Press Release Pittsburg State University:
The Pittsburg State University football team will make its 30th all-time post-season appearance Saturday (Dec. 7) when the Gorillas face Southwest Minnesota State University in the 2013 Mineral Water Bowl at Excelsior Springs, Mo.
Kickoff is set for 12 Noon (CST) at Tiger Stadium.
Pittsburg State, the winningest all-time NCAA Division II program, brings a 9-2 overall record into the bowl game. The Gorillas, the No. 17 team in NCAA Division II, dropped a 35-21 decision to MIAA rival Missouri Southern in the regular season finale on Nov. 16 to finish third in the MIAA standings and narrowly miss an invitation to the 24-team NCAA Division II playoffs.
SMSU won its final four regular season games to post a 7-4 overall record – posting the most wins since the program's 1991 squad enjoyed a 9-1 campaign. The Mustangs, who compete in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, wrapped up the regular season with a 34-24 road win over Augustana (S.D.) on Nov. 16.
Tim Beck has compiled a 35-12 (.745) 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 first meeting vs. SMSU.
Cory Sauter is in his fourth season as head coach at SMSU. Sauter (Minnesota, '97) previously served as the Mustangs offensive coordinator from 2008-09 before being promoted to the head coaching position. Prior to that, he served as quarterbacks coach of the Berlin Thunder in 2007.
Sauter spent six seasons as a quarterback in the NFL (1998-2003), after playing for four years at the University of Minnesota.
He has compiled an 18-26 (.409) record at SMSU. This will be Sauter's first meeting against the Gorillas.
The Pitt State - SMSU Series
This will be the first all-time meeting between the Gorillas and the Mustangs.
Gorillas vs. the Northern Sun
While Pitt State and SW Minnesota State have not faced one another in the past, the Gorillas have played 20 games against current Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference schools over the years, compiling an 18-2 (.900) record against those teams.
A majority of those contests – 17 of them – came prior to Pitt State joining the NCAA Division II membership in 1989.
The Gorillas are 10-2 against Wayne State (Neb.), 2-0 against Augustana (S.D.) and Northern State, and 1-0 against Bemidji State, Concordia-St. Paul, Minnesota State Moorhead and St. Cloud State.
Seventh-ranked Pitt State defeated No. 6 SCSU, 46-14, on Sep. 13, 2003, in Pittsburg. The Gorillas defeated Bemidji State, 35-27, in the 2006 Mineral Water Bowl and Concordia-St. Paul, 13-9, in the 2010 Mineral Water Bowl.
Pitt State downed MSU Moorhead, 14-13, in the semifinals of the 1981 NAIA national playoffs; and the Gorillas posted a pair of wins over NSU in the first round of the 1987 (57-0) and 1988 (38-14) NAIA playoffs.
PSU's Regular Season Success
Pitt State has won 265 of its last 313 regular season games, posting a phenomenal 265-46-2 (.850) mark during the past 29 seasons (1985-2013). PSU is 145-15-1 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 10 103 times in the last 189 polls and the Gorillas have been ranked in the top 25 poll in 163 of 189 weeks overall (dating back to the 1999 season).
Gorillas in the Post Season
Pitt State is making its 30th appearance in post-season play in the 105-year history of the program with its berth in the 2013 Mineral Water Bowl.
The Gorillas have qualified for the national playoffs 24 times including NAIA National Championships in 1957 and 1961 and NCAA Division II National Championships in 1991 and 2011. Pitt State also has an NAIA national runner-up finish to its credit in 1981 as well as NCAA-II national runner-up finishes in 1992, 1995 and 2004.
This will be Pitt State's sixth post-season bowl appearance, including the Gorillas' third invitation to the Mineral Water Bowl. Pitt State defeated Bemidji State of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, 35-27, in 2006; and the Gorillas pulled out a 13-9 win over Concordia-St. Paul in the 2010 Mineral Water Bowl. The Gorillas are 3-2 in five previous bowl appearances.
SMSU is making its third all-time post-season appearance. The Mustangs qualified for the NAIA national playoffs in 1987 and 1990, falling in first-round action both years.
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 672-331-48 overall record, winning 66.2 percent of their 1,051 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 (608), Central Oklahoma (594) and Texas A&M-Kingsville (590).
SW Minnesota State has compiled a 172-283-5 (.379) record in 45 seasons of play.
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 340 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 25-32-1 (.440) 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 97,550 yards (including postseason competition) for an average of 286.9 yards per game.
The Gorillas currently rank 18th nationally in rushing, averaging 239.0 yards per game on the ground. Pitt State has rushed the ball 486 times for 2,629 yards (5.5 ypc) and 34 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 25,677 yards and 193 TDs, averaging 227.2 passing yards and 1.7 touchdown passes per game in the last 113 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 239.2 passing yards with 26 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 599 scoring drives (512 TDs, 87 FGs) and averaged just 2:48 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 71 scoring drives (60 TDs, 11 FGs) 2:31 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 107 games, posting a 49-3 (.942) record in those games. By contrast, Pitt State is 29-26 (.527) 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 Concluding Record-Setting Career
Senior linebacker Nate Dreiling became the Pitt State all-time tackle leader against Lindenwood on Nov. 9 and he climbed into a tie for the top spot in MIAA history against Missouri Southern on Nov. 16.
Dreiling (6-4, 226) made a game-high 14 stops in the regular season finale against the Lions. He now has 489 tackles in 47 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, a first-team All-MIAA selection for a third straight year, now needs one tackle to pass Truman's Marti Rave and become the MIAA's all-time leading tackler. Rave made 489 tackles from 1977-79.
With his 14 tackles against MSSU, Dreiling moved into third place on the NCAA Division II career tackle list. (NCAA tackle records began in 2000)
For the season, Dreiling has made 107 tackles with 9.5 tackles-for-loss, 1.0 quarterback sack, an interception and four pass breakups.
Dreiling is bidding to become just the second position player in Pitt State history to earn All-America honors in four seasons. Among his honors, Dreiling was named the co-National Freshman of the Year in 2010 as well as the National Defensive Player of the Year in 2011, both from the Don Hansen Football Committee. He also earned All-America honors from the American Football Coaches Association in 2011 and he was named to the A.P. Little All-America Team in both 2011 and 2012.
PSU Career Tackles Total
1. Nate Dreiling, 2010-pres. 489
2. Chris Brown, 1992-95 470
MIAA Career Tackles Total
1. Marti Rave, Truman, 1977-79 489
1. Nate Dreiling, Pitt State, 2010-pres. 489
NCAA Division II Career Tackles Total
1. Deric Sieck, Winona State, 2000-03 517
2. Jason Ocean, Livingstone, 2000-03 516
3. Nate Dreiling, Pitt State, 2010-pres. 489
Abenoja Ranks Seventh in Nation in Passing Efficiency
Junior quarterback Tony Abenoja currently ranks seventh in NCAA Division II with a 173.4 passer rating. He also ranks 25th in passing touchdowns (25) and 32nd nationally in completion percentage (.626).
Abenoja (6-3, 210) has completed 166 of 265 passes for 2,631 yards (239.2 ypg) and 25 touchdowns with five interceptions. The Overland Park, Kan., native also has rushed the ball 96 times for 289 yards (3.0 ypc) and four 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 350 of 545 passes (.642) for 5,225 yards and 43 touchdowns with 15 interceptions. He's also rushed 189 times for 501 yards (2.7 ypc) and seven TDs, compiling 5,726 yards of total offense.
Abenoja ranks second in school history for completion percentage (.642). He ranks third on PSU's career passing yards list, second in career passing touchdowns and he also ranks sixth in total offense.
Abenoja is 16-5 (.762) 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. Anthony Abenoja, 2011-pr. 350-545 5225
PSU Single Season Passing Yards Comp-Att Yards
1. Andy Majors, 2005 198-346 3065
2. Anthony Abenoja, 2013 166-265 2631
PSU Career Passing Touchdowns TDs
1. Neal Philpot, 2001-04 61
2. Andy Majors, 2002-05 43
2. Anthony Abenoja, 2011-pr. 43
PSU Single Season Passing Touchdowns TDs
1. Neal Philpot, 2004 25
1. Anthony Abenoja, 2013 25
PSU Career Total Offense Pass Rush Total
1. Neal Philpot, 2001-04 5831 4337 10168
4. Germaine Race, 2003-06 0 6985 6985
5. Ronald Moore, 1989-92 0 5776 5776
6. Anthony Abenoja, 2011-pr. 5225 501 5726
PSU Single Season Total Offense Pass Rush Total
1. Andy Majors, 2005 3065 963 4028
3. Mark Smith, 2008 2348 968 3316
4. Neal Philpot, 2004 1825 1398 3223
5. Anthony Abenoja, 2011-pr. 2631 289 2920
Seybold Breaks into Top 20 List
Sophomore running back Jeff Seybold, Jr. eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing plateau on Nov. 2.
A first-team All-MIAA selection, Seybold (5-11, 208) has carried the ball 185 times for 1,249 yards and 21 touchdown on the season, averaging 113.5 yards per game. The Lincoln, Neb., native currently ranks third in the MIAA and 26th in NCAA Division II in rushing.
He enters Saturday's match-up with Southwest Minnesota State needing just 42 yards to climb as high as 15th in Pitt State single season history.
Seybold, who has rushed for 125 or more yards three of the last four games, also etched his name into Pitt State's single-season scoring list with a two-touchdown outing against Lindenwood on Nov. 9. He now has scored 22 touchdowns on the season, ranking in sixth place on the list with 132 points. Seybold is also tied for sixth in single season rushing touchdowns with 21.
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. Jeff Seybold, 2013 185 1249
18. Ronald Moore, 1990 201 1233
19. Richard Overton, 1980 250 1215
20. Justin Johnson, 1997 184 1186
PSU Single Season Scoring Points
1. Ronald Moore, 1992 254
4. Germaine Race, 2004 164
5. Nathan Alleman, 2004 133
6. Jeff Seybold, 2013 132
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 (178) and the Pitt State career receiving yards mark (3,228 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, a first-team All-MIAA selection for a third straight season (2011-13), now needs only 61 receiving yards to jump from eighth up to fifth on the MIAA career receiving top 10 list.
For the season, Brown has 54 catches for 1046 yards (19.4 ypc) and 12 touchdowns, averaging 95.1 receiving yards per game. He also has rushed the ball 15 times for 100 yards and two scores.
The two-time MIAA Special Teams Player of the Year (2012-13), Brown has averaged 34.7 yards per kickoff return, with one touchdown, and averaged 11.8 yards per punt return on the year.
A consensus All-America selection as well as the 2012 NCAA Division II National Special Teams Player of the Year (Don Hansen Football Committee), Brown is bidding to finish his career as a three-time All-America performer for the Gorillas.
PSU Career Receiving G Rec Yards YPG
1. John Brown, 2011-pr. 35 178 3228 92.2
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. 178 3228
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. 394 3228 1029 1358 6009
Disney Approaching 100-Tackle Season
Junior linebacker Tyler Disney enters Saturday's Mineral Water Bowl match-up against SMSU needing 11 tackles to eclipse the 100-tackle mark for the season.
Disney (6-1, 214), a third-team All-MIAA performer, has made 89 tackles on the season. The Overland Park, Kan., native had made a team-leading 11.0 tackles-for-loss as well as 3.5 quarterback sacks. He also has forced two fumbles and recovered four others.
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 58 of 59 PAT tries (.983). The Iola, Kan., native has scored 91 points (8.3 ppg).
For his career, Frazell is 22 of 29 on field goals (.759) and 97 of 100 on PATs (.970), scoring 163 points in 21 games (7.8 ppg).
Frazell needs two points against SMSU to break into the top five list for single season kick scoring. He needs 36 more points to break into the top five list for career kick scoring. Frazell, an honorable mention All-MIAA selection, 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. 163
PSU Single Season Kick Scoring Points
1. Nathan Alleman, 2004 133
4. James Jenkins, 1990 99
5. Mike Bowman, 1986 92
Connor Frazell, 2013 91
Odds & Ends
• Pitt State is +16 (+1.5 pg) in turnover margin with 29 takeaways vs. 13 giveaways, ranking 11th in NCAA
Division II in the category. The Gorillas are 13-1 during Coach Beck's tenure in games they are +2 or better in
• 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 11 games, including all five road games when the Gorillas
have called the toss.
Scouting the Mustangs
Like the Gorillas, SMSU enters the Mineral Water Bowl with one of the most prolific offensive attacks in NCAA Division II.
The Mustangs are scoring 41.9 points per game and averaging 535.6 yards of total offense (288.5 passing, 247.2 rushing) on the year.
SMSU rank fifth in Division II in total offense, 11th in the country in scoring and 16th nationally in rushing.
The Mustangs roster includes one of nine national finalists for the 2013 Harlon Hill Trophy – junior running back Tyler Tonderum.
Tonderum (5-10, 191) has rushed the ball 315 times for 1,979 yards (6.3 ypc) with 18 touchdowns, ranking second in Division II in rushing. He also has caught 32 passes for 274 yards (8.6 ypc) and one score, helping him rank third nationally in all-purpose yards (209.4 ypg).
Junior quarterback Charlie Kern (6-3, 200) has completed 258 of 396 (.652) passes for 2,992 yards with 32 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Kern also has rushed for 431 yards on 119 (3.6 ypc) carries with seven more touchdowns. He ranks 20th in the nation in total offense (311.2 ypg).
Kern has four receivers that have surpassed the 40-catch and 400-yard mark on the season. Senior Britt Wickett (5-10, 182) has hauled in a team-leading 55 receptions for 478 yards (8.7 ypc) with two touchdowns. The Mustangs' big play threat is senior Anthony Dean. Dean (6-2, 203) has recorded 46 catches for 931 yards (20.2 ypc) with 17 TDs. He is currently tied for second in NCAA Division II in receiving touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Jordan Cross (6-3, 214) and senior tight end Cody Condon (6-4, 237) have combined for 87 catches for 997 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Defensively, the Mustangs allow 35.8 points and 458.3 total yards per game (236.2 passing, 221.1 rushing).
Junior defensive end A.J. Page (6-6, 231) leads the Mustangs with 102 tackles, 15.0 TFLs, 6.0 quarterback sacks, four PBUs and one INT.
Senior safety Tank Bunkers (6-0, 200) has recorded 90 tackles, 4.5 tackles-for-loss and two forced fumbles.
Sophomore cornerback Donovan Woods (5-11, 185) also had made 59 tackles, with a team-high six pass breakups and four interceptions.
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