Bluffton visits Manchester University Saturday

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Bluffton University of Ohio is Manchester University's guest for its 2013 Homecoming game Saturday, Oct. 5. The Beavers sport a 1-3 overall and 1-1 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference record, while the Spartans are 0-4 overall and 0-2 in league play.

Game specifics: Kickoff is 1:30 p.m. at Carl W. Burt Memorial Field on MU's campus. Fans, friends and alumni can also tune in to live audio, video and statistics at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics … Manchester University recognizes its 2013 Homecoming Court and other Homecoming events along with the M Association's four-member Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2013 and Claude Wolfe Coach of the Year recipient at halftime.

SERIES HISTORY: Bluffton holds a 33-25 all-time advantage, but the Black and Gold have turned the tables of late, winning four of the last five. That run includes a 24-14 road decision last season. The most recent meeting, between the two sides, at Carl W. Burt Memorial Field was a thriller, with the Beavers taking a 30-27 overtime victory in 2011.

SPARTAN SHORTS: Coach Shannon Griffith's squad is fresh off a hard-fought 44-30 loss at the hands of Rose-Hulman last weekend. The Spartans held a 30-27 lead in the late stages of the third quarter before the Fightin' Engineers reeled off 17 unanswered points … Senior quarterback Nick Williams (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and senior linebacker Dylin Kennedy (North Manchester, Ind.) remain among the top five of three categories on the current HCAC statistics report. Williams is fifth in rushing yards per game (50) and third in rushing touchdowns (three). Kennedy ranks second in tackles per game (11.8) … Kennedy is also mentioned on the NCAA Division III list as part of a six-way tie for the national lead in solo tackles per game (nine). His total tackles per game numbers are also in the top 20 (19th). MU has two team categories in the top 20, too, as their 3.75 penalties per game are 15th-lowest and their 15.44 yards per punt return average is 19th best. … Rose-Hulman week Players of the Game, as selected by Griffith and his staff, were junior fullback Michael Love (Bloomfield, Ind.) on offense; sophomore defensive back Taylor Anglemeyer (Wakarusa, Ind.) on defense; senior offensive lineman Eric Courter (Carmel, Ind.) on special teams; and freshmen Jaylen Smith (Marian, Ind.) and Mr. Clark (Sauk Village, Ill.) for Gold offense and defense … "Bluffton is fairly similar to Rose-Hulman and Kalamazoo," Griffith said. "They are well coached and have a win under their belt already. It still comes down to us being able to make plays. In three of our losses, we've had a critical set of one to three plays where we made costly mistakes, allowing the opposition opportunities which they converted on. We're also working to get everyone fully healthy, as there are days when we go into practice not knowing who will be available."

ROAD TRIP: Manchester University begins a brief two-game swing Saturday, Oct. 12, with a trek to Defiance College in Ohio. Kickoff at Justin F. Coressel Stadium is 1:30 p.m.

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