No. 12 Gorillas Hit the Road to Face Lincoln Saturday - KOAM TV 7

No. 12 Gorillas Hit the Road to Face Lincoln Saturday


Press Release Pittsburg State University:

The Pittsburg State University football team, the No. 12 ranked team in NCAA Division II, will travel to Jefferson City, Mo., Saturday (Sept. 28) to face Lincoln University in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association action.

Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. (CDT) at Lincoln's Dwight T. Reed Stadium.

Pittsburg State, the winningest all-time NCAA Division II program, brings a 3-0 record, including a 3-0 mark in MIAA play, into Saturday's contest. The Gorillas have opened the 2013 campaign with a trio lopsided wins over Northeastern State (45-6), Central Oklahoma (65-24) and Southwest Baptist (59-7).

Lincoln enters Saturday's action 1-2 overall and 0-2 in the MIAA. The Blue Tigers, who posted a signature win over FCS opponent Grambling State (47-34) on Sept. 14, dropped a 59-10 road decision to Missouri Southern in their last outing on Sept. 21.

The Coaches
Tim Beck has compiled a 29-10 (.744) 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 Blue Tigers.  He is 2-0 vs. LU.

Lincoln's Mike Jones is in his third year leading the Blue Tigers.  Jones (Missouri, '91) has guided Lincoln to a 3-22 (.120) record in his two seasons. He is 0-2 vs. Pitt State.

The Pitt State-Lincoln Series
This will be the ninth all-time meeting between the Gorillas and the Blue Tigers in a series that dates back to the 1981 season.

Pitt State holds an unblemished 8-0-0 advantage in the series, averaging a 48-6 victory over Lincoln in those games.

The Gorillas are 2-0 against the Blue Tigers in games played at Jefferson City.

Pitt State posted a 59-17  victory over Lincoln last year in Pittsburg on Sept. 22. Quarterback Tony Abenoja passed for 116 yards and one touchdown on a five-of-six passing performance, while John Brown returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown to pace the Gorillas.

PSU's Regular Season Success
Pitt State has won 259 of its last 305 regular season games, posting a phenomenal 259-44-2 (.852) mark during the past 29 seasons (1985-2013).
PSU is 142-14-1 at home, 111-22-1 on the road and 4-8-0 at neutral sites in the regular season during that span.

Pitt State in the AFCA Top 25 Poll
Pitt State has been ranked in Division II's top 10 97 times in the last 181 polls and the Gorillas have been ranked in the top 25 poll in 155 of 181 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. PSU has been ranked in all but one (2010) week two poll this century.

Gorillas on the Road
Pitt State has posted a 63-21-0 (.750) record in its last 84 road games (including post-season play).  The Gorillas are 74-23-1 (.760) on the road since the start of the 1994 season.

Lincoln has managed just a 4-11 record in home games since 2010. The Blue Tigers were 1-4 during home contests a year ago.  Saturday's action will serve as LU's home opener.

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 332 overall games.  The Gorillas have posted a 2 48-31-1 (.888) 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 24-30-1 (.445) 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 95,788 yards (including postseason competition) for an average of 288.5 yards per game.

The Gorillas currently rank 12th nationally in rushing, averaging 289.0 yards per game on the ground. Pitt State has rushed the ball 145 times for 867 yards (6.0 ypc) and 12 touchdowns.

… 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 23,760 yards and 179 TDs, averaging 226.3 passing yards and 1.7 touchdown passes per game in the last 105 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 a year ago. The Gorillas have averaged 258.7 passing yards in their first three games with nine touchdowns and no interceptions.
Quick Strike Offense
The Pitt State offense has exhibited a penchant for being a "quick strike" unit.

During the last nine seasons (2005-13), the Pitt State offense has generated 553 scoring drives (474 TDs, 79 FGs) and averaged just 2:52 of elapsed time per drive.

2005    97 scoring drives (86 TDs, 11 FGs)    2:40 elapsed time    2010    41 scoring drives (34 TDs, 7 FGs)    3:04 elapsed time
2006    79 scoring drives (72 TDs, 7 FGs)    2:14 elapsed time    2011    78 scoring drives (60 TDs, 18 FGs)    2:54 elapsed time
2007    64 scoring drives (55 TDs, 9 FGs)    3:02 elapsed time    2012    51 scoring drives (40 TDs, 11 FGs)    2:58 elapsed time
2008    69 scoring drives (61 TDs, 8 FGs)    3:23 elapsed time    2013    25 scoring drives (22 TDs, 3 FGs)    2:21 elapsed time
2009    49 scoring drives (44 TDs, 5 FGs)    3:21 elapsed time

The Gorillas have been highly successful when they are quick out of the gates.  Pitt State has scored on its opening drive 48 times (40 TDs, 8 FGs) in the last 99 games, posting a 45-3 (.938) record in those games. By contrast, Pitt State is 27-24 (.529) 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 10 seasons (2004-13).

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).

This season, Pittsburg State is currently ranked second nationally in socring (56.3 ppg), 12th nationally in rushing offense (289.0 ypg) and seventh in total offense (547.7 ypg).

All-Time Winningest Football Programs
Pittsburg State is the all-time winningest NCAA Division II football program.  The Gorillas, who are in their 105th season of intercollegiate competition, have compiled a 666-329-48 overall record, winning 66.2 percent of their 1,043 all-time games.

Pittsburg State is one of just 18 NCAA Division II institutions to have recorded 500 all-time victories and the Gorillas are just one of three schools to have reached the 600-win plateau.  Tuskegee is second on the all-time list with 642 victories, followed by Hillsdale (604), Central Oklahoma (592) and Texas A&M-Kingsville (590).

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 24 of 39 career games for the Gorillas.

The Hutchinson/Victoria, Kan., native now has 408 (10.5 pg) career tackles. He needs 63 stops to become PSU's all-time tackles leader.  Dreiling trails only former All-American Chris Brown (470) on the career list.

Dreiling also needs nine 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    489
    2.    Nate Dreiling, 2011-pres.    408        2.    Zach Watkins, WU, 2006-09    473

                       9.    Dennis O'Hagan, MSU, 1977-80    423    
                    10.    Ron Burton, MSSU, 1990-93    416
                        Nate Dreiling, Pitt State, 2011-pres.    408

Abenoja Leads Nation in Passing Efficiency
Junior quarterback Tony Abenoja currently leads NCAA Division II with a 204.7 passer rating.

Abenoja (6-3, 210) has completed 48 of 68 passes (.706) for 732 yards (244.0 ypg) and nine touchdowns with no interceptions.  The Overland Park, Kan., native also has rushed the ball 23 times for 147 yards (6.4 ypc) and two touchdowns.

For his career, Abenoja has completed 232 of 348 passes (.667) for 3326 yards and 27 touchdowns with 10 interceptions.  He's also rushed 116 times for 359 yards (3.1 ypc) and five TDs, compiling 3685 yards of total offense.

Abenoja also improved to 10-3 (.769) as the Gorillas starter with the victory over SBU.

Pitt State quarterbacks have combined to win 81.4 percent of their games since the start of the 1985 season, posting a combined 280-63-2 record.
Abenoja garnered MIAA Offensive Player of the Week honors for the second time in his career after 0his play in the season opener vs. NSU on Sept. 7.

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 five-catch, 171-yard performance in the Gorillas' game against Southwest Baptist last Saturday (Sept. 21).

Brown (5-11, 170) already holds the Pitt State career receptions record (139) and he has 2,485 career receiving yards. The Homestead, Fla., native now needs 37 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 listin the season opener against Northeastern State. He now has 4,843 all-purpose yards to rank fourth on that list.

PSU Career Receiving    Rec    Yards
    1.    Ronnie West, 1990-91    123    2521
    2.    John Brown, 2011-pr.    139    2485

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

    3.    Monte Weathers, 1984-87    3852    295    686    1932    6764    
    4.    John Brown, 2011-pr.    317    2485    849    1197    4843

Seybold Ranks Among MIAA Leaders
Sophomore running back Jeff Seybold, Jr. ranks among the MIAA leaders in both rushing and scoring.

Seybold, Jr. (5-11, 208) currently ranks sixth in the league in rushing (98.3 ypg) and second in the conference in scoring (14.0 ppg). He ranks seventh nationally in scoring.

The Lincoln, Neb., native has rushed the ball a team-leading 37 times for 295 yards and six touchdowns. He is averaging 8.0 yards per carry. Seybold also has caught seven passes for 31 yards and a touchdown.

For his career, Seybold has rushed the ball 100 times for 594 yards (5.9 ypc) and eight touchdowns.

Odds & Ends
    •    Junior place kicker Connor Frazell has coverted 14 of 19 (.737) career field goals and 61 of 64 (.953) career PATs.
    •    Pitt State is +7 (+2.3 pg) in turnover margin in its first three games with eight takeaways vs. only one giveaway, sharing the national lead in
          the category. The Gorillas are 10-0 during Coach Beck's tenure in games they are +2 or better in turnover margin.
    •    The Gorillas have executed their 2-minute offense perfectly at the end of the first half heir first three games, going 62 yards in six plays and
          1:03 elapsed to score a TD vs. NSU, going 40 yards in four plays and 49 seconds elapsed to score a TD vs. UCO and going 62 yards in
          three plays and 24 seconds elapsed to score a TD vs. SBU.

Scouting the Blue Tigers
Lincoln is off to a 1-2 start to the season with a victory over FCS member Grambling State sandwiched in between a pair of MIAA losses to Lindenwood and Missouri Southern.

Senior running back Morris Henderson (5-9, 182) ranks fourth in the conference in rushing (101.3 ypg). The Jacksonville, Fla., native also leads the MIAA in kickoff returns, averaging 34.1 yards per return with one touchdown.

Henderson ranks third in the conference in all purpose yards at 218.0 ypg. For the season he has carried the ball 44 times for 304 yards (6.9 ypc) with four touchdowns. Henderson was named MIAA Offensive Athlete of the Week after recording 325 all-purpose yards against Grambling State.

Junior quarterback Jacob Morris (6-3, 220) has completed 64-of-111 passes for 738 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. The Rolla, Mo., native is currently sixth in the MIAA in passing yards per game with 246.0. Last season against the Gorillas he led the Blue Tigers with 73 yards rushing on 12 carries.

Senior wide receiver Khirey Draine (6-2, 190) has been Morris' go-to target through three games. The Jefferson City, Mo., native has hauled in 15 catches for 221 yards (14.7 ypc) and one touchdown.

Lincoln is led on defense by senior linebacker Kendrick Causey (6-0, 230).  The Amite County, Miss., natve has logged 36 tackles (nine solo) on the year. Sophomore defensive back Brian Smith (5-9, 175) has tallied 23 tackles (12 solo), three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two recoveries on the young season.  


Complete Game Notes

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