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Wayne Cavadi | | October 7, 2017

Top 25 PSAC powers California (Pa), Indiana (Pa) collide in DII football showcase

  IUP hopes its Top 20 defense can keep Cal (Pa) at bay in the DII football showcase.

Last week's Division II football showcase was a good one. Two upsets unfolded as No. 17 Colorado State-Pueblo defeated No. 8 Colorado Mesa and an upstart West Florida team beat a Florida Tech team receiving votes in the DII football poll. 

RELATED: 5 takeaways from the Week 6 AFCA poll

This week, two Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference powerhouses square off in what very well may be the DII football game of the week. 

California (Pennsylvania) (4-1) at Indiana (Pennsylvania) (5-0), 2 p.m. ET


This is a good old-fashioned rematch. IUP had two losses last season, both at the hands of the Vulcans. The latter stung a bit more, as it knocked the Crimson Hawks out of the postseason, ending their year.

IUP is off to a perfect start, the best start in program history by a first-year head coach, and Paul Tortorella is hoping it doesn't stop this week. The Crimson Hawks have DII football's fifth-best scoring offense, paired with the 15th-best scoring defense. Since an opening week thriller won by kicker Dillon Sarka as time expired against now-No. 18 Ashland, they are steamrolling the competition. Running back Samir Bullock is coming off a monster game in which he ran for 263 yards while tying a PSAC record with six touchdowns.

RELATED: Samir Bullock rushes into PSAC football record books with six touchdown game

Cal U has been on both sides of exciting finishes the past two weeks. Quarterback Michael Keir ran in the game-winner with just seconds left two Saturdays ago, while the Vulcans lost by a field goal in overtime to now-No. 12 Slippery Rock last weekend. Dropping out of the Top 10 for the first time all season, the Vulcans are in a must-win position to keep playoff hopes alive.

Offensively, California is on par with IUP with the 11th-best scoring offense in DII. Tom Greene and Luke Smorey are a dangerous duo, making it difficult for opposing defensive backs. Defensively, the Crimson Hawks have allowed 88 points over the past two weeks. They'll need linebacker Luke Hrapchak to put the pressure on Lenny Williams Jr. and Bullock, and will need Lamont McPhatter II, who already has four interceptions on the year, to shut down the passing game if they are going to have a chance to win.

2017 outlook:

California (Pa) Indiana (Pa)
2016 record: 11-1 2016 record: 10-2
Head coach: Gary Dunn (2nd season) Head coach: Paul Tortorella (1st year)
Preseason ranking: 8 | Current ranking: 16 Preseason ranking: 9 | Current ranking: 4

Key players:

Michael Keir, QB: 1,382 yards, 9 TD

Tom Greene, Luke Smorey, WR: 899 yards, 4 TD

Luke Hrapchak, LB: 45 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 1.5 sack

Key players:

Lenny Williams, Jr: 1,165 yards, 11 TD

Samir Bullock, RB: 680 yards, 9 TD

Max Redfield, DB: 38 tackles, 3 Int., 5 BU

2017 by the numbers:

California (Pa) Indiana (Pa)
Points: 41.40/ game Points: 44.8/ game
Pass yards: 283.4/ game            Pass yards: 233/ game                                             
Rush yards: 128/ game Rush yards: 283.6/ game
Total offense: 411.4 yards/ game Total offense: 516.6 yards/ game
Points allowed: 29.8/ game Points allowed: 14.8/ game
Total defense: 398.4 yards/ game                  Total defense: 297.8 yards/ game

Southwest Baptist (2-3) at Truman (1-4), 2 p.m. ET


This game was supposed to have major Great Lakes Valley Conference implications. Southwest Baptist was one of the feel good stories of 2016. The Bearcats turned around a 4-6 season in 2015 to a share of the 2016 GLVC championship. Truman was coming of a strong 8-3 season. This was expected to be a battle of the two teams projected to finish first and second in the GLVC.

Week 5 by the numbers

Instead, both teams find themselves in the bottom half of the GLVC standings, tied at 1-2 in conference play. Southwest Baptist's T.J. Edwards is the star of the show. The quarterback can sling it with the best of them, and has some wheels to extend plays and give defenses fits in the open field. If he's on top of his game, the Bearcats are a dangerous team.

2017 outlook:

Southwest Baptist Truman
2016 record: 10-2 2016 record: 8-3
Head coach: Robert Clardy (3rd season) Head coach: Gregg Nesbitt (8th season)
Preseason ranking: 18 | Current ranking: NR Preseason ranking: RV | Current ranking: NR

Key players:

T.J. Edwards, QB: 1,318 yards, 10 TD, 1 rush TD

Kendrick Payne, Jerminic Smith, WR: 704 yards, 6 TD

Cory Hanger, CB: 18 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 Int., 7 BU, 8 PD

Key players:

Jordan Salima, RB: 498 yards, 5 TD

Sam Reeves, DL: 26 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 5 sacks

Jaden Barr, QB: 843 total yards, 8 total TD

2017 by the numbers:

Southwest Baptist Truman
Points: 26.4/ game Points: 23/ game
Pass yards: 273/ game            Pass yards: 162.8/ game                                             
Rush yards: 119/ game Rush yards: 151.2/ game
Total offense: 392 yards/ game Total offense: 314 yards/ game
Points allowed: 22.2/ game Points allowed: 29.6/ game
Total defense: 322.4 yards/ game                  Total defense: 360 yards/ game

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