VALPARAISO (6-4) at AURORA (5-4)
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 15 - 1 p.m. CST
WHERE: Aurora University Field, Aurora, Ill.
RADIO: 95.1 (WVUR-FM) - Andy Viano and Ken LaVicka announcing.
TV: (tape-delay) - Comcast Cable - Channel 43 in Valparaiso - Dick Harlan announcing.
THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Tom Horne, who is 60-95-1 in his 15th season at Valpo. Aurora is led by Jim Scott, who is 96-64-3 in his 17th season at Aurora.
SERIES RECORD: Valpo leads 8-2
LAST MEETING: 2001 - Aurora won 31-7
LAST WEEK: Valpo lost to Butler, 25-21 last Saturday in Indianapolis. Aurora defeated Greenville 36-20 last Saturday in Aurora.
WHAT'S NEXT: Valpo hosts Morehead State next Saturday, Nov. 22 in the Pioneer Football League Championship Game beginning at noon.
Although Valpo (6-4) will host the Pioneer Football League Championship Game Nov. 22 at noon, the Crusaders conclude their regular season on Saturday by travelling to play Aurora (5-4). Valpo is attempting to rebound from last Saturday's 25-21 loss at Butler. Aurora, winners of five of its last six, is coming off a 36-20 victory over Greenville College.
VALPO HOSTS PFL CHAMPIONSHIP: On Nov. 22 at noon, Valpo (North Division Champ) hosts Morehead State (South Division Champ) in the 3rd Annual PFL Championship Game. The Crusaders (3-1 PFL North) clinched the right to host the title game after defeating Drake 51-45 in overtime on Oct. 25. Valpo won the tiebreaker as a result of its win over San Diego, which also finished 3-1. The Football Network will televise the game the same night on a tape-delay basis.
VALPO 7th IN NATIONAL MID-MAJOR POLLS: The Crusaders rank 7th in both the Football Gazette and The Sports Network I-AA Mid-Major polls. Morehead State is #1 in both polls.
GIANCOLA 2nd IN I-AA IN RECEIVING YARDS; RANKS 4th IN SCORING: Rob Giancola is 2nd in NCAA I-AA in receiving yards per game (122.3) and total receiving yards (1,223), and stands 4th nationally in scoring (11.0 ppg., 18 TDs). The junior from Whiting, Ind./HS has made 45 receptions and needs 56 yards to break Valpo's single-season record of 1,279 (Mike Healey, 1985). Giancola has had a penchant for the big play as 11 of his 18 touchdowns have been of 36-or-more yards. He has shattered Valpo's single-season records for scoring - 110 points - (old record, Joe Pahr, 96 points in 1951) and touchdowns - 18 - (old record, Pahr, 16 in 1951). In two-plus seasons, Giancola ranks 2nd on Valpo's all-time receiving yards list with 2,845. He needs 367 yards to become Valpo's all-time leader (Healey, 3,212, 1982-85). This season, Giancola has established school marks for single-season touchdown receptions (18) and career touchdown receptions (31), and single-game records for receiving yards (275), touchdown receptions (4) and points (tied, 24). He has 188 career points, needing 47 to break Pahr's record of 234 set from 1949-51.
MACCHI RANKS 3rd IN I-AA IN TOTAL OFFENSE -Senior Quarterback is Valpo's All-Time Leader In Total Offense: Quarterback David Macchi has enjoyed a phenomenal season and ranks 3rd among all NCAA I-AA players in total offense (331.5 ypg.) and 6th in pass efficiency (154.0). The senior from San Jose, Cal./Willow Glen has shattered many school records this season. Macchi has become Valpo's all-time leader in total offense (6,864 yards), surpassing Nick Browder (6,604, 1993-96). He has also set the single-season mark for touchdown passes (29), and single-game marks for passing yards (452) and touchdown passes (tied, 5). Macchi now stands 2nd on Valpo's all-time list in passing yards (6,385), needing 289 to surpass leader Scott Lange (6,674, 1982-85). With 3,315 total yards this season, Macchi needs 235 to break his own school record of 3,549 achieved in 2002.
McCAWLEY SELECTED NCAA I-AA
MID-MAJOR, PFL SPECIAL TEAMS
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Valparaiso University's Andrew McCawley was selected as the Football Gazette NCAA I-AA Mid-Major and Pioneer Football League Special Teams Player of the Week after his performance against Butler last Saturday. A freshman kicker from Omaha, Neb./Creighton Prep, McCawley made all four of his field goal attempts and tacked on an extra point, accounting for a career-high 13 of Valpo's 21 points. McCawley split the uprights from 31, 28 and 20 yards before booting a career-long 52-yarder as the first half ended. The 52-yarder tied for the longest in the PFL this season. His four field goals mark the best single-game effort in the PFL and the fifth best in NCAA I-AA in 2003.
KNUTSON AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS: Kevin Knutson stands among the NCAA I-AA receiving leaders, currently standing 18th in receiving yards per game (92.1) and 20th in receptions per game (6.3 pg., 63 total). Against Drake, the junior from River Falls, Wis./HS achieved career-highs of 11 receptions for 205 yards. Knutson ranks 3rd in the PFL in receptions per game and 5th in receiving yards per game. Knutson, Giancola and Ryan Barno (35) have combined for 143 catches.
DANIELS TIED FOR 6th NATIONALLY, RANKS 2nd IN PFL IN INTERCEPTIONS: Cornerback Chris Daniels (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame) ranks tied for 6th in NCAA I-AA and stands 2nd in the PFL with 6 interceptions (.60) He also ranks 4th in passes defended with 10 (six breakups).
CANADA 2nd AMONG PFL TACKLE LEADERS: Lawrence Canada, Valpo's middle linebacker, stands 2nd in the PFL in tackles per game (9.4 pg.). The senior from Mequon, Wis./Lane College is also 2nd in the league in total tackles (94).
SMEJA LEADS PFL IN PUNT RETURNS, RANKS 3rd IN TACKLES: Sophomore Brad Smeja leads the PFL in punt return average (12.5 ypr./137 yds, 11 ret.). As a free safety, Smeja (Oak Brook, Ill./Downers Grove North) stands 3rd in the league with 9.3 tackles per game (84 total).
McCAWLEY LEADS PFL IN FIELD GOALS: Freshman Andrew McCawley leads the PFL in field goals (10-14, 1.0 per game).
TSAHAS, MARSHALL, RIKER, JONES AMONG PFL STAT LEADERS: Other Crusaders donning the PFL statistical categories include senior strong safety John Tsahas (Lake Station, Ind./Edison), who ranks 9th in tackles (78, 7.8); sophomore defensive end Bill Marshall (Warwick, N.Y./HS), who stands 5th in tackles for loss (11.0), and James Riker (Tekonsha, Mich./HS) and Mike Jones (Lake Zurich, Ill./HS), who are 6th (4) and 7th (3) in sacks, respectively.
"Valparaiso University Football", head coach Tom Horne's TV Show, airs Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 43 in Valpo.