VALPARAISO (3-2) vs. MOREHEAD STATE (2-2)
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 4 - 1:30 p.m. CDT
WHERE: Brown Field, Valparaiso, Indiana
RADIO: 95.1 (WVUR-FM) - Ed Schillinger and Andy Viano announcing.
TV: (tape-delay) - Comcast Cable - Channel 43 in Valparaiso - Dick Harlan announcing.
THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Tom Horne, who is 57-93-1 in his 15th season at Valpo. Morehead State is led by Matt Ballard, who is 52-46 in his 10th season at Morehead State.
SERIES RECORD: Morehead State leads 6-1
LAST MEETING: 2002 - MSU won 27-17
LAST WEEK: Valpo lost to Jacksonville 34-27 last Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla. Morehead State defeated Drake 34-17 in Morehead, Kentucky last Saturday.
VALPO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Valpo Players of the Week as selected by the coaching staff: Offense: Ryan Barno, senior wide receiver; Defense: Brad Smeja, sophomore free safety; Special Teams: Mike Mroz, sophomore; Offensive Scout: Pat Rohde, freshman tight end; Defensive Scout: Devin Whitney, freshman defensive back.
WHAT'S NEXT: Valpo travels to play Dayton in the Pioneer Football League opener
Following record-setting performances last week, Valpo (3-2) will host Morehead State (2-2) in the annual Homecoming Game this Saturday. Despite dropping a hard-fought 34-27 road contest to Jacksonville last Saturday, the Crusaders produced two new school records. Quarterback David Macchi broke the single-game passing mark for the third time in his two-year career, throwing for 452 yards, surpassing his own school record of 446 achieved last year against Drake. The senior from San Jose, Cal./Willow Glen tossed four touchdown passes against Jacksonville, including three to Rob Giancola. A junior from Whiting, Ind./HS, Giancola set a school record with 233 receiving yards. His touchdown receptions were of 56, 63 and 11 yards. Giancola's last score gave Valpo a 27-26 lead with just under eight minutes remaining, helping the Crusaders overcome a 17-0 first-half deficit.
GIANCOLA TOPS PFL IN SCORING: Wide receiver Rob Giancola continues to lead the PFL in scoring (50 pts.). He has proven to be one of the best "big play" receivers in NCAA I-AA as six of his eight touchdown receptions have been for 56-or-more yards. Giancola also leads the PFL in receiving yardage per game (140.8 ypg.). Overall, he has 16 catches for 563 yards. In two-plus seasons, he ranks 3rd on Valpo's all-time receiving yards list with 2,165.
THE MACCHI ATTACK: Quarterback David Macchi has been the centerpiece of Valpo's offensive success the last two years. That quality is reflected in the PFL statistics as the senior from San Jose, Cal./Willow Glen tops the PFL in total offense (274.4 ypg., 1,372 yds.) and ranks 2nd in pass efficiency (146.3) and passing yards per game (250.8). Macchi now stands 3rd on Valpo's all-time list in total offense (4,921 yards) and 3rd in passing yards (4,580).
REID 6th AMONG PFL RUSHERS: Junior running back Nick Reid (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips) currently ranks 6th in the Pioneer Football League in rushing (430 yds., 86.0 ypg.).
BARNO ENJOYS CAREER DAY: Ryan Barno caught a career-high 11 passes for 145 yards and one touchdown against Jacksonville. The senior from Milwaukee, Wis./Marquette tied the game at 20-20 with his 8-yard score from Macchi in the third quarter.
KNUTSON REMAINS HOT RECEIVER: Kevin Knutson is rising toward the top of the PFL receiving leaders, currently standing 4th in receptions (6.0 pg., 30 total). Against Jacksonville, the junior from River Falls, Wis./HS snagged 7 aerials for 64 yards. Knutson also ranks 7th in the PFL in receiving yards per game (75.8, 379 yds.).
CANADA 2nd AMONG PFL TACKLE LEADERS: Lawrence Canada, Valpo's middle linebacker, stands 2nd in the PFL in tackles per game (10.4 pg.). The senior from Mequon, Wis./Lane College leads the league in total tackles (52).
DANIELS 2nd IN PFL IN INTERCEPTIONS: Junior cornerback Chris Daniels (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame) ranks tied for 2nd in the PFL with 3 interceptions (.60 pg.).
SMEJA 2nd IN PFL IN PUNT RETURNS, 4th IN TACKLES: Sophomore Brad Smeja is 2nd in the PFL in punt return average (13.4 ypr./121 yds, 9 ret.). As a free safety, Smeja (Oak Brook, Ill./Downers Grove North) led Valpo with 18 tackles against Jacksonville and now stands 4th in the league with 8.2 per game (41 total).
MACCHI & GIANCOLA'S PERFORMANCES BEST IN NATION LAST WEEK: David Macchi's 440 yards in total offense and 452 passing yards were the most of any NCAA I-AA player last week. Rob Giancola's 233 receiving yards also topped I-AA last week.
"Valparaiso University Football", head coach Tom Horne's TV Show, airs Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 43 in Valpo. This week's guest is junior offensive tackle Kyle Padgett.
A LOOK AT MOREHEAD STATE:
The Eagles (2-2) have played a challenging schedule, defeating Drake (34-17) last Saturday, as well as Coastal Carolina (31-6), a full-scholarship program. Morehead State dropped a 12-0 contest to defending PFL champ Dayton in the season opener and lost 24-21 at Appalachian State, another full-scholarship program. Head coach Matt Ballard has an outstanding quarterback in David Caudill. A senior, Caudill averages 259.8 total yards per game, leading MSU in passing (213.0 ypg.) and rushing (46.8 ypg.). He has passed for seven TDs and rushed for one. Caudill's favorite target is Ralph Delsardo, who has snagged 19 aerials for 212 yards. Eli Parkes has three TD receptions. Adrian King is the top running back (130 yds., 36 carries.). LB Craig Unger leads the PFL in tackles with 10.3 per game (43 overall).