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No. 6 Gorillas Set for Road Game Against Lindenwood Saturday - KOAM TV 7

No. 6 Gorillas Set for Road Game Against Lindenwood Saturday

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Press Release PSU: 

The Pittsburg State University football team, the No. 6 ranked team in NCAA Division II, will travel to St. Charles, Mo., Saturday (Nov. 9) to face Lindenwood University in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play.

Kickoff is set for 2:37 p.m. (CST) at LWU's Hunter Stadium.

Pittsburg State, the winningest all-time NCAA Division II program, brings an 8-1 overall record and a 6-1 mark in MIAA action into Saturday's contest. The Gorillas posted a lopsided 70-0 victory over Northwestern Oklahoma State University in their last action last Saturday (Nov. 2).

LWU brings a 3-5 overall record and 2-5 MIAA slate into Saturday's game.  The Lions had their match-up against Missouri Southern State University postponed last Saturday (Nov. 2).  LWU dropped a 44-35 decision to Washburn University in its last action on Oct. 26.

Saturday's game will be televised live locally on Cox Cable 22 and across the MIAA geographical footprint, including KCMO (channel 62) in Kansas City, via the MIAA TV Network.

The Coaches
Tim Beck has compiled a 34-11 (.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 second meeting vs. LWU. He is 0-1 against the Lions.

LWU's Patrick Ross is in his 10th year leading the Lions and his 12th year as a collegiate coach. Ross (Puget Sound, '97) has compiled an 85-31 (.733) record at LWU and a 99-38 (.723) overall mark. This will be Ross' second meeting vs. Pitt State. He is 1-0 against the Gorillas.

The Pitt State-Lindenwood Series
This will be the second all-time meeting between Pitt State and Lindenwood.

The two teams met for the first time in 2012, the Lions' first year as MIAA members.  LWU claimed a 44-33 victory over the Gorillas in Pittsburg on Nov. 3.

PSU's Regular Season Success
Pitt State has won 264 of its last 311 regular season games, posting a phenomenal 264-45-2 (.852) mark during the past 29 seasons (1985-2013). PSU is 145-14-1 at home, 115-22-1 on the road and 4-9-0 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 10 101 times in the last 187 polls and the Gorillas have been ranked in the top 25 poll in 161 of 187 weeks overall (dating back to the 1999 season).

Gorillas on the Road
Pitt State has posted a 66-21-0 (.759) record in its last 86 road games (including post-season play).  The Gorillas are 77-23-1 (.767) on the road since the start of the 1994 season.  

Lindenwood is 6-4 (.600) at home since 2012 when the school started participating as an NCAA Division II program, including a 2-2 mark in games played at St. Charles, Mo., this season.

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 671-330-48 overall record, winning 66.3 percent of their 1,049 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 648 victories, followed by Hillsdale (607), Central Oklahoma (593) and Texas A&M-Kingsville (590).

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 283 of 338 overall games.  The Gorillas have posted a 252-30-1 (.892) record when they eclipse 200 yards rushing.  Pitt State is an even more impressive 138-6-0 (.958) when it eclipses 300 yards rushing.

By contrast, PSU is just 25-31-1 (.447) 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 97,205 yards (including postseason competition) for an average of 287.6 yards per game.

The Gorillas currently rank 18th nationally in rushing, averaging 253.8 yards per game on the ground. Pitt State has rushed the ball 413 times for 2,284 yards (5.5 ypc) and 29 touchdowns on the season.

… 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 25,349 yards and 190 TDs, averaging 228.4 passing yards and 1.7 touchdown passes per game in the last 111 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 262.8 passing yards in nine games with 23 touchdowns and five 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 589 scoring drives (504 TDs, 85 FGs) and averaged just 2:50 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    61 scoring drives (52 TDs, 9 FGs)    2:38 elapsed time

The Gorillas have been highly successful when they are quick out of the gates.  Pitt State has scored on its opening drive 51 times (43 TDs, 8 FGs) in the last 105 games, posting a 48-3 (.941) record in those games. By contrast, Pitt State is 29-25 (.537) 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 sixth nationally in scoring (45.1 ppg), 18th nationally in rushing offense (253.8 ypg) and 11th in total offense (516.6 ypg).

Pitt State Defense Records Shutout
The Pitt State defense recorded its first shutout since the final game of the 2007 season when the Gorillas blanked Northwestern Oklahoma State last Saturday (Nov. 2). It snapped an uncharacteristic streak of 68 games without a shutout for the Gorillas.

Since joining NCAA Division II in 1989, Pitt State has recorded 31 shutouts. The Gorillas recorded one or more shutout in every year between 1989 and 2007, except 1998.

No MIAA team has recorded more shutouts in the last 25 seasons (1989-2013) than Pitt State. Central Missouri has the second-most shutouts with 19, while NW Missouri State is third with 13.

Dreiling Approaching Tackle Records
Senior linebacker Nate Dreiling enters Saturday's action against Lindenwood needing nine tackles to set the Pitt State record in the category.

Dreiling (6-4, 226) has made 462 career tackles in 45 games (10.3 pg). The Hutchinson/Victoria, Kan., native trails former All-American Chris Brown (470) by eight tackles on the school's all-time list.

Dreiling also has climbed to fourth on the MIAA's all-time tackle list. He needs nine stops to pass Brown for third place on the conference chart and he can climb as high as No. 2 on the list with 12 stops against the Lions.

Truman's Marti Rave (1977-79) holds the MIAA career tackle mark (489).

For the season, Dreiling has made 80 tackles with 7.5 tackles-for-loss, 1.0 quarterback sack, an interception and four pass breakups.

PSU Career Tackles    Total    MIAA Career Tackles    Total
    1.    Chris Brown, 1992-95    470        1.    Marti Rave, Truman, 1977-79    489
    2.    Nate Dreiling, 2010-pres.    462        2.    Zach Watkins, WU, 2006-09    473
                    3.    Chris Brown, PSU, 1992-95    470
                    4.    Nate Dreiling, Pitt State, 2010-pres.    462

Abenoja Ranks Fourth in Nation in Passing Efficiency
Junior quarterback Tony Abenoja currently ranks fourth in NCAA Division II with a 180.7 passer rating. He also ranks 19th nationally in completion percentage (.653) and passing touchdowns (22).

Abenoja (6-3, 210) has completed 145 of 222 passes for 2,303 yards (255.9 ypg) and 22 touchdowns with five interceptions.  The Overland Park, Kan., native also has rushed the ball 82 times for 260 yards (3.2 ypc) and three touchdowns.

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

For his career, Abenoja has completed 329 of 502 passes (.655) for 4,897 yards and 40 touchdowns with 15 interceptions.  He's also rushed 175 times for 472 yards (2.7 ypc) and six TDs, compiling 5,369 yards of total offense. Abenoja already holds the school record for completion percentage (.655). He ranks fourth on PSU's career passing yards list, third in career passing touchdowns and he also ranks eighth in total offense.

Abenoja also improved to 15-4 (.779) as the Gorillas starting quarterback.

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 (174) and the Pitt State career receiving yards mark (3,129 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 currently ranks eighth on the MIAA career receiving top 10 list.  He needs 160 yards Saturday to climb as high as fifth place on the conference list.

For the season, Brown has 50 catches for 947 yards (18.9 ypc) and 11 touchdowns, averaging 105.2 receiving yards per game.

PSU Career Receiving    G    Rec    Yards    YPG            
    1.    John Brown, 2011-pr.    33    174    3129    94.8         
    2.    Ronnie West, 1990-91    28    123    2521    90.0                                            

MIAA Career Receiving    Rec    Yards
    1.    Jamaica Rector, NW, 2001-04    289    4497

    5.    Sam Sissom, WU, 2002-06    191    3288
    6.    Kendall Wright, NWMSU, 2005-08    243    3253
    7.    Lester McCoy, ESU, 1997-00    193    3234
    8.    John Brown, PSU, 2011-pres.    174    3129

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.    362    3129    1009    1260    5767

Seybold Achieves 1,000-yard Season
Sophomore running back Jeff Seybold, Jr. achieved a 1,000-yard rushing season last Saturday (Nov. 2), after rushing for 125 yards and three touchdowns against Northwestern Oklahoma State.

Seybold (5-11, 208) now has 1035 rushing yards, on 151 carries, on the season, averaging 115.0 yards per game.  The Lincoln, Neb., native has 19 touchdowns – 18 rushing, 1 receiving – to lead the MIAA and rank fourth nationally in scoring (12.7 ppg).

Seybold, who has six 100-yard rushing games on the season, earned MIAA Offensive Player of the Week honors when he rushed for 179 yards and three TDs vs. Missouri Western on Oct. 26. He also rushed for a season-high 187 yards and two TDs vs. Lincoln on Sept. 28.

Odds and Ends
    •    Junior place kicker Connor Frazell has converted 20 of 26 (.769) career field goals and 90 of 93 (.968) career PATs.
    •    Pitt State is +12 (+1.3 pg) in turnover margin in its first nine games with 24 takeaways vs. 12 giveaways. The Gorillas are 12-0 during
         Coach Beck's tenure in games they are +2 or better in turnover margin.
    •    Pitt State has scored on its opening possession of the game five times in 2013 and the Gorillas have scored on their opening
         possession of the second half in four of the first nine games.

Scouting the Lions
Lindenwood enters Saturday's action averaging 373.8 total yards per game as well as 24.1 points per game.  The Lions average 296.6 passing yards per game.

Sophomore quarterback Dillon Miller (6-0, 195) has completed 180 of 295 (.604) passes for 2,191 yards with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. His 2,191 yards ranks him third in the MIAA in yards per game. In the team's last game against Washburn, Miller completed 27 of 38 passes for 327 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Junior Alex Robinson (5-9, 178), sophomore Alex Gater (5-10, 178) and sophomore Jaron Alexander (6-0, 175) provide Miller with a trio of playmaking wide receivers. Robinson has hauled in 42 catches for 565 (13.5 ypc) yards and six touchdowns, while Gater has totaled 40 catches for 427 (10.7 ypc) yards with a pair of touchdowns. Alexander has caught 39 passes for 553 (14.2 ypc) yards with three touchdowns.

Junior running back Marvin Byrd (5-10, 194) has paced the Lions on the ground with 530 yards on 125 carries (4.2 ypc) with seven TDs.

Lindenwood's defense is led by freshman linebacker Clint Koons (5-1, 215). The Wentzville, Mo., native has recorded 54 tackles on the year.
Pierre Desir (6-2, 206), a returning All-American cornerback, has notched four interceptions and seven PBUs during his senior campaign.

Senior defensive end Thomas Stubbs (6-5, 255) leads the Lions defensive line with 37 stops, including 7.0 tackles for loss and 3.5 quarterback sacks.

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