Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Football Hosts First Place Jacksonville Saturday
Nate Blair and Valpo take on the Dolphins Saturday at Brown Field. (Stacey LaCalamita)
Nate Blair and Valpo take on the Dolphins Saturday at Brown Field. (Stacey LaCalamita)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Valparaiso (0-6, 0-3 PFL)
Game #7: Saturday, Oct. 16, 1 p.m. CDT
vs. Jacksonville (5-1, 3-0 PFL)
Brown Field (5,000 - ProGrass) - Valparaiso, Ind.

This Week in Crusader Football: Valparaiso closes out its homestand on Saturday afternoon at Brown Field with another Pioneer Football League battle as the Crusaders host Jacksonville.  Valpo is looking to bounce back from last week’s loss to Marist while the Dolphins are looking to remain atop the PFL standings.

On the Air: For the sixth straight season the Valpo Sports Radio Network will be home to all 11 Crusader football games in 2010.  The Valpo Sports Radio Network consists of WAKE (1500-AM, Valparaiso) and WE-FM (95.9-FM, Michigan City).  Todd Ickow will handle all the play-by-play with Adam Amin adding the color commentary this week.  The game can also be heard live online at www.valpoathletics.com as well as seen live through the Horizon League Network.  Live stats will also be available for the game through www.valpoathletics.com.

Head Coach Dale Carlson:
Dale Carlson is 0-6 in his first season with the Crusaders and 110-109-3 overall entering his 22nd season as a collegiate head coach.  He arrived at Valpo from Ohio Dominican where he was 7-3 last season and 36-27 over six years.  Carlson began the Ohio Dominican program from scratch in 2004, just as he did at Tri-State University prior to his tenure with the Panthers.  He is now the 16th head coach in Valpo history, and just the seventh since 1946.

Series Notes: Jacksonville leads the all-time series with the Crusaders 4-2 dating back to the 2003 season.  The Dolphins have won the last two meetings between the two schools, including a 49-20 victory last year in Jacksonville.  Valpo’s last win in the series came in the Sunshine State back in 2007, a 29-27 come-from-behind victory.  The Crusaders are 1-2 all-time against the Dolphins at Brown Field.

Wrapping Up Marist: Valparaiso pulled within 17-7 on a touchdown pass from Nate Goergen to Antonio Lovelace just before halftime, but the Red Foxes scored the game’s final 34 points on the way to a 51-7 win over the Crusaders last Saturday at Brown Field.  Valpo posted a season-high 358 yards of total offense, but turned the ball over four times in the setback.  Marist racked up 550 yards of total offense, and had four scoring drives of less than 35 seconds.

Scouting Jacksonville: The Dolphins are currently tied with Dayton at the top of the Pioneer Football League standings after a 39-34 win over Drake last Saturday in Florida.  Quarterback Josh McGregor, the reigning PFL Offensive Player of the Week, has thrown for 1,859 yards and 18 touchdowns already this season.  Rudell Small leads the PFL in rushing, averaging 88 yards per game.  Defensively, Jacksonville has forced 17 turnovers, and ranks third in the nation in turnover margin at +1.5.

Lovelace Scores First Career Touchdown: Antonio Lovelace found the end zone for the first time in his Crusader career last Saturday against Marist, hauling in a 13-yard reception from Nate Goergen.  The sophomore’s scoring grab capped a 14-play, 95-yard drive for Valpo.  Lovelace, who did not have a career reception until two weeks ago, now has seven catches on the year.

Wood Among Nation’s Top Punters:
Greg Wood’s stellar season punting the football has the sophomore climbing the national rankings.  He enters this week ranked 12th in all of NCAA I-FCS averaging 42.1 yards per punt, which also leads the Pioneer Football League.  Wood has landed eight of his 34 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line, and has had seven boots of 50 yards or more.

Getting the Offense Rolling:
Valpo posted a season-high 358 yards of total offense last Saturday against Marist.  Nate Goergen threw for 205 yards while the ground game also posted a season-high 139 yards. 

Controlling the Football:
Valpo won time of possession for the first time all season last week against Marist.  The Crusaders controlled the football for 31:37.

McCarty Leads Receiving Corps:
Sean McCarty has grabbed a team-leading 24 passes for 309 yards and a pair of touchdowns this season.  He hauled in a 58-yard touchdown pass from Nate Goergen against Dayton,  McCarty’s third reception of more than 30 yards already this season.  He caught a 31-yard pass at Franklin and had a 47-yard reception in the home opener against Saint Joseph’s (Ind.).

Among the Nation’s Best Getting in the Backfield: Valparaiso has already registered 43 total tackles for loss this season, averaging 7.2 per game.  That total is tied for 21st among all NCAA I-FCS schools this season. 

Check Your Roster: Valparaiso has had 68 different Crusaders see action on the field this season, with only 32 players appearing in all six contests thus far.  The starting lineup has been even more inconsistent, as 38 different players have drawn starting assignments, with just eight Crusaders starting ever game.

Team Captains:
Valpo has co-captains for the 2010 season.  Senior defensive back Eli Crawford represents the defense while redshirt-sophomore Eddie Morelli represents the offense.

Crusaders Picked 10th in Preseason Poll:
The head coaches selected Valparaiso to finish 10th in the Pioneer Football League this season according to the preseason poll.  The prognosticators selected Dayton to take home the 2010 championship.

This and That:
Offensive linemen Sean Cook and Ferdinand Velez were credited with their first collegiate forced fumble and fumble recovery respectively last week against Marist ... Matt Heinen leads Valpo in tackles with 41 ... Valpo averages just 29.2 yards per game in penalties.

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