Following an agitated win over nationally ranked Indiana University (Pa.), the Slippery Rock University football aggregation will action the Edinboro University Fighting Scots on Saturday afternoon in a Pennsylvania State Able-bodied Conference (PSAC) matchup. The Rock enters Saturday’s challenge with an all-embracing almanac of 5-1 and 3-0 in the PSAC. They are currently in aboriginal abode in the PSAC West Division. Edinboro comes in at 4-2 (1-2) and angry with IUP for fourth place.
Leading The Rock breach for the fifth beeline d is inferior quarterback Roland Rivers. On the season, Rivers has befuddled for 1,040 yards (260 per game) on 75 completions and 11 touchdowns. Rivers, who was Slippery Rock’s third cord quarterback advancing out of camp, will abide the starter, admitting additional cord quarterback green Taylor King abiding from abrasion and actuality austere to play, according to Rock arch drillmaster Shawn Lutz said. Lutz said that inferior Andrew Koester, the starting quarterback at the alpha of the season, has been accustomed a medical redshirt and is done for the season.
“Both Roland and Taylor can ‘sling’ the brawl downfield,” said Lutz, enthusiastically. “It’s nice to be able to accept the abyss that we do, and now we accept Andrew for two added seasons so we’re activity to accept a lot of abyss in our quarterbacks for the aing few seasons.”
Senior Wes Hills looks to be boring abiding to his accurate form. Back abiding in anniversary five’s win adjoin Mercyhurst University, Hills has rushed for 195 yards, bent for 72 yards, and recorded a brace of touchdowns. Lutz accepted Hills for actuality able to be an abhorrent blackmail as a active aback and as a advanced receiver.
“Wes is 6’2” or 6’3”, he’s a bigger guy so it’s easier to bandy to him,” Lutz said. “The beneath guys accept a harder time communicable the ball. If you can get him akin up with a linebacker, you like your chances, no catechism about it.”
The Rock currently leads the absolute PSAC in credibility with 236 on the season, admitting not accepting any amateur in the top bristles in any above alone scoring category, with the barring of acreage goals. Inferior Jake Chapla currently leads the PSAC in acreage goals fabricated with eight. He additionally recorded the longest acreage ambition of the division in the absolute PSAC with a 51-yarder adjoin Mercyhurst.
Although not one Slippery Rock receiver has not been a angle out so far this season, The Rock has 13 receivers who accept bent a canyon this season, 12 of whom bent a canyon in aftermost week’s d at IUP. Lutz said accepting so abounding able receivers on his aggregation is a nice botheration to have.
“Last division it was Milly Raye, Marcus Johnson, Milly Raye, Marcus Johnson, occasionally Merhaut,” Lutz said. “You get all these guys and it’s got to be arresting as a arresting coordinator to amount out what to do. What I consistently say is don’t let both the active and the casual d exhausted you.”
Defensively, The Rock will afresh attending for able performances from inferior Brad Zaffram, redshirt inferior Trey Blandford, green Trysten McDonald, and chief Kyle Hall. Blandford currently ranks additional in the PSAC with six sacks, averaging one per game. Hall ranks sixth in the PSAC with four interceptions. Lutz said although the accomplishment looks acceptable on print, Hall needs to focus added on “covering his man,” rather than always attractive for a adventitious to ambush the football.
“Last anniversary IUP kept assault us because they would bandy the brawl to whoever Kyle was declared to cover,” Lutz said. “He was too focused on aggravating to t the brawl rather than accoutrement his man.”
The Rock will additionally attending to redshirt green Tim Vernick to abide his absorbing season. Vernick, adolescent brother to above Rock linebacker Bob Vernick, has been SRU’s unsung hero this season, Lutz said.
“He does everything,” Lutz said. “He calls our defense, he’s smart, and he’s a ‘typical Vernick,’ except he’s not as able-bodied as his brother. He’s all over the abode and he’s so smart.”
The Rock aegis will absolutely accept their assignment cut out for them, Lutz said. Although Lutz said that the Fighting Scots’ quarterbacks do not affectation too abundant of a blackmail to his team, he is absorption his affair on advanced receivers James Clark and Ta’Nauz Gregory. On the season, Clark has recorded 241 accepting yards, averaging 11 per game, with three touchdowns on 22 catches. Gregory has bent for 479 yards, averaging 16.5 per game, and bristles touchdowns on 29 catches. Lutz said Gregory is Edinboro’s arch receiver.
“He plays the aperture position,” Lutz said. “He plays affectionate of like how our receivers play. He’s absolutely quick and is a ‘loose cannon.’”
The Rock has not baffled Edinboro back the 2015 division back they came abroad with a 52-10 victory. The Fighting Scots won anniversary of the accomplished two season’s matchups 37-35 and 49-39, respectively. Lutz said his breach has got to acquisition a way to exhausted Edinboro’s defense, which currently advance the PSAC with 16 interceptions.
“[Edinboro] has an acutely accomplished secondary,” Lutz said. “They accept so abounding takeaways because they put a lot of burden on the quarterback to try and accomplish them accomplish mistakes. That’s how they accept won their amateur this season, by creating turnovers.”
Saturday is SRU’s anniversary accession game. Slippery Rock has not won their accession d back 2015 back they exhausted California University (Pa.), back continued time drillmaster George Mihalik was still at the captain of Rock football.
Kickoff for Saturday’s d is set for 2 p.m.
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