Spartans to Play Under the Lights at Thiel on Saturday

Spartans to Play Under the Lights at Thiel on Saturday

2019 Case Western Reserve University Football
Game #3 – CWRU (2-0, 1-0 PAC) vs. Thiel College (0-3, 0-2 PAC)
Saturday, September 28, 2019 · 7:00 PM · Greenville, Pa. (Alumni Stadium)

Complete game notes (.PDF format): https://athletics.case.edu/sports/fball/2019-20/files/fb_THI_game_notes19.pdf
Live stats: http://sidearmstats.com/thiel/football/xlive.htm
Video: http://pacathletics.org/watch/default.aspx?Live=681&path=thiel

The Case Western Reserve University football team will travel to Alumni Stadium in Greenville, Pennsylvania to face Thiel College in a Presidents' Athletic Conference matchup on Saturday, September 28th at 7:00 p.m.

TALE OF THE TAPE

CWRU

 

Thiel

AVG

PAC

NCAA

 

NCAA

PAC

AVG

44.5

2nd

16th

Scoring Offense

242nd

10th

3.3

10.0

3rd

18th

Scoring Defense

234th

9th

48.7

137.5

5th

113th

Rushing Offense

243rd

10th

15.3

122.5

5th

110th

Rushing Defense

239th

10th

239.7

210.5

3rd

122nd

Passing Offense

232nd

9th

102.0

163.0

6th

57th

Passing Defense

101st

7th

198.3

348.0

4th

126th

Total Offense

245th

10th

117.3

285.5

5th

54th

Total Defense

228th

10th

489.0

24.75

2nd

30th

KO Return Average

161st

9th

17.17

17.33

3rd

21st

Punt Return Average

215th

10th

0.00

34.4

3rd

75th

Punting Average

70th

2nd

34.59

.609

1st

5th

3rd Down Conversion

242nd

10th

.152

21.5

1st

5th

Penalty Yards/ Game

79th

4th

50.33

1.0

7th

184th

Sacks/ Game

184th

7th

1.0

31:07

3rd

86th

Time of Possession

239th

10th

23:51


SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
Case Western Reserve will enter Saturday's meeting with a 2-0 overall record, including a 1-0 record in PAC games and a 1-0 mark in road contests.  The Spartans are coming off a dominating 52-14 win over Grove City College at home last Saturday, as four different players ran for a score in the game, including a pair of rushing touchdowns by sophomore Donald Day III.  Sophomore quarterback Drew Saxton completed 17-of-22 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown, including five passes for 66 yards to senior wide receiver Mario Robaina, and junior linebacker Brian Victor paced the squad with eight tackles and two forced fumbles.

Saxton has completed 65.4% of his passes this season for 421 yards and four touchdowns, with one interception.  Junior wide receiver Colt Morgan leads the team with 13 receptions for 201 yards and three touchdowns, with Robaina adding 10 grabs for 115 yards.  Junior running back Zach Hall leads the team with 115 rushing yards this year.

Senior linebacker Isaac Withrow has a Spartan-best 18 tackles through the first two games of the season, and Victor and senior safety Patrick Crossey have added 16 tackles apiece.  Victor has forced a team-high two fumbles this year, and sophomore cornerback Colin Schuster, and senior cornerbacks Kevin Chrissis and Luke Bedell have each tallied interceptions.  Junior linebacker Travis Johnston leads the Spartans with one sack in 2019, and has returned a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

The Spartans are under the leadership of Head Coach Greg Debeljak, who is in his 16th season with the team.  He ranks as the winningest coach in the program's history, tallying a 112-45 career record with the squad, good for a .713 winning percentage.  The 1988 graduate of John Carroll University has helped lead the Spartans to six UAA Championships, four NCAA playoff appearances and the 2017 PAC Championship.  Debeljak was named the PAC Coach of the Year in 2017, while leading the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year six times, most recently in 2017.

SCOUTING THE TOMCATS
Thiel will be aiming to reverse its fortunes on Saturday, after starting the season with an 0-3 record, including an 0-2 mark at home and an 0-2 ledger in PAC games.  The Tomcats suffered a 45-10 loss last Saturday at Geneva, surrendering 45 unanswered points after taking a 10-0 lead with 10:35 remaining in the opening quarter.  Freshman wide receiver Caleb Shuler led the team with three receptions for 55 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown grab, and senior linebacker Matt Crawford and junior defensive tackle Jaseem Campbell each registered 11 tackles.

Senior quarterback Marko Bakovic has completed 48.1% of his passes this season for 290 yards with one touchdown and six interceptions.  He has completed 11 passes to Shuler, who has amassed 151 yards, including the one score.  The team's leading rusher is freshman Emmanuel Ramsey, who has carried the ball 40 times for 84 yards.

Junior free safety Trou Johnson has a team-high 28 tackles (27 solo), including two for a loss, and Crawford has contributed 26 tackles, including four for a loss and one sack.  Junior cornerback Darien Mosley has recorded the only interception of the year for Thiel.

The Tomcats are under the leadership of Mike Winslow, who is in his first season with the team after being named the 27th head coach in the program's history in December.  Winslow, a Thiel alumnus, returned to coach his alma mater after spending the previous 11 seasons as the offensive coordinator at Albright College.

LAST MEETING/ SERIES HISTORY
The Spartans overwhelmed Thiel in a 63-20 win at home last season, outgaining the Tomcats 532 to 162, including a 247 to -10 edge in rushing yards.  Saxton completed 19-of-26 passes for 258 yards and five touchdowns in the game, and Hall ran for 70 yards and a score.  Schuster finished the game with six tackles and an interception.  The 63 points matched the second-highest single-game total in program history.

Saturday's game will be the 20th meeting all-time between the Spartans and the Tomcats, in a series that dates back to the federation of CWRU in 1970.  CWRU holds a 10-9 edge in the series, but has won just four of nine games played in Greenville.  The Spartans have won seven-straight games against Thiel, including all five since rejoining the PAC as a football affiliate member in 2014, and have scored 40 or more points in the last four meetings, including back-to-back 63-point efforts in 2017 and 2018.

IN THE POLLS
The Spartans made their initial appearance in the AFCA Top-25 this week, checking in at 25th in the poll, released on Monday.  Case Western Reserve is also the top team receiving votes in the D3football.com Top-25.  Two other PAC teams – Washington and Jefferson and Carnegie Mellon – received votes in each of the polls this week.

THIRD & FOURH DOWN

CWRU is converting 60.9% of their third down chances this season, the best mark among PAC teams and fifth-best in Division III this year.  The Spartans are also a perfect two-for-two on fourth down tries this year.

BLOCKED PUNTS
The Spartans have blocked a punt in each of their first two games of the campaign.  Against Rochester, Travis Johnston was able to block a punt in the opening quarter, which was scooped up and returned for a touchdown by junior linebacker Michael Amadio.  Last Saturday against Grove City, junior linebacker Joshua Smith blocked a punt in the fourth quarter that was recovered on the one-yard line, setting up a touchdown run on the next play.

NIGHT SUCCESS

Case Western Reserve is 34-4 in its last 38 night games dating back to the 2006 season, including a 16-1 record in night games over the last four seasons.  Saturday's game will be the third of four scheduled night games this season for the Spartans, each which will come in the team's first four games.

KEEPING THE FLAGS OFF THE FIELD
The Spartans have committed just six penalties for 43 yards through their first two games of the season.  Case Western Reserve ranks sixth in Division III with 3.0 penalties per game and fifth with 21.5 penalty yards per contest, leading the PAC in each category.

ALBRECHT STAYS PERFECT ON FIELD GOALS
Sophomore kicker Robertson Albrecht, the 2018 UAA Special Teams Player of the Year as a freshman, accounted for 10 points in last Saturday's win over Grove City, going seven-for-seven on extra point attempts and connecting on a 28-yard field goal.  He improved to 11-for-11 in field goal tries over his career, and is now 59-of-60 on extra point tries.  Albrecht has accounted for 92 points during the first 12 games of his career, ranking him seventh among kickers in program history.

SAXTON INCREASES TD TOTAL
Drew Saxton's
four touchdown passes this year have increased his career total to 38 through his first 12 college games, already the fifth-most over a career by a player in program history and six shy of matching Nick Leskiewicz (1994-97) for fourth in team history.  His 3,454 career passing yards are the ninth-most ever by a Spartan player, and the 2018 PAC Rookie of the Year is 271 yards away from matching Paul Washlock (1987-89) for the eighth-most in program history.  Saxton also ranks 35th in Division III and leads the PAC in completion percentage this season.

MORGAN CLIMBS ON ALL-TIME CHARTS
With his three touchdown receptions against Rochester in the Spartans' season-opening game, D3football.com Preseason All-America Third Team selection Colt Morgan has now caught 22 touchdown passes over his career.  He is tied with former Spartan Will Bryant (1994-98) for the fifth-most receiving touchdowns over a career, and is one shy of matching Mike Imburgia (1985-88) for fourth-place.  Morgan caught four more passes in the team's win over Grove City last week, and moved within one reception of reaching the century mark for his career.

BROWN CHASING SACK RECORD
Senior defensive end Cameron Brown registered half-a-sack during the team's opener against Rochester, increasing his career total to 24.5.  He will enter Saturday's game four sacks away from Rich Zdrojewski (1991-93) for the third-most in program history, and needs 8.5 more sacks to match Dale English's (2008-11) program record.  Brown was selected to the AFCA All-America Second Team and was named the PAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2018, after setting a program record and ranking second in Division III with 15 sacks.