No. 10 Gorillas Set for MIAA Road Test at UCM Saturday - KOAM TV 7

No. 10 Gorillas Set for MIAA Road Test at UCM Saturday



The Pittsburg State University football team, the No. 10 ranked team in NCAA Division II, will travel to Warrensburg, Mo., to face the University of Central Missouri in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play Saturday (Oct. 12).

Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. (CDT) at Audrey J. Walton Stadium.

Pittsburg State, the winningest all-time NCAA Division II program, brings a 5-0 record, including a 4-0 mark in MIAA play, into Saturday's contest. The Gorillas scored a 28-20 victory over NCAA FCS member Abilene Christian last Saturday (Oct. 5) after averaging a 57-19 victory over MIAA foes Northeastern State (45-6), Central Oklahoma (65-24), Southwest Baptist (59-7) and Lincoln (59-38) in September.

UCM is 2-3 overall and 1-3 in MIAA action to date. The Mules dropped a hard-fought 21-14 decision to Missouri Southern at Joplin, Mo., last Saturday (Oct. 5). UCM also dropped a 3-point decision to No. 6 Missouri Western (26-23) and a four-point decision to No. 3 NW Missouri State (28-24) in September.

The Coaches
Tim Beck has compiled a 31-10 (.756) 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 fourth meeting vs. UCM. He is 2-1 vs. the Mules.

UCM's Jim Svoboda is in his fourth year leading the Mules and his 10th season as a collegiate coach. Collums (Northwestern College, '83) has compiled a 27-14 (.659) record at UCM and a 79-33 (.705) overall mark. He is 1-2 vs. Pitt State.

The Pitt State-Central Missouri Series
This will be the 51st all-time meeting between the Gorillas and Mules in a series that dates all the way back to the 1916 season.  Pitt State holds a decided 40-8-2 (.820) advantage in the series, including a 20-3-2 record against UCM at Warrensburg, Mo.

The Gorillas are 13-2 against the Mules at Warrensburg since 1960, including a 38-17 victory the last time the two squads met at Audrey J. Walton Stadium on Oct. 22, 2011.

Last year, Pitt State claimed a 30-21 victory in Pittsburg on Oct. 6, 2012.

Quarterback Tony Abenoja tossed a two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brady Letchworth with 6:20 remaining in the contest to seal the nine-point win.

The Gorillas trailed 21-17 with 14:54 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Abenoja completed 23 of 38 passes for 336 yards and two touchdowns in the game.

PSU's Regular Season Success
Pitt State has won 261 of its last 307 regular season games, posting a phenomenal 261-44-2 (.853) mark during the past 29 seasons (1985-2013). PSU is 143-14-1 at home, 112-22-1 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 99 times in the last 183 polls and the Gorillas have been ranked in the top 25 poll in 157 of 183 weeks overall (dating back to the 1999 season).

Gorillas on the Road
Pitt State has posted a 64-21-0 (.753) record in its last 85 road games (including post-season play).  The Gorillas are 75-23-1 (.763) on the road since the start of the 1994 season.

UCM has posted a 13-5 (.722) record in home games under Coach Svoboda (since 2010.) The Mules are 1-1 at home this season.

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 280 of 334 overall games.  The Gorillas have posted a 2 49-31-1 (.888) record when they eclipse 200 yards rushing.  Pitt State is an even more impressive 137-6-0 (.958) when it eclipses 300 yards rushing.

By contrast, PSU is just 25-30-1 (.455) 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 96,318 yards (including postseason competition) for an average of 288.4 yards per game.

The Gorillas currently rank ninth nationally in rushing, averaging 279.4 yards per game on the ground. Pitt State has rushed the ball 238 times for 1,397 yards (5.9 ypc) and 18 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 24,398 yards and 184 TDs, averaging 228.0 passing yards and 1.7 touchdown passes per game in the last 107 outings.

In 2012, quarterback Tony Abenoja established a new single-season passing record, averaging 233.0 passing yards per game.  Also, against Lincoln on Sept. 28 Abenoja established new school single game records for passing yards (442), passing touchdowns (5) and total offense (463 yards).

The Gorillas have averaged 282.8 passing yards in their first five games with 15 touchdowns and just two 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 567 scoring drives (485 TDs, 82 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    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    39 scoring drives (33 TDs, 6 FGs)    2:48 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 49 times (41 TDs, 8 FGs) in the last 101 games, posting a 46-3 (.939) record in those games. By contrast, Pitt State is 28-24 (.538) 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 third nationally in scoring (51.2 ppg), 12th nationally in rushing offense (279.4 ypg) and fifth in total offense (562.2 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 668-329-48 overall record, winning 66.2 percent of their 1,045 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 644 victories, followed by Hillsdale (605), 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 26 of 41 career games for the Gorillas.

The Hutchinson/Victoria, Kan., native now has 429 (10.5 pg) career tackles. He needs 42 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 six tackles to take over ninth place on the MIAA's all-time tackle chart. Truman's Marti Rave (1977-79) holds the MIAA career tackle mark (489).

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.    429        2.    Zach Watkins, WU, 2006-09    473

                       9.    Dennis O'Hagan, MSU, 1977-80    423    
                    9.    Nate Dreiling, Pitt State, 2011-pres.    429

Abenoja Ranks Second in Nation in Passing Efficiency
Junior quarterback Tony Abenoja currently ranks second in NCAA Division II with a 191.7 passer rating.  He also ranks sixth nationally in completing percentage (.698) and 15th in points responsible for (18.4 ppg).

Abenoja (6-3, 210) has completed 90 of 129 passes for 1,370 yards (274.0 ypg) and 14 touchdowns with two interceptions.  The Overland Park, Kan., native also has rushed the ball 38 times for 209 yards (5.5 ypc) and two touchdowns.

Abenoja established a trio of new Pitt State single game records last Saturday against Lincoln, passing for 442 yards with five touchdowns and compiling 463 yards of total offense

For his career, Abenoja has completed 274 of 409 passes (.670) for 3,964 yards and 32 touchdowns with 12 interceptions.  He's also rushed 131 times for 421 yards (3.2 ypc) and five TDs, compiling 4,385 yards of total offense. Abenoja already ranks seventh on PSU's career passing yards and career passing touchdowns lists.
He also improved to 12-3 (.800) as the Gorillas starting quarterback.

Disney Earns MIAA Honors
Junior linebacker Tyler Disney earned MIAA Defensive Player of the Week honors for his efforts vs. Abilene Christian last Saturday (Oct. 5).

Disney (6-1, 214) made 10 tackles (three solo), including a quarterback sack and three total stops behind the line of scrimmage as the Gorillas limited the Wildcats to 10 net rushing yards.

The Stilwell, Kan., native has made 32 tackles (13 solo) with a team-leading 3.0 quarterback sacks, 7.0 tackles-for-loss and three fumble recoveries on the season.

Brown Continues to Make History
Senior wide receiver/return specialist John Brown captured Pitt State's all-time receiving record with a nine-catch, 237-yard performance in the Gorillas' game against Lincoln on Sept. 28.

Brown (5-11, 170) scored five total touchdowns in the contest to tie the PSU single game scoring record (30 points) and he compiled 294 all-purpose yards, earning MIAA Offensive Player of the Week honors.

His 237-yard receiving total ranks second on Pitt State's single game chart and fifth in MIAA single game history.

The Homestead, Fla., native now holds both the Pitt State career receptions record (151) and the Pitt State career receiving yards mark (2,740 yards). He passed Ronnie West, the only wide receiver in Division II history to win the Harlon Hill Trophy in 1991, atop the list, in his 28th game – the same number of games West played in 1990-91.

Brown now needs 310 yards to carve his name in the MIAA career receiving top 10 list.

PSU Career Receiving    G    Rec    Yards    YPG    MIAA Career Receiving    Rec    Yards
    1.    John Brown, 2011-pr.    29    151    2740    94.5        1.    Jamaica Rector, NW, 2001-04    289    4497
    2.    Ronnie West, 1990-91    28    123    2521    90.0        10.    Andre Rector, NW, 2002-05    213    3049
                                    John Brown, PSU, 2011-pres.    151    2740

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.    332    2740    952    1197    5221

Odds & Ends
    •    Junior place kicker Connor Frazell has coverted 17 of 23 (.739) career field goals and 72 of 75 (.960) career PATs.

    •    Sophomore running back Jeff Seybold, Jr. eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark for the fourth time in five games vs. ACU. Seybold rushed for a game-high 115
         yards and three TDs vs. the Wildcats.

    •    Pitt State is +7 (+1.4 pg) in turnover margin in its first five games with 12 takeaways vs. five giveaways. 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  in four 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, going 62 yards in three plays and 24 seconds elapsed to score a TD vs.
         SBU and going 66 yards in eight plays in 1:48 of elapsed time to score a TD vs. LU.

    •    Pitt State has scored on its opening possession of the game three times in 2013 and the Gorillas have scored on their opening possession of the second half in
         all five games.

Scouting the Mules
Central Missouri enters Saturday's match-up with a 1-3 mark in MIAA play, but the Mules three losses are by a combined 14 points.

As a team, the Mules are averaging 397.2 yards per game of total offense, including 300.4 yards per game through the air and 96.8 yards per game on the ground. They are averaging 30.4 points per game as well.

Junior running back LaVance Taylor (5-11, 190) has led the Mules with 289 yards on 72 carries (4.0 ypc) with one touchdown through the first five games. The Raytown, Mo. native rushed for a season-high 101 yards and caught one pass for 37 yards against Lindenwood on Sept. 21.

Junior quarterback Hayden Hawk (6-0, 195) has completed 124 of 185 passes for 1,482 yards with 13 touchdowns and one interception. Against Lindenwood ,the Coppell, Texas, native completed 31 of 39 passes for 401 yards and five touchdowns.

Senior wide receiver Ronrei Lloyd (6-3, 190) has been Hawk's favorite target through five games. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native has caught 34 passes for 538 yards and five touchdowns. Against Northwest Missouri, Lloyd tallied eight catches for 131 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Junior wide receiver Anthony Kirkwood (6-0, 185) has hauled in 19 catches for 294 yards and three touchdowns. Against Northwest Missouri the St. Louis, Mo., native logged four catches for 86 yards and a score.

Central Missouri's defense is led by sophomore linebacker Ricky Spratley (6-2, 220). The St. Louis, Mo., native has recorded 41 tackles, including 3.5 tackles-for-loss with two pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Junior defensive tackle Ramond Hunter (6-2, 290) has led the Mules with 5.5 tackles-for-loss and 2.0 sacks. The St. Louis, Mo., native also has recorded 19 tackles on the season.  



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