On Saturday, Valpo begins its 82nd season by hosting Morehead State at noon. The Crusaders open the campaign with two home games and have seven home contests overall. Morehead State (1-0) opened its season last Saturday with a 31-0 win over Cumberland (Ky.) College.
VALPARAISO (0-0) vs. MOREHEAD STATE (1-0)
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 7 - noon CT.
WHERE: Brown Field, Valparaiso, Indiana.
RADIO: 1500-AM (WAKE) - Todd Ickow announcing. 95.1-FM (WVUR).
TV: (tape-delay) - AT&T Cable - Channel 43 in Valparaiso - Dick Harlan and Bill Koch announcing.
THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Tom Horne, who is 53-81-1 in his 14th season at Valpo. Morehead State is led by Matt Ballard, who is 77-66-1 in his 15th season.
SERIES RECORD: Morehead State leads 5-1.
Last Meeting: 2001 - Morehead State won 24-10.
LAST WEEK: Valpo was idle. Morehead State defeated Cumberland (Ky.) College 31-0 last Saturday.
WHAT'S NEXT: Valpo hosts Campbellsville next Saturday (Sept. 14) at noon.
CRUSADER CAPTAINS NAMED: Valpo has named four captains for the 2002 season - junior wide receiver Ryan Barno, senior center Tom Byrne, junior linebacker Lawrence Canada and junior strong safety Jeffrey Vlk.
Valpo Begins 2002 Campaign
With Plethora of New Faces
Opportunity will be knocking at the door for many Valpo football players in 2002. The Crusaders, who will attempt to rebound from a 3-8 campaign, must do so with a crowd of young players. Following a string of seasons with large senior classes carrying the load, head coach Tom Horne and his staff will rely upon the development of many sophomores, redshirt freshmen and true freshmen in 2002.
Despite the influx of many new starters on offense and defense, several upperclassmen standouts remain as key members of the team's core. Tom Byrne, a senior and the lone returning player to earn a post-season honor a year ago, will anchor a young offensive line. A First Team All-Pioneer Football League selection as a junior, Byrne is making the transition to center after starting every game in his first three seasons at left guard.
The offensive skill positions also feature several talented returnees. Ryan Barno, a junior who missed the last five games due to an injury last season, led Valpo receivers with 59.0 yards per game. The running game should get a lift from sophomore tailback Chris Daniels.
The Crusaders graduated 10 defensive players who made significant contributions during the PFL Championship season in 2000.
Two players return after becoming starters late last season. John Tsahas, a junior free safety, earned several starts at free safety and made 36 tackles in 2001 - tops among all returning players. A standout on special teams, Tsahas has blocked four kicks over the last two years. Bill Marshall was one of the few freshmen who played an integral role last year. A versatile lineman, Marshall will play end after playing both tackle and end a year ago.
A LOOK AT MOREHEAD STATE:
The Eagles (1-0) have already been exposed to game action, defeating Cumberland (Ky.) College 31-0 last Saturday. Coach Matt Ballard's squad limited Cumberland to 174 yards. Ignited by quarterback David Caudill, the Pioneer Football League Co-Offensive Player of the Week, MSU amassed 378 total yards. Caudill completed 18 of 28 passes for 258 yards and one touchdown. His favorite target against Cumberland was junior wide receiver Matt Loy, who snagged five aerials for 85 yards and a touchdown. Fullback David White ran for two touchdowns last Saturday, while rushing for a team-best 38 yards on nine carries. The defense is led by 2001 First Team All-PFL linebacker Zac Prewitt, who finished third in the league in tackles per game a year ago. Cornerback Brandon Phillips, another First Team All-PFL selection last year, led the Eagles with five interceptions in 2001.
"Valparaiso University Football", head coach Tom Horne's TV Show, airs Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. on Channel 43 in Valpo, Thursdays at 6 p.m. on Channel 44 in Portage and at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 3 in Michigan City and Merrillville. This week's player guest is senior kicker Adam Hudak.