No. 16 Gorillas Hit the Road to Face Bronchos Saturday - KOAM TV 7

No. 16 Gorillas Hit the Road to Face Bronchos Saturday



The Pittsburg State University football team, the No. 16 ranked team in NCAA Division II, will travel to Edmond, Okla., Saturday (Sept. 14) to face the University of Central Oklahoma in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association action.

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. (CDT) at UCO's Wantland Stadium.

Pittsburg State, the winningest all-time NCAA Division II program, opened the 2013 campaign with a convincing 45-6 home win over Northeastern State University last Saturday (Sept. 7) before a sellout crowd of 10,374 fans at Brandenburg Field/Carnie Smith Stadium.

Central Oklahoma dropped a 52-38 road decision to Missouri Southern State University in its season debut last Thursday (Sept. 5) at Joplin, Mo.  The Bronchos, who have lost three straight games dating back to the 2012 season, return 15 starters (seven offense, eight defense) from a squad that posted a 2-8 record a year ago.

The Coaches
Tim Beck has compiled a 28-10 (.737) career record in his fourth season as head coach at Pitt State.  

Beck led his alma mater (PSU, '88) to the 2011 NCAA Division II National Championship two seasons ago, earning national coach of the year honors from Liberty Mutual, the Don Hansen Football Committee and FieldTurf™.

Beck became the school's 14th all-time head football coach in December 2009, after serving for 23 seasons as an assistant coach for the Gorillas including 16 years as the team's offensive coordinator from 1994-2009.

In his first season leading the Gorillas, Beck guided Pitt State to a 6-6 record and a victory in the 2010 Mineral Water Bowl.  In 2011, Beck led the Gorillas to the program's second NCAA national championship and the school's fourth national title overall in a 13-1 campaign. Pitt State captured the MIAA Championship and ultimately the NCAA-II National Championship with a 35-21 victory over Wayne (Mich.) State on Dec. 17, 2011.

Last year, the Gorillas opened the season 5-0 before finishing the year 7-3 overall.

During his 16 seasons as offensive coordinator, the Gorilla offense consistently ranked among the finest units in NCAA Division II.

In 2008, Beck was selected the inaugural NCAA Division II Coordinator of the Year by FootballScoop.com, following a vote of his coaching peers.

In 2004, Beck's offensive unit established itself as the most prolific squad in the history of NCAA football.  PSU shattered a 118-year-old scoring record, scoring an amazing 837 points (55.8 ppg).  His squad also set the NCAA all division records for rushing (5,320 yards) and total offense (8,976 yards).

Beck's teams led Division II in scoring in two of the last six years (2004, 2006) and ranked in the top two nationally in total offense three times in the last six seasons (2004, 2005, 2006).  His squads ranked among the national rushing leaders every season, leading Division II in 1995 (318.8 ypg) and 2004 (354.7 ypg).  Beck's "multiple choice" option attack also compiled 16,483 passing yards (216.9 ypg) and 143 aerial touchdowns during the last six years.

Pitt State averaged a staggering 38.8 points and 442.5 yards of total offense per game during his tenure as offensive coordinator.

Prior to assuming the offensive coordinator's role, Beck served two years as Pitt State's defensive coordinator (1992-93).  He became a full-time assistant on the Pitt State staff in 1989, after serving first as a student assistant (1987) and then as a graduate assistant (1988).

This will be Beck's third meeting vs. the Bronchos.  He is 2-0 vs. UCO.

Central Oklahoma's Nick Bobeck is in his second year leading his alma mater and his second season as a (four-year) collegiate head coach.  Bobeck (UCO, '02) returned to UCO after serving as the head coach at Navarro Junior College for four years. Bobeck, who led Navarro to the 2010 NJCAA National Championship, guided the Bronchos to a 2-8 (.200) record in his initial season. This will be his second meeting vs. Pitt State.

The Pitt State-Central Oklahoma Series
This will be the 11th all-time meeting between the Gorillas and the Bronchos in a series that dates all the way back to the 1915 season.

Pitt State holds a 5-3-1 advantage in the series, including three wins in the last four years. The Gorillas are 1-1-1 against the Bronchos in games played at Edmond, Okla.

Pitt State posted a 34-19  victory over UCO last year in Pittsburg on Sept. 8. PSU quarterback Tony Abenoja passed for 296 yards and a touchdown and rushed for two more scores to pace the Gorillas offensive attack.

PSU's Regular Season Success
Pitt State has won 257 of its last 303 regular season games, posting a phenomenal 257-44-2 (.851) mark during the past 29 seasons (1985-2013).

PSU is 143-14-1 at home, 110-22-1 on the road and 4-8-0 at neutral sites in the regular season during that span.

Gorillas on the Road
Pitt State has posted a 62-21-0 (.747) record in its last 83 road games (including post-season play).  The Gorillas are 73-23-1 (.758) on the road since the start of the 1994 season.

UCO has managed just a 3-7 record in its last 10 home games. The Bronchos dropped their last three home contests a year ago.

Pitt State in the AFCA Top 25 Poll
Pitt State has been ranked in Division II's top 10 97 times in the last 179 polls and the Gorillas have been ranked in the top 25 poll in 153 of 179 weeks overall (dating back to the 1999 season).

The Gorillas were preseason ranked in the NCAA Division II top 25 for the 22nd time in the last 24 years in August when Pitt State was tabbed at No. 21.

Ground Game PSU's Bread and Butter…
Pitt State's success can be directly linked to its ability to rush the football.

Since the 1986 season, PSU has rushed for 200-plus yards in 279 of 331 overall games.  The Gorillas have posted a 247-31-1 (.887) record when they eclipse 200 yards rushing.  Pitt State is an even more impressive 136-6-0 (.958) when it eclipses 300 yards rushing.

By contrast, PSU is just 23-30-1 (.435) in the handful of games when it has been held below 200 yards rushing.
Since 1986, PSU has rushed the ball for the highest yardage total among all NCAA Division II programs, with 95,636 yards (including postseason competition) for an average of 288.9 yards per game.

The Gorillas piled up 354 rushing yards (on 46 carries, 7.7 ypc) against Northeastern State. It marked Pitt State's highest rushing output since the Gorillas ran for 382 yards in a road win against Truman on Oct. 27, 2012.

… But Don't Overlook PSU Passing Attack
While it's no secret Pitt State's offensive success has been predicated on running the football, the Gorillas have unleashed a potent passing attack to compliment their stalwart running game.

Since the start of the 2004 season, the Gorillas have passed for 23,212 yards and 172 TDs, averaging 225.4 passing yards and 1.7 touchdown passes per game in the last 103 outings.

In 2012, quarterback Tony Abenoja established a new single-season passing record, averaging 233.0 passing yards per game.  As a team, Pitt State passed for 2498 yards (249.8 ypg) and 15 touchdowns on the season in 2012.

Quick Strike Offense
The Pitt State offense has exhibited a penchant for being a "quick strike" unit.

During the last nine seasons (2005-12), the Pitt State offense has generated 535 scoring drives (452 TDs, 76 FGs) and averaged just 2:54 of elapsed time per drive. [Overtime scoring drives not included in elapsed time figures.]

2005    97 scoring drives (86 TDs, 11 FGs)    2:40 elapsed time   
2006    79 scoring drives (72 TDs, 7 FGs)    2:14 elapsed time   
2007    64 scoring drives (55 TDs, 9 FGs)    3:02 elapsed time   
2008    69 scoring drives (61 TDs, 8 FGs)    3:23 elapsed time   
2009    49 scoring drives (44 TDs, 5 FGs)    3:21 elapsed time
2010    41 scoring drives (34 TDs, 7 FGs)    3:04 elapsed time
2011    78 scoring drives (60 TDs, 18 FGs)    2:54 elapsed time
2012    51 scoring drives (40 TDs, 11 FGs)    2:58 elapsed time
2013    7 scoring drives (6 TDs, 1 FG)    2:57 elapsed time

The Gorillas have been highly successful when they are quick out of the gates.  Pitt State has scored on its opening drive 47 times (39 TDs, 8 FGs) in the last 97 games, posting a 44-3 (.936) record in those games. By contrast, Pitt State is 26-24 (.520) in games it doesn't score on its opening drive during the same span.

Pitt State Displays Prolific Offense
The Pitt State offense has asserted itself as one of the top units in NCAA Division II the past nine seasons (2004-12).
Pitt State's high octane "multiple choice" offense ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 nationally in both scoring and total offense in three of the last seven seasons.

In 2004, PSU staked its claim as the most prolific offense in the history of NCAA football, leading Division II in scoring (55.8 ppg), rushing (354.7 ypg) and total offense (598.4 ypg).

Pitt State broke the NCAA's 118-year-old all-time all division scoring record with 837 points, besting the old mark of 765 points set by Harvard in 1886.  The Gorillas also broke the all-time NCAA all division records for rushing (5,320 yards) and total offense (8,976 yards) in 2004.

Oklahoma set the previous rushing record (5,196 yards) in 1971, and Texas Tech held the previous total offense mark (7,576 yards) in 2003.

In 2005, Pitt State ranked second nationally in scoring and total offense, averaging 46.8 points and 536.0 total yards per game.  The Gorillas also ranked seventh nationally in rushing, averaging 295.2 yards a game.

In 2006, Pitt State led NCAA Division II in scoring and ranked No. 2 nationally in total offense, averaging 44.8 points and 454.8 total yards per game in 2006.

In 2007, the Gorillas ranked 21st nationally in scoring and 19th nationally in total offense, averaging 37.4 points and 454.2 total yards per game. In 2008, Pitt State ranked 18th nationally in scoring (35.5 ppg) and 21st in the nation in total offense (432.6 ypg).

In 2009, the Pitt State offense averaged 29.4 points and 434.4 total yards per game, while the Gorillas averaged 22.8 points and 357.7 total yards per game in 2010.

In 2011, the Gorillas ranked sixth nationally in scoring (40.2 ppg) and 19th in the country in total offense (448.5 ypg).

In 2012, the Gorillas ranked 24th nationally in total offense (454.4 ypg) and 27th in the country in rushing offense (204.6 ypg).

Pitt State compiled 582 yards of total offense in week one – the 11th highest total in Division II on the opening week of play – and scored 45 points (18th nationally).

Dreiling Climbs Career Tackles Chart
Junior linebacker Nate Dreiling continues to climb both the Pitt State and MIAA career tackles charts. Dreiling (6-4, 228) has posted double-digit tackles in 23 of 37 career games for the Gorillas.

The Hutchinson/Victoria, Kan., native now has 391 (10.6 pg) career tackles. He needs four stops to climb into second place on PSU's all-time tackles chart.  Dreiling trails only former All-Americans Josh Lattimer (394) and Chris Brown (470) on the career list.

Dreiling needs 26 tackles to break into the top 10 on the MIAA's all-time tackle chart. Truman's Marti Rave (1977-79) holds the conference career tackle mark with 489 stops.

PSU Career Tackles    Total                 MIAA Career Tackles    Total
    1.    Chris Brown, 1992-95    470        1.    Marti Rave, Truman, 1977-79    470
    2.    Josh Lattimer, 2002-05    394       2.    Zach Watkins, WU, 2006-09    473
   3.    Nate Dreiling, 2011-pres.    391     3.    Chris Brown, Pitt State, 1992-95    470
                                                                        Nate Dreiling, Pitt State, 2011-pres.    391

Abenoja Cracks Top 10 List
Junior quarterback Tony Abenoja moved into the top 10 list for career records for Pitt State quarterbacks during the past 29 seasons with the season-opening win over Northeastern State.

Abenoja improved to 8-3 (.727) as the Gorillas starter.

Pitt State quarterbacks have combined to win 81.3 percent of their games since the start of the 1985 season, posting a combined 278-63-2 record.

Abenoja also garnered MIAA Offensive Player of the Week honors for the second time in his career last Saturday (Sept. 7).
He completed 18 of 24 passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 86 yards and another score.  The Overland Park, Kan., currently ranks eighth nationally in passing efficiency (196.1 rating).

Brown Chasing PSU Receiving, All-Purpose Records
Senior wide receiver/return specialist John Brown continued his pursuit of Pitt State's all-time receiving record with a six-catch, 78-yard performance in the Gorillas' season opener against Northeastern State last Saturday (Sept. 7).

Brown (5-11, 170) already holds the Pitt State career receptions record (130) and he has 2,267 career receiving yards. The Homestead, Fla., native now needs 255 yards to surpass Ronnie West, the only receiving in Division II history to capture the Harlon Hill Trophy, atop the Gorillas receiving chart.

Brown also broke into the top five on Pitt State's career all-purpose yards list last Saturday. He now has 4,511 all-purpose yards. He needs 177 yards to move into fourth place on that list.

Brown continues his chase of Ronnie West's career yards record (2,521 yards) with 121 career receptions for 2,117 yards.  He also eclipsed 4,000 all-purpose yards and needs just 207 yards to break into the top five all-time in that category.

PSU Career Receiving    Rec    Yards
    1.    Ronnie West, 1990-91    123    2521
    2.    John Brown, 2011-pr.    130    2267

PSU Career All-Purpose    Rush    Rec    PR    KR    Yards
    1.    Ronald Moore, 1989-92    5776    318    0    1084    7178

    4.    Darren Dawson, 1988-1991    4565    86    0    36    4687
    5.    John Brown, 2011-pr.    294    2267    813    1137    4511

Lutman, Seybold enjoy Career Nights
Junior wide receiver Gavin Lutman and sophomore running back Jeff Seybold, Jr. both enjoyed career nights for the Gorillas in the season opener last week.

Lutman (6-4, 201) matched his career high with four receptions against the RiverHawks and he totaled a career best 71 yards and two touchdowns in the contest.

The Peculiar, Mo., native now has 29 career receptions for 474 yards (16.3 ypc) and four touchdowns.

Seybold (5-11, 208) rushed the ball six times for a career-best 132 yards and a touchdown in his first start for the Gorillas. The Lincoln, Neb., native missed the final eight games of the 2012 season due to injury and had to exercise a medical redshirt.

He broke loose for an 80-yard touchdown scamper on the first offensive play of the second half against the RiverHawks. For his career, Seybold has rushed the ball 69 times for 431 yards (6.2 ypc) and three touchdowns.

Disney Enjoys Two-Sack Outing
Junior linebacker Tyler Disney posted a pair of quarterback sacks in the Gorillas 45-6 victory over Northeastern State last Saturday.

Disney (6-1, 214) made seven tackles on the night. The Stilwell, Kan., native has posted 67 tackles with 4.5 tackles-for-loss and 3.0 quarterback sacks in25 career games.

Odds & Ends
    •    Junior place kicker Connor Frazell booted a career-long 43-yard field goal vs. the RiverHawks.
         The Iola, Kan., native has coverted 12 of 17 (.706) career field goals and 45 of 47 (.957) career PATs.
    •    Nine Pitt State players (five on offense, four on defense) made  their first collegiate starts vs. NSU:  Taylor Peak (C),
          Boston Higgins (OT), Kyle Swartz (TE), Austin Daniel (WR), Jeff Seybold (RB), Deaven Jensen (NG), Heath Wilson
          (DE), Dino Teague (CB) and Deron Washington (S).
    •    The Gorillas improved to 14-0 against teams from the state of Oklahoma since joining NCAA Division II in 1989.
          Pitt State will seek its 15th straight win over an Oklahoma squad Saturday against UCO.

Scouting the Bronchos
Central Oklahoma returns 15 starters (seven offense, eight defense) from last year's squad that posted a 2-8 record during the school's inaugural year in MIAA play. The Bronchos dropped a 52-38 decision to Missouri Southern at Joplin, Mo., on Sept. 5.

Senior running back Joshua Birmingham rushed for 169 yards and four touchdowns in UCO's season opener against MSSU. Birmingham (5-9, 205) was the only player in Division II to score four times in week one. He also posted the eighth-highest rushing total in the opening week of play.

Birmingham earned both All-MIAA and All-Region honors during his junior campaign in 2012. The Luther, Okla., native tallied 1,073 yards (5.7 ypc) and 13 touchdowns last season.  

Senior quarterback Adrian Nelson completed 16 of 33 passes for 328 yards with one touchdown and one interception vs. MSSU. Nelson (6-4, 230), a Houston native, completed 156 of305 passes for 1,777 yards and nine TDs in 2012, earning honorable mention All-MIAA honors.

Junior wide receiver Marquez Clark (5-11, 190) tallied four receptions for a game-high 137 yards and a touchdown last Thursday.

Senior linebacker Adrian Shoecraft (5-11, 235) logged a team-high nine tackles (four solo) against the Lions. Last season he was third on the team with 54 tackles. The Edmond, Okla., native also logged 2.0 tackles-for-loss, one quarterback sack and two pass breakups in 2012.

Senior defensive back Devoris Dozier (5-10, 185) led the Bronchos in 2012 with 77 tackles (51 solo), 1.5 tackles-for-loss and one interception. In the first game of the season Dozier contributed three tackles. 

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