Thursday, October 22, 2009

College pregame notes

Washington & Jefferson

The Presidents had two weeks to prepare for last week's game against Saint Vincent, but it was obvious their hearts and minds were somewhere else, most likely thinking about a showdown against Thomas More Oct. 31 W&J did not play well on a mud-soaked Chuck Noll Field, needing a defensive score to put the Bearcats away in the fourth quarter. It's the first time this season the Presidents appeared vulnerable.

But we can cut them some slack. It's difficult to be emotionally stoked for a winless team. Westminster is more talented and can turn another poor performance by W&J into a devastating loss. The Presidents' defense played well and the muddy field conditions hurt the offense. Look for the Presidents to play better against the Titans, even if Thomas More is still in their thoughts.

Opponent: Westminster
When: 1:30 p.m., Saturday
Where: Burry Stadium in New Wilmington
Records: W&J is 6-0, 2-0 in the PAC. Westminster is 3-4, 2-2 in the PAC.
On the air: WJPA-AM 1450
Television: None
Games remaining: at Westminster, Thomas More, at Bethany, Waynesburg


The Vulcans are coming off their most impressive showing of the season, a 38-14 victory over Edinboro. Tailback Windell Brown (ankle sprain) returned to the form he showed last season by rushing for a career-best 148 yards and scoring two touchdowns against the Fighting Scots. Quarterback Josh Portis continues his strong showing, and seems to be understanding his role in the offense better each week.

But the best part about the win over Edinboro was the strong play of the defense, which gave up a combined 59 points against Clarion and Indiana. Slippery Rock doesn't present the type of problems Edinboro does. The Rock's quarterback Rocco Colavecchio has passed for a lot of yards but has more interceptions than touchdowns. Slippery Rock's defense has given up 78 points over the last two games, both losses.

Cal has a chance to right the ship after opening the season with two losses and playing a poor first half before rallying to beat West Chester.

Opponent: Slippery Rock
When: 1 p.m., Saturday
Where: Thompson Stadium in Slippery Rock
Records: Cal is 6-2, 5-0 in the PSAC. Slippery Rock is 5-3, 2-3 in the PSAC.
On the air: WCAL-FM 91.9
Television: None
Games remaining: at Slippery Rock, Mercyhurst, PSAC game


Unfortunately for the Yellow Jackets, the defense is as bad as the offense is good. That's why they are a .500 team heading into a game against Bethany. The defense is giving up a whopping 416 yards per game, which is why the Yellow Jackets have lost two of the last three games. Injuries have been a problem, but every team has injuries at this point.

The frustrating part for Waynesburg is that the defensive failures leave little room for error from the offense. Quarterback Brad Dawson is having a strong year but even though he is helping the Yellow Jackets score 36 points per game, the defense is allowing 31.

Opponent: Bethany
When: 1:30 p.m., Saturday
Where: Wiley Stadium in Waynesburg
Records: Waynesburg is 3-3, 0-2 in the PAC. Bethany is 2-4, 1-3 in the PAC.
On the air: WCYJ-FM 88.9
Television: None
Games remaining: Bethany, at Grove City, Thiel, at W&J

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