover at Grove City Saturday night.  Both losses occurred in the NCAA playoffs (2010 Mount Union; 2007 NC Wesleyan).

 

BOUNCING BACK:  W&J has not lost consecutive games during the same season since 1997 when it fell during weeks one and two to Emory & Henry and Buffalo State.  The Presidents have played 180 games without suffering back-to-back losses. 

 

PRESIDENT TIDBITS:  Under Head Coach Mike Sirianni, the Presidents hold a 73-3 record when leading at halftime.  Washington & Jefferson holds a 36-7 record under Sirianni's guidance in games played during the month of September, including a 18-4 mark at Cameron Stadium.

 

DION'S DIMES:  The shifty Dion Wiegand made numerous would-be tacklers miss at Grove City Saturday night, including a few on his 76-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter.  That run was the longest offensive play (run or pass) by a President since 2007 (Bobby Swallow pass to Tom McCafferty, 89 yards versus Saint Vincent, 9/29/07).  In addition, it was the longest rush by a Presidents' running back since Joey Nichols' 76-yarder versus Westminster during the 2001 season. 

 

AROUND THE NATION:  The Presidents rank fourth in NCAA Division III with 83 first downs during the first three weeks of the season.  Johns Hopkins leads the country with 95.  In addition, W&J is 10th nationally in third-down conversion percentage, having been successful on 56 percent of its chances thus far. 

 

FUMBLE LEADER:  Thiel is one of only 37 teams in NCAA Division III that has not lost a fumble this season.  In fact, TC has not fumbled the ball once in three games.  The Tomcats also lead the nation, tied with Wilkes and Earlham, in fumbles recovered with seven.  Sophomore Tim Canady has excelled on kickoffs, ranking 13th nationally at 33.0 yards on nine returns. 

 

CAT NAPS: During the current stretch in which W&J has won 30 of 31 against the Tomcats, only six games have been decided by less than 10 points.  The Presidents have held Thiel to seven points or less on 17 occasions, including seven shutouts (2012, 1998, 1994, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1986).

 

THIRTY WON (USUALLY):  Since Mike Sirianni took over as head coach in 2003, W&J has scored 30 or more points 69 times in 117 games (59 percent).  The Presidents hold a 66-3 record when scoring at least 30 and have not lost with that total since a 35-32 setback to Thomas More in 2011.    

 

W&J PROBABLE STARTERS:

 

QB 6/13/14 Bliss/Mechas/Coughlin Sr./So./Fr.

RB     32    Dion Wiegand........................ Sr.

RB     28    Ryan Ruffing........................... Jr.

WR    10    Max Creighan......................... Jr.

WR    15    Alex Baroffio.......................... Sr.

WR      4    Dan Lucas.............................. Sr.

LT      58    Zach Crossey........................ So.

LG     72    Ty Wildey................................. Jr.

C       57    John Wanner ......................... Jr.

RG     52    Andrew Pingitore................... Sr.

RT     70    Zach Wildey............................ Sr.

PK     43    Eric Eberle.............................. Sr.

KR     32    Dion Wiegand........................ Sr.

 

DE     33    Evan Fuentes.......................... Sr.

DT     54    Chris Heim.............................. Sr.

DT     94    Jon Turner.............................. So.

DE     20    Jon Lowery.............................. Sr.

LB        7    Shane Smith.......................... So.

LB     35    Jared Pratt................................ Jr.

CB       2    Alec Schram............................ Jr.

SS     44    Anthony Tutino....................... So.

FS     25    B.J. Monacelli.......................... Sr.

WS    22    Dan Graziano......................... So.

CB       9    Sam Comly............................. Sr.

P        43    Eric Eberle............................... Sr.

PR     15    Alex Baroffio.......................... Sr.

 

Washington & Jefferson's Record When it:

Wins coin toss.......................... 0-0

Receives the opening kick....... 2-1

Scores first............................... 2-0

Leads after one quarter............ 2-1

Leads at halftime...................... 2-0

Leads after three quarters........ 2-0

Scores between 0-9 points...... 0-0

Scores between 10-19 points.. 0-0

Scores between 20-29 points.. 0-1

Scores 30+ points.................... 2-0

Allows opponent 0-9 points...... 0-0

Allows opponent 10-19 points.. 1-0

Allows opponent 20-29 points.. 1-0

Allows opponent 30+ points..... 0-1

Leads in time of possession..... 1-0

Rushes for 200+ yards............ 2-0

Allows 200+ yards rushing....... 1-1

Passes for 200+ yards............. 1-1

Allows 200+ yards passing...... 1-1

Gains 400+ total yards............. 2-1

Allows 400+ total yards............ 0-1

Is penalized 50+ yards............. 2-0

 
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