No. 6 Gorillas Set to Host Southern in Regular Season Finale - KOAM TV 7

No. 6 Gorillas Set to Host Southern in Regular Season Finale


Press Release PSU:

The Pittsburg State University football team, the No. 6 ranked team in NCAA Division II, will return to the friendly confines of Brandenburg Field/Carnie Smith Stadium to host Missouri Southern State University in the Sonic Miner's Bowl.

Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. (CST) at Carnie Smith Stadium.

Pittsburg State, the winningest all-time NCAA Division II program, brings a 9-1 overall record into Saturday's contest. The Gorillas rolled to a 41-6 road win over Lindenwood in their last action on Nov. 9.

Missouri Southern improved to 6-3 overall and 4-3 in MIAA play with a 55-0 home win over NAIA member Lindenwood-Belleville last Saturday (Nov. 9).  The Lions clinched their third winning season in the last 18 years with the victory over the Lynx.

The Coaches
Tim Beck has compiled a 35-11 (.761) 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. MSSU. He is 3-0 against the Lions.

Daryl Daye is in his second season as head coach at Missouri Southern. Daye (Louisiana State, '86) previously served as defensive coordinator for MSSU from 2006-09 before spending two seasons as an assistant coach with the Buffalo Bills in the NFL.  He previously served as head coach at Nicholls State from 1999-2003.  He has compiled  a 12-8 (.600) record at MSSU. This will be Daye's second meeting with Pitt State. He is 0-1 vs. the Gorillas.

The Pitt State-Missouri Southern Series
This will be the 46th all-time meeting between the Gorillas and the Lions in a series that dates back to the 1968 season – Southern's first year as a four-year school.  Pitt State holds a commanding 36-8-1 advantage in the series, including 19 straight wins.

The Gorillas are 19-2-1 vs. the Lions in Pittsburg and 17-6-0 vs. the Lions at Joplin.

The Miner's Bowl Match-Up
While Pitt State and Southern have played every year since 1968, the two teams began competing for the Miner's Bowl Trophy in 1986.

While the series has produced its share of close contests and memorable moments – the last six games have been decided by 56 combined points – the Gorillas have dominated the series, winning 26 of the 27 meetings (including the last 19).

All told, Pitt State has averaged a 36-13 victory in the 27 meetings, winning by an average score of 34-14 in Joplin.

The clash always brings out the area fans.  The Miner's Bowl game has averaged 8,240 fans in the last 18 meetings.

The Sonic Trophy Series
This is the fifth year of the Sonic Trophy Series – a cooperative effort between MSSU, PSU and Sonic to reward and honor the athletics department that performs the best in head-to-head competition throughout the course of the year.

One point is awarded in each of the 13 sports in which both departments compete. The school with the most points at the end of the year is presented the Sonic Trophy Series trophy.

The 2013-14 Sonic Trophy Series is currently tied, 1-1, heading into Saturday's football and volleyball action between the schools.  The Lions won points in men's cross country, while the Gorillas claimed the women's cross country point.

PSU's Regular Season Success
Pitt State has won 265 of its last 312 regular season games, posting a phenomenal 265-45-2 (.853) mark during the past 29 seasons (1985-2013). PSU is 145-14-1 at home, 116-22-1 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 10 102 times in the last 188 polls and the Gorillas have been ranked in the top 25 poll in 162 of 188 weeks overall (dating back to the 1999 season).

Gorillas At Home
Pitt State holds a 333-118-12 (.732) record in 463 games inside Carnie Smith Stadium (including postseason). The Gorillas are 71-13 (.845) at home  since 2000.

MSSU is 7-16 (.304) on the road since 2009, including an 2-2 mark in games played away from Joplin, Mo., this year.

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 672-330-48 overall record, winning 66.3 percent of their 1,050 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 (594) 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 284 of 339 overall games.  The Gorillas have posted a 253-30-1 (.893) 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 97,455 yards (including postseason competition) for an average of 287.5 yards per game.

The Gorillas currently rank 14th nationally in rushing, averaging 253.4 yards per game on the ground. Pitt State has rushed the ball 457 times for 2,534 yards (5.5 ypc) and 32 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 25,543 yards and 192 TDs, averaging 228.1 passing yards and 1.7 touchdown passes per game in the last 112 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 255.9 passing yards in 10 games with 25 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 596 scoring drives (509 TDs, 87 FGs) and averaged just 2:49 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    68 scoring drives (57 TDs, 11 FGs)    2:35 elapsed time

The Gorillas have been highly successful when they are quick out of the gates.  Pitt State has scored on its opening drive 52 times (44 TDs, 8 FGs) in the last 106 games, posting a 49-3 (.942) 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 seventh nationally in scoring (44.7 ppg), 14th nationally in rushing offense (253.4 ypg) and 10th in total offense (509.3 ypg).

Dreiling:  PSU Record Down, MIAA Mark to Go
Senior linebacker Nate Dreiling became the Pitt State all-time tackle leader last Saturday (Nov. 9) and moved within striking distance of the MIAA mark.

Dreiling (6-4, 226) made a game-high 13 stops against Lindenwood. He now has 475 tackles in 46 career games. The Hutchinson/Victoria, Kan., native passed former All-American Chris Brown atop the Pitt State list. Brown made 470 tackles from 1992-95.

Dreiling now needs 15 tackles to pass Truman's Marti Rave and become the MIAA's all-time leading tackler. Rave made 489 tackles from 1977-79.

For the season, Dreiling has made 93 tackles with 9.0 tackles-for-loss, 1.0 quarterback sack, an interception and four pass breakups.

PSU Career Tackles    Total    MIAA Career Tackles    Total
    1.    Nate Dreiling, 2010-pres.    475        1.    Marti Rave, Truman, 1977-79    489
    2.    Chris Brown, 1992-95    470        2.    Nate Dreiling, Pitt State, 2010-pres.    475
                            3.    Zach Watkins, WU, 2006-09    473
                    4.    Chris Brown, PSU, 1992-95    470

Disney Enjoying Solid Season
Junior linebacker Tyler Disney enjoyed a solid day in the Gorillas' 41-6 road win over Lindenwood Saturday (Nov. 9).

Disney (6-1, 214) posted his third double-digit tackle game of the season, making 11 stops (six solo) with one tackle-for-loss as well as a forced fumble against the Lions.

The Overland Park, Kan., native had made 77 tackles (36 solo) on the season with a team-leading 10 tackles-for-loss, 3.5 quarterback sacks, three fumble recovries and two forced fumbles.

Abenoja Ranks Third in Nation in Passing Efficiency
Junior quarterback Tony Abenoja currently ranks third in NCAA Division II with a 182.7 passer rating. He also ranks 19th in passing touchdowns (24) and 20th nationally in completion percentage (.655).

Abenoja (6-3, 210) has completed 154 of 237 passes for 2,497 yards (249.7 ypg) and 24 touchdowns with five interceptions.  The Overland Park, Kan., native also has rushed the ball 89 times for 275 yards (3.1 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 338 of 517 passes (.654) for 5,091 yards and 42 touchdowns with 15 interceptions.  He's also rushed 182 times for 487 yards (2.7 ypc) and six TDs, compiling 5,578 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 seventh in total offense.

Abenoja also improved to 16-4 (.800) as the Gorillas starting quarterback.

PSU Career Passing Yards    Comp-Att    Yards
    1.    Neal Philpot, 2001-04    326-678    5831
    2.    Andy Majors, 2002-05    352-597    5531
    3.    Mark Smith, 2005-08    337-521    5190
    4.    Anthony Abenoja, 2011-pr.    338-517    5091

PSU Single Season Passing Yards    Comp-Att    Yards
    1.    Andy Majors, 2005    198-346    3065
    2.    Anthony Abenoja, 2013    154-237    2497

PSU Career Passing Touchdowns    TDs
    1.    Neal Philpot, 2001-04    61
    2.    Andy Majors, 2002-05    43
    3.    Anthony Abenoja, 2011-pr.    42

PSU Single Season Passing Touchdowns    TDs
    1.    Neal Philpot, 2004    25
    2.    Anthony Abenoja, 2013    24

PSU Career Total Offense    Pass    Rush    Total
    1.    Neal Philpot, 2001-04    5831    4337    10168

    5.    Ronald Moore, 1989-92    0    5776    5776
    6.    Mark Hittner, 1976-79    4830    782    5612
    7.    Anthony Abenoja, 2011-pr.    5091    487    5578

PSU Single Season Total Offense    Pass    Rush    Total
    1.    Andy Majors, 2005    3065    963    4028

    4.    Neal Philpot, 2004    1825    1398    3223
    5.    Neal Philpot, 2003    1663    1144    2807
    6.    Anthony Abenoja, 2011-pr.    2497    275    2772

Seybold Approaching Top 20 List
Sophomore running back Jeff Seybold, Jr. eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing plateau on Nov. 2 and he now is fast approaching Pitt State's top 20 list for single season rushing.

Seybold (5-11, 208) has carried the ball 168 times for 1,169 yards and 20 touchdown on the season, averaging 116.9 yards per game.

The Lincoln, Neb., native currently ranks second in the MIAA and xxth in NCAA Division II in rushing.

He enters Saturday's match-up with Missouri Southern needing just 15 yards to break into Pitt State's top 20 list for single-season rushing.

Seybold, who has rushed for 125 or more yards in each of the Gorillas last three games, can climb as high as 16th on the list with another 100-yard contest.

Seybold also etched his name into Pitt State's single-season scoring list with a two-touchdown outing against Lindenwood last Saturday.  He now has scored 21 touchdowns on the season, ranking in a tie for sixth place on the list with 126 points.

PSU Single Season Rushing Yards    Carries    Yards
    1.    Ronald Moore, 1992    356    2585

    15.    Richard Overton, 1979    252    1291
    16.    Joey Tobin, 1993    190    1261
    17.    Ronald Moore, 1990    201    1233
    18.    Richard Overton, 1980    250    1215
    19.    Justin Johnson, 1997    184    1186
    20.    Willie Brown, 1984    194    1183
        Jeff Seybold, 2013    168    1169

PSU Single Season Scoring    Points
    1.    Ronald Moore, 1992    254

    4.    Germaine Race, 2004    164
    5.    Nathan Alleman, 2004    133
    6.    Richard Overton, 1979    126
        Monte Weathers, 1987    126
        Darren Dawson, 1989    126
        Caleb Farabi, 2007    126
        Jeff Seybold, 2013    126

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 (177) and the Pitt State career receiving yards mark (3,220 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 only 69 receiving yards to jump from eighth up to fifth on the MIAA career receiving top 10 list.

For the season, Brown has 53 catches for 1038 yards (19.6 ypc) and 12 touchdowns, averaging 103.8 receiving yards per game.

PSU Career Receiving    G    Rec    Yards    YPG  
     1.    John Brown, 2011-pr.    34    177    3220    94.7
    2.    Ronnie West, 1990-91    28    123    2521    90.0                        

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

    4.    Andrew Blakley, TSU, 1999-02    300    3458
    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.    177    3220

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.    367    3220    1029    1300    5916

Frazell Steady in Kicking Game
Junior placekicker Connor Frazell has been steady in the kicking game for the Gorillas.

Frazell has converted 11 of 13 field goals (.846) on the season as well as 55 of 56 PAT tries (.982).  The Iola, Kan., native has scored 88 points (8.8 ppg).

For his career, Frazell is 22 of 29 on field goals (.759) and 94 of 97 on PATs (.969), scoring 160 points in 20 games (8.0 ppg).

Frazell needs five points against Missouri Southern to break into the top five list for single season kick scoring.  He needs 39 more points to break into the top five list for career kick scoring. Frazell also needs one more field goal to crack the top five list for career field goals made.

Frazell's .759 field goal percentage ranks second on Pitt State's career percentage list, behind only Chase McCoy's .857 average (18 of 21) from 2011.

PSU Career Field Goals    FGs
    1.    Josh Barcus, 1995-98    44

    4.    Mike Bowman, 1985-87    27
    5.    Jared Witter, 2007-10    23
        Connor Frazell, 2012-pr.    22
PSU Career Kick Scoring    Points
    1.    Nathan Alleman, 2003-06    401

    5.    Mike Bowman, 1985-87    198
        Connor Frazell, 2012-pr.    160
PSU Single Season Kick Scoring    Points
    1.    Nathan Alleman, 2004    133

    4.    James Jenkins, 1990    99
    5.    Mike Bowman, 1986    92
        Connor Frazell, 2013    8

Odds and Ends
    •    Pitt State is +14 (+1.4 pg) in turnover margin with 27 takeaways vs. 13 giveaways, ranking 11th in NCAA Division II in the
        category. The Gorillas are 13-0 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 six times in 2013, posting a 6-0 record in those contests. The Gorillas
        have scored on their opening possession of the second half five times as well.

    •    Pitt State has won the opening coin toss in seven of 10 games, including all five road games when the Gorillas have called the toss.

Scouting the Lions
As a team, the Lions are averaging 458.2 yards per game of total offense, including 90.2 yards per game through the air and 368.0 yards per game on the ground. Missouri Southern also is averaging 34.4 points per game. The Lions lead the MIAA and rank third in NCAA Division II in rushing.

Junior running back Chris Barnwell (6-1, 215) leads the Lions potent rushing attack with 836 yards on 122 carries (6.9 ypc) and seven touchdowns. Sophomore Giresse Forchu (5-10, 180) has carried the ball 109 times for 515 yards (4.7 ypc) and five touchdowns, while senior JJ Jones has tallied a team-high eight touchdowns on 32 carries for 296 (9.2 ypc) yards.

Sophomore quarterback Jay McDowell (6-2, 190) has completed 45 of 78 (.577) passes for 812 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions. The Covington, La., native has also rushed for 669 yards on 119 (5.6 ypc) carries with seven more touchdowns.

Defensively, the Lions allow 336.8 total yards and 23.6 points per game. Southern allows 123.4 rushing and 203.4 passing yards per game.  The Lions rank fourth in the MIAA in total defense.

Senior linebacker Gatlin Ridgway (5-10, 205) leads the Lions defense with 73 tackles, including 9.5 tackles-for-loss, 5.5 quarterback sacks, one interception and two pass breakups.

Senior defensive back Elijah Swen (5-10, 170) has recorded  28 tackles, 10 pass breakups, two tackles-for-loss and two interceptions.

Senior defensive end Paco Varol (6-3, 270) also had made 35 tackles, including 6.0 tackles-for-loss and 3.5 quarterback sacks.  

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