A pair of Top 10 teams collide for a battle for the PSAC in this week's DII football showcase
Indiana (Pennsylvania) is getting some well-deserved air time of late. Last week, the Crimson Hawks were featured on the DII football showcase in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference showdown of undefeated teams.
The Crimson Hawks rose victorious, bumping their PSAC arch-rival California (Pennsylvania) from the Top 25. This week they are right back at it.
IUP heads to Slippery Rock for its second straight matchup against a ranked opponent in as many weeks. No. 3 and No. 9 clash in a game that could very well determine the PSAC champion. Elsewhere, Findlay and its high-scoring offense heads to Michigan looking to keep its undefeated run in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference going.
Findlay (5-1) at Hillsdale (3-3), 1 p.m. ET
Findlay hits the road for this GMAC battle. That apparently doesn't bother the Oilers, who are a perfect 3-0 away from their Ohio home. They are also one of DII football's hottest teams, winners of four straight games.
The Oilers have gotten to 5-1 behind one of DII football's most explosive offenses. Daouda Sylla leads the No. 4 rushing offense, but he hasn't done it alone. Michael Campbell has punched in eight touchdowns of his own, helping Findlay become the No. 3 scoring offense in DII football. The Oilers have a balanced attack, and its 501.3 yards per game is fourth-best in DII.
Hillsdale is looking to right the ship. One week following the Chargers most complete game of the season -- a 56-0 onlsaught -- they fell to a Ohio Dominican team undefeated in the GMAC. This will be the Chargers second big test in as many weeks. A win will get them above .500 and keep them alive in the GMAC race.
|2016 record: 6-5||2016 record: 5-5|
|Head coach: Rob Keys (7th season)||Head coach: Keith Otterbein (16th season)|
|Preseason ranking: NR | Current ranking: NR||Preseason ranking: NR | Current ranking: NR|
Daouda Sylla, RB: 844 yards, 10 TD
Jason Moore, WR: 387 yards, 7 TD
Johnny Hopkins, DL: 25 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks
Chance Stewart, QB: 1,579 yards, 13 total TD
David Graham, RB: 531 yards, 10 TD
Trey Brock, WR: 767 yards, 4 TD
2017 by the numbers:
|Points: 46.8/ game||Points: 32/ game|
|Pass yards: 210.8/ game||Pass yards: 281.2/ game|
|Rush yards: 290.5/ game||Rush yards: 186.3/ game|
|Total offense: 501.3 yards/ game||Total offense: 467.5 yards/ game|
|Points allowed: 14/ game||Points allowed: 24.7/ game|
|Total defense: 309.7 yards/ game||Total defense: 359.3 yards/ game|
Indiana (Pa) (6-0) at Slippery Rock (6-0), 2 p.m. ET
Ding ding. This is a DII football heavyweight match for the ages.
In one corner is the Crimson Hawks. Simply put, IUP may be the best team in DII not named Northwest Missouri State. The Crimson Hawks have balance on both sides of the ball, registering the No. 3 total offense and No. 16 total defense. They score 41.67 points a game (12th-best in DII) and only allow 14 points a game (tied for 10th). Opposing defenses have to figure out how to stop running back Samir Bullock, who ran for six touchdowns two weeks ago. If a defense somehow figures out the running game, Lenny Williams, Jr. is armed and ready to burn them through the air.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania running back Samir Bullock reflects on rushing his way into PSAC football history with six touchdowns this past weekend: https://t.co/Gz1xGQSXRK pic.twitter.com/sLyEYqGqgk— NCAA Division II (@NCAADII) October 5, 2017
Staring IUP down from the other corner is No. 9 Slippery Rock. Where the Crimson Hawks can grind you down on both sides of the ball, The Rock plays catch-me-if-you-can. They are one of the most potent passing attacks in DII. Tanner Garry is one of ten quarterbacks in all divisions of NCAA football to eclipse the 2,000-yard mark at the halfway point. He has already thrown for 22 touchdowns (second-best in DII) while only throwing four interceptions. With exciting play-making wide receivers Marcus Johnson and Milly Raye, Garry's job sometimes looks easy.
For The Rock to have a real chance, defensive lineman Marcus Martin will have to find a way to keep the pressure on in the backfield. Martin leads DII in sacks with 9.5 and is an overall menace in the backfield with 17.5 tackles for a loss, also tops in DII. While Slippery Rock's scoring offense is amongst the elite, the defense allows its fair share of points. The Rock has allowed an average of 39 points their last three games, eking out victories by a mere 10 points. Martin -- DII's all-time sack and tackle-for-loss leader -- will have to maintain Williams, Jr. and Bullock, or IUP may run rampant on Slippery Rock.
|2016 record: 10-2||2016 record: 7-4|
|Head coach: Paul Tortorella (1st season)||Head coach: Shawn Lutz (2nd season)|
|Preseason ranking: 9 | Current ranking: 3||Preseason ranking: RV | Current ranking: 9|
Lenny Williams, Jr, QB: 1,433 yards, 14 TD
Samir Bullock, RB: 708 yards, 9 TD
Max Redfield, DB: 41 tackles, 3 Int., 7 BU
Tanner Garry, QB: 2,028 yards, 22 TD
Marcus Johnson, WR: 700 yards, 9 TD
Milly Raye, WR: 643 yards, 7 TD
2017 by the numbers:
|Points: 41.67/ game||Points: 41.83/ game|
|Pass yards: 238.83/ game||Pass yards: 340.17/ game|
|Rush yards: 265.8/ game||Rush yards: 108.2/ game|
|Total offense: 504.7 yards/ game||Total offense: 448.3 yards/ game|
|Points allowed: 14/ game||Points allowed: 31.17/ game|
|Total defense: 295.3 yards/ game||Total defense: 399.5 yards/ game|