MOREHEAD STATE (2-0, 0-0 PFL South) at VALPARAISO (1-1, 0-0 PFL North)
WHEN: Saturday, September 17, 2005, 12 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 1-1 overall and at Valpo. Morehead State is led by Matt Ballard, who is 101-78-1 in his 18th season overall and 66-53 in his 12 season with the Eagles.
SERIES RECORD: Morehead State leads the all-time series with the Crusaders 8-2 dating back to the 1996 season.
LAST MEETING: Morehead State raced out to a 23-7 halftime lead and survived Valpo's 16-point fourth quarter rally to defeat Valparaiso 29-23 in Morehead, Ky. on October 2, 2004. Jabari McGee rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles. Ryan Doerffler threw two touchdown passes and Rob Giancola made four receptions for 109 yards in the loss for the Crusaders.
For the first time this season, Valparaiso will be able to play at the familiar surroundings of Brown Field on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders host Morehead State. For the Crusaders, it marks a return to NCAA 1-AA non-scholarship competition after playing 1-AA scholarship South Dakota State last Saturday. Valpo dropped the game against the Jackrabbits 69-6.
DEEEEE-FENSE: Mike Jones has had his nose around the football quite a bit this season for the Crusaders on the defensive side of the ball. Valpo's starting strong safety leads the team in tackles with 22 on the season, including 12 last Saturday at South Dakota State. In addition, he recovered a pair of fumbles against the Jackrabbits. In the season opener against Wisconsin Lutheran, Jones picked off a pass in addition to making ten stops.
FINDING A CONNECTION: Ryan Doerffler has connected on 73.5% of his passes through two games for the Crusaders. The redshirt sophomore is 25-of-34 but is still looking for his first touchdown toss of the season. Doerffler was 20-of-26 (76.9%) on Saturday at South Dakota State.
ITS UP AND ITS GOOD: Andrew McCawley made two of his three field goal attempts on Saturday to account for the Crusaders only points. The redshirt junior is now 18-of-26 in his career. He made kicks from 46 and 34 yards for the Crusaders, with his lone miss coming from 40 yards out.
HORTON AMONG NATION'S BEST: Jeff Horton ranks third among all NCAA Division I-AA schools in rushing, averaging 141.5 yards per game. Horton trails just Jermaine Austin of Georgia Southern (160.0 ypg) and Lerron Moore of Western Kentucky (150.0 ypg). Horton also ranks 11th in the country with 181.0 all-purpose yards per game.
HOME SWEET HOME: Valparaiso has won the last two home openers here at Brown Field, including a 41-0 triumph last season against Wisconsin Lutheran. The Crusaders are 9-3 in their last 12 home openers dating back to the 1993 season. Last year, Valpo was 5-1 at Brown Field.
DOWN THE ROAD: Valparaiso will conclude its two-game homestand here at Brown Field next Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders host Davidson. Kickoff is set for noon. The Brown and Gold will then head to Austin Peay on October 1 for a 1 p.m. contest with the Governors.
MOREHEAD STATE NOTES: Morehead State has opened the season with a pair of tight victories. In the season opener at Saint Francis (Pa.), the Eagles pulled out a 26-25 victory. Last week in the home opener, Morehead State emerged victorious by the score of 35-33.
The preseason pick to win the PFL South this season, Morehead State has been lead offensively by quarterback Brian Yost. The sophomore has thrown for 306 yards and three touchdowns during the opening two games.
Eli Parkes has been a favorite target of Yost, catching five passes for 100 yards already this season. Rushing the football, Parkes also leads the way with ten carries for 84 yards.
On defense, Jordan Shafer and Vincent Hinkle lead the way with 21 tackles a piece in just two outings. Shafer has also forced and recovered a fumble this season.
Head coach Matt Ballard won his 100th career game in the opener against Saint Francis.