Game #7: Saturday, Oct. 14, 9 p.m. CDT
Valpo (2-4, 1-2 PFL) at #21 San Diego (5-0, 2-0 PFL)
Torero Stadium (7,000 - Grass), San Diego, Calif.
This Week in Crusader Football: Valparaiso continues its three-game road trip this weekend as the Crusaders head west to battle nationally-ranked San Diego. The game is part of Valparaiso University's Homecoming West activities on the West Coast and kicks off at 9 p.m. CDT.
On the Air: For the second straight season, the Valpo Sports Radio Network will be home to all 11 Crusader football games in 2006. The Valpo Sports Radio Network consists of WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso), WAKE (1500-AM, Valparaiso), Relevant Radio 1270-AM (WWCA, Gary), and WE-FM (95.9-FM, Michigan City). Todd Ickow will handle all the play-by-play with Josh Weinhold adding the color commentary. The games are also available online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.
Series Notes: San Diego holds an 8-5 advantage all-time against the Crusaders in a series that dates back to the 1993 season. The Toreros have won two straight between the two schools, including last year's 63-21 decision at Brown Field. San Diego holds a 4-2 edge in the series out in California and has won the last two at Torero Stadium. Valpo's last win in the series occurred in 2003, a 41-34 victory at Brown Field.
Scouting San Diego: The Toreros, the consensus #1 team in the nation at the Mid-Major level, enter this weekend ranked #21 overall among all I-AA schools in the latest The Sports Networks 2006 I-AA Top-25 poll. San Diego's Josh Johnson ranks second in the nation in total offense, accounting for 330.8 yards per game. The Torero quarterback has been Pioneer Football League Player of the Week four of the last five weeks. As a team, the Toreros lead the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 9.6 points per game and are second in total defense overall at 199.6 yards per contest. Offensively, San Diego also leads the nation racking up 498.4 yards per game.
Last Week: Saint Joseph's (Ind.) jumped out to a 27-0 lead before the Crusaders found the scoreboard as the Pumas defeated Valpo 43-14 on Saturday afternoon in Rensselaer, Ind. Trevor Jaskiw caught a 68-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Doerffler for Valpo's first score, while Zack Denny rushed nine yards for his first career touchdown late in the game for the Crusaders.
Ogden Among Division I-AA Receiving Leaders: Steve Ogden has been the Crusaders go-to receiver most of the season and his numbers back that up. His 108.7 receiving yards per game rank fourth in all of NCAA Division I-AA in that category and lead the Pioneer Football League as well.
Krieg Nearly Automatic on PAT Attempts: For a redshirt-freshman, Mike Krieg has been nearly perfect on point after touchdown attempts this season. He is 20-of-21 on the season through six games, and his 20 makes lead the PFL this year. In fact, his 20 makes also match the total number of PATs the Brown and Gold made all of 2005.
Jaskiw Makes First Catch Count: Trevor Jaskiw made his first collegiate catch a big one last Saturday at Saint Joseph's (Ind.). He caught a Ryan Doerffler pass over the middle and streaked by the defense for a 68-yard touchdown reception. He added another reception in the fourth quarter to finish the game with 75 yards.
Denny Scores First Touchdown: Zack Denny led Valpo's second scoring drive against the Pumas, accounting for 54 of the yards himself. He rushed six times for 42 yards, the final nine going for a touchdown, while also completing a 12-yard pass play.
Martin Registers Sack, Recovers Fumble: Jordan Martin tallied his second sack of the season at Saint Joseph's on Saturday, a loss of nine yards on the play. Of his 11 total tackles on the year, three have been for loss. The freshman linebacker also recovered a fumble on the second half kickoff to set Valpo up at the Puma 22.
Ogden Nearing Career Leaders in Receiving: Steve Ogden is just 185 yards receiving away from moving into Valpo's career top-ten list. The redshirt sophomore has 1,097 yards in a year and a half, and trails Matt Junia (1998-1999) for tenth place. This season, he has 32 catches for 652 yards and six scores.
Keeping Drives Alive: Valpo has converted on 43.2% of its third down conversions this season (35-of-81). In addition, the Brown and Gold have converted three-of-six fourth down attempts.
Koepke and Dillon Lead the Defense: Ryan Koepke, with his 41 tackles, and Sean Dillon, with 34 tackles, lead the defense this season. Each is tied for the team lead with four tackles for loss.
Good Work Gets Rewarded: Ryan Koepke has been recognized for his efforts in the community, having been named to the American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team. He has been active with many different service organizations, including a mission trip to Guatemala where he helped provide medical care and nutrition to the local residents. He also has worked at Camp Watcha Wanna Do for children who are cancer patients or survivors as well as helped lead Valpo's football team into various elementary schools to read to the students.
Valpo Picked Seventh in Preseason Poll: The Crusaders were selected to finish seventh in the ?restructured" Pioneer Football League this season. The PFL moved to one division this season, with the league champion facing the Northeast Conference champion in the Gridiron Classic.