SAINT JOSEPH'S (IND.) (3-3, Independent) at VALPARAISO (1-4, 0-0 PFL North)
WHEN: Saturday, October 8, 2005, 1:30 p.m. CDT.
WHERE: Brown Field (5,000), Valparaiso, Ind.
RADIO: Valpo Sports Radio Network (WVUR, 95.1-FM, Valparaiso; WAKE, 1500-AM, Valparaiso; Relevant Radio 1270-AM, Gary; and WE-FM, 95.9-FM, Michigan City). Also available on the web at www.valpo.edu/athletics. Todd Ickow will handle the play-by-play with Brent Whitlock providing the color commentary.
THE COACHES: Valparaiso is led by Stacy Adams, who is in his 1st season as the Crusader head coach. He is 1-4 overall and at Valpo. Saint Joseph's is led by Lou Esposito, who is 3-3 in his 1st season overall and with the Pumas.
SERIES RECORD: Saint Joseph's leads the all-time series with the Crusaders 29-28-2 and are meeting for the 60th time. Valpo has won two straight meetings at Brown Field.
LAST MEETING: Saint Joseph's defeated Valparaiso 54-43 on September 28, 2002 in Rensselaer, Ind.
Valparaiso looks to get back to playing winning football on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders host Saint Joseph's (Ind.) for the annual Homecoming Game. The Crusaders are coming off of a 30-20 loss at Austin Peay last Saturday.
Looking for Home Cooking: Valparaiso is looking to record a Homecoming victory for the first time since 2001. The Crusaders have dropped three straight contests on the special occasion.
Howard a Menace in the Backfield: Doug Howard has made a living behind the line of scrimmage this season for the Crusaders. The sophomore has recorded 5.5 tackles for loss, including 3.5 sacks of the quarterback. In addition, Howard has broken up a pass, forced a fumble, and recovered two loose balls.
Doerffler Sets Career High: With his 169 yards passing last weekend, sophomore quarterback Ryan Doerffler has set a career high for passing yards in a season. He has thrown for 661 yards this year after passing for just 558 yards as a rookie.
Washington Finds the End Zone: Sal Washington scored his first touchdown of the season on a 13-yard run against the Governors last Saturday. The score was just his second while wearing the Brown and Gold.
Penalties Way Down: After Valpo committed 14 penalties for 92 yards in the season opener against Wisconsin Lutheran, the Brown and Gold have had just 15 miscues for 106 yards the past four games. The Crusaders were flagged just once for five yards last Saturday at Austin Peay.
A Booming Foot: Punter Joe Blahowicz has punted 28 times already this season, but has made the most of his opportunities. He has posted six punts of 50 or more yards, including three against Davidson. Blahowicz has also landed eight kicks inside of the 20-yard line, including at least one in every game.
Seeing Red: Valpo has struggled inside the red zone this season, converting just 10-of-16 opportunities into scores.
TEAM PLAYERS OF THE WEEK...
9/3 - Jeff Horton
9/10 - Joe Blahowicz
9/17 - Ryan Palonka
9/24 - Steve Ogden
10/1 - Mike Schilling
9/3 - Mike Jones
9/10 - Brandon Sturman
9/17 - Brandon Sturman
9/24 - Andrew Akinpelu
10/1 - Matt Mancl
9/3 - Sal Washington
9/10 - Andrew McCawley
9/17 - Andrew Akinpelu
9/24 - Joe Blahowicz
10/1 - Joe Blahowicz
9/3 - Rob Clark
9/10 - Daniel Engelhardt
9/17 - John Coffey
9/24 - James Stokes
10/1 - Erik Lindamood
9/3 - Steve Lyons
9/10 - Brett Maynard
9/17 - Josh Bintzler
9/24 - Dave Daniels
10/1 - Jordan Allodi
DOWN THE ROAD: Valparaiso will take to the road over the next two weekends as the Brown and Gold begin PFL North Division play. Next Saturday, the Crusaders head to Indianapolis, Ind. to battle Butler in a 1 p.m. game. On October 22 Valpo will head into Ohio for a 12 p.m. CDT game at Dayton before returning home on October 29 to host San Diego.
SAINT JOSEPH'S NOTES: Saint Joseph's has won three straight games after opening the season 0-3. The Pumas are coming off of a 13-7 victory at home against Upper Iowa last Saturday. Saint Joseph's is looking for its first road victory of the season, having dropped the first two away from home.
Quarterback Anthony Lindsey has thrown for 1,418 yards and seven touchdowns this season, finding 18 different receivers, 14 of which have a long grab of at least ten yards this year. Dan Paulsen leads the receiving corps with 24 catches for 303 yards and two scores for Saint Joseph's. On the ground, Greg Ford is the team's leading rusher, carrying the ball 41 times for 154 yards.
Defensively, the Pumas have returned two interceptions and three fumbles for touchdowns over the first six games of the season. Kevin Rees leads the team in tackles with 49, including eight for loss, and has recovered a pair of fumbles.