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No. 8 Gorillas to Battle Ichabods at Topeka Saturday - KOAM TV 7

No. 8 Gorillas to Battle Ichabods at Topeka Saturday

Updated:
Press Release PSU:

The Pittsburg State University football team, the No. 8 ranked team in NCAA Division II, will travel to Topeka, Kan., Saturday (Sept. 20) to face MIAA rival Washburn University.
Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. (CDT) at Washburn's Yager Stadium.

Pittsburg State, the winningest all-time NCAA Division II program, improved to 2-0 on the young season with a 38-7 road win over Lindenwood University last Thursday (Sept. 11) at St. Charles, Mo. The Gorillas blanked Northeastern State University, 37-0, in their season opener in Pittsburg on Sept. 6.

Washburn leveled its season record at 1-1 with a hard-fought 10-7 road win against the University of Nebraska-Kearney last Thursday (Sept. 11).  The Ichabods dropped a 44-38 decision in Topeka in the season opener against Lindenwood on Sept. 4.

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 is in his fifth season as head coach at Pitt State. He has compiled a 38-12 (.760) career record.  

Beck led his alma mater (PSU, '88) to the 2011 NCAA Division II National Championship three 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.

In 2013, the Gorillas opened the season 5-0 before finishing the year 7-3 overall, while last year Pitt State posted the program's 20th all-time 10-win season during a 10-2 campaign.

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. the Ichabods.  He is 1-2 vs. Washburn, including a 31-22 victory over the Ichabods in the last meeting in the NCAA-II playoffs on Nov. 26, 2011.


Craig Schurig is in his 13th season directing the Ichabods program and his 13th year as a collegiate coach.  Schurig (Colorado Mines, '87), who became head coach at Washburn in 2002 after eight seasons as an assistant at Pitt State (1994-2001), has an 88-52-0 (.629) record leading the Ichabods. He is 5-6 all-time vs. Pitt State, including a 3-2 mark at Topeka.

The Pitt State-Washburn Series
This will be the 85th all-time meeting between the Gorillas and the Ichabods in a series that dates all the way back to the 1921 season.

The two teams met annually from 1941-2011, but did not face one another the past two seasons (2012-13)thanks to an unbalanced MIAA schedule.

Pitt State holds a commanding 61-22-1 advantage in the series.  The Gorillas are 30-13-0 vs. the Ichabods at Topeka all-time, but WU has won the last three match-ups at Yager Stadium.
The Gorillas are 28-5 vs. Washburn in the last 33 meetings overall.

The last time the two teams met, Pitt State claimed a 31-22 victory over Washburn in the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs on Nov. 26, 2011, in Pittsburg en route to capturing the 2011 NCAA Division II National Championship.

PSU's Regular Season Success
Pitt State has won 267 of its last 315 regular season games, posting a phenomenal 267-46-2 (.850) mark during the past 30 seasons (1985-2014). PSU is 146-15-1 at home, 117-22-1 on the road and 4-9-0 at neutral sites in the regular season during that span.

Gorillas on the Road
Pitt State has posted a 68-21-0 (.764) record in its last 89 road games (including post-season play), including 15 straight road wins dating back to the 2010 season.

The Gorillas have not dropped a road game since a 17-14 setback against Emporia State on Oct. 9, 2010. During the current 15-game streak, Pitt State has averaged a 39-16 victory over its opponents.

During the last 20 years (1994-pres.), the Gorillas are an equally impressive 79-23-1 (.772) on the road.  

Washburn is 44-24 (.647) at home since 2002 when Coach Schurig took over the program. The Ichabods, who dropped their home opener to Lindenwood on Sept. 4, are 13-6 (.684) at home in their last 19 games.

Pitt State in the AFCA Top 25 Poll
Pitt State has been ranked in Division II's top 10 107 times in the last 193 polls and the Gorillas have been ranked in the top 25 poll in 167 of 193 weeks overall (dating back to the 1999 season).
The Gorillas, the preseason No. 9 team in NCAA Division II, held steady at No. 8 in this week's poll released Monday (Sept. 15).

The Ichabods are 5-19 against nationally-ranked opponents dating back to the 2007 season, including seven straight losses. WU is 1-10 against top 10 teams during that same time span.

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 285 of 343 overall games.  The Gorillas have posted a 254-30-1 (.893) record when they eclipse 200 yards rushing.  Pitt State is an even more impressive 139-6-0 (.959) when it eclipses 300 yards rushing.

By contrast, PSU is just 27-32-1 (.458) 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 98,205 yards (including postseason competition) for an average of 286.3 yards per game.

… 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 26,560 yards and 202 TDs, averaging 229.0 passing yards and 1.7 touchdown passes per game in the last 116 outings.

In 2013, quarterback Anthony Abenoja established a new single-season passing record, averaging 246.2 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 averaged 247.7 passing yards with 31 touchdowns and five interceptions last year.

Quick Strike Offense
The Pitt State offense has exhibited a penchant for being a "quick strike" unit.

During the last 10 seasons (2005-14), the Pitt State offense has generated 623 scoring drives (530 TDs, 93 FGs) and averaged just 2:47 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    83 scoring drives (70 TDs, 13 FGs)    2:29 elapsed time
2009    49 scoring drives (44 TDs, 5 FGs)    3:21 elapsed time    2014    12 scoring drives (8 TDs, 4 FGs)    2:59 elapsed time

The Gorillas have been highly successful when they are quick out of the gates.  Pitt State has scored on its opening drive 55 times (45 TDs, 10 FGs) in the last 110 games, posting a 52-3 (.945) 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 11 seasons (2004-14). 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 eight 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), while the Gorillas ranked 24th nationally in total offense (454.4 ypg) and 27th in the country in rushing offense (204.6 ypg) in 2012. Last year, Pitt State ranked third nationally in scoring (46.5 ppg) and 10th in the country in total offense (499.0 ypg).

Pitt State Defense Records shutout
The Pitt State defense recorded its second shutout in five games, dating back to the 2013 season, when the Gorillas blanked Northeastern State, 37-0, on Sept. 6.
The Gorillas also blanked Northwestern Oklahoma State University, 70-0, on Nov. 2, 2013.

Since joining NCAA Division II in 1989, Pitt State has recorded 32 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 26 seasons (1989-2014) than Pitt State. Central Missouri has the second-most shutouts with 19, while NW Missouri State is third with 13.

Abenoja Approaches PSU Passing Record
Senior quarterback Anthony Abenoja is in his third year directing the high-powered Pitt State offense.

Abenoja (6-3, 217) has compiled a 19-5 (.792) record as the Gorillas' starter under center.

The Overland Park, Kan., native became Pitt State's all-time passing leader last Thursday (Sept. 11) against Lindenwood, when he completed 20 of 31 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns.
For the season, he has completed 38 of 54 passes (.704) for 553 yards (276.5 ypg) and four touchdowns with no interceptions. He currently leads the MIAA and ranks ninth in NCAA Division II in passing efficiency with a 180.8 rating.

For his career, Abenoja has completed 405 of 652 passes (.621) for 6,101 yards and 52 touchdowns.

Abenoja has recorded three of the top four single-game passing totals in school history, including a 442-yard passing performance against Lincoln as a junior in 2013. He already holds the school's career completions record, and he also ranks fifth on Pitt State's career total offense list with 6,701 yards.

PSU Career Passing Yards    Comp-Att    Yards
    1.    Anthony Abenoja, 2011-pr.    405-652    6101

PSU Career Passing Touchdowns    TDs
    1.    Neal Philpot, 2001-04    61
    2.    Anthony Abenoja, 2011-pr.    52

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

    3.    Mark Smith, 2005-08    5190    2367    7554
    4.    Germaine Race, 2003-06    0    6985    6985
    5.    Anthony Abenoja, 2011-pr.    6101    600    6701

Seybold Fuels Ground Game
Junior running back Jeff Seybold, Jr. continues his pursuit of Pitt State's top 20 rushing list.

Seybold, who rushed for 1,434 yards (119.5 ypg) and 22 touchdowns during an All-American sophomore campaign in 2013, has scored a team-leading three touchdowns to date – one rushing score and two receiving.

Seybold (5-11, 199) has carried the ball 13 times for 42 yards on the season.

For his career, the Lincoln, Neb., native has rushed the ball 277 times for 1,775 yards and 25 TDs.  He needs 301 yards to crack Pitt State's top 20 rushing list.

PSU Career Rushing Yards    Carries    Yards
    1.    Germaine Race, 2003-06    941    6985

    19.    Albert Schmidt, 1968-71    442    2152
    20.    Jeff Moreland, 1991-95    564    2075
        Jeff Seybold, 2012-pres.    277    1775

Washington Making Impact in Secondary
Sophomore safety Deron Washington has made an interception in each of the Gorillas' first two games.

Washington (6-1, 200) returned an INT 98 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter of the Gorillas' road game against Lindenwood last Thursday (Sept. 11).  His "pick six" halted a potential LWU scoring drive and gave Pitt State a 31-0 lead in an eventual 38-7 victory.

Washington also recorded an INT in the Gorillas' season opener vs. Northeastern State. The Raymore, Mo., native currently leads the MIAA and ranks in a tie for fifth place in NCAA Division II in interceptions (1.0 pg).

Washington also had made nine tackles (three solo) on the season.

Bausby Climbs PBU List
Senior cornerback De'Vante Bausby intercepted a pass in the Pitt State end zone to thwart a scoring drive and also recorded a pass break-up in the Gorillas' season opener against Northeastern State.

Bausby (6-2, 179) now has 22 career pass break-ups, taking sole possession of fifth place on PSU's career list. The Kansas City, Mo., native also recorded his eighth career interception in the game against the RiverHawks.

PSU Career Pass Break-ups    PBUs
    1.    Ted Adams, 1986-89    40

    4.    Donnie Johnson, 1985-88    25
    5.    De'Vante Bausby, 2011-pres.    22

Frazell Steady in Kicking Game
Senior place kicker Connor Frazell has provided a steady leg to Pitt State's kicking game the past three seasons.

Frazell (6-0, 183) booted three field goals – from 26, 35 and 36 yards – in the Gorillas' season-opening win vs. Northeastern State.  He added a 24-yard kick against Lindenwood on Sept. 11.

The Iola, Kan., native established a new PSU record by making 14 consecutive field goals – he made the final 10 field goal attempts of the 2013 season and his first four tries in 2014 before registering his first miss.

For his career, Frazell has converted 28 of 37 (.757) field goals and 116 of 119 (.975) PATs to tally 200 career points (8.3 ppg).

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

    3.    Nathan Alleman, 2003-06    29
    4.    Connor Frazell, 2012-pr.    28
                    
PSU Career Kick Scoring    Points
    1.    Nathan Alleman, 2003-06    401

    4.    Jared Witter, 2007-10    211
    5.    Connor Frazell, 2012-pr.    200

Scouting the Ichabods
Washburn has 13 starters (eight offense, five defense) back from a 2013 team which posted a 7-3 overall record.  The Ichabods are 1-4 in their last five games, after opening 7-0 last year.

Senior quarterback Mitch Buhler will make his 23rd career start for WU Saturday. Buhler (6-2, 215) has completed 40 of 81 (.494) passes for for 465 yards (232.5 ypg) and five touchdowns with two INTs. He has 4,337 career passing yards with 45 TDs to his credit.

Senior running back Vershon Moore has rushed the ball 30 times for a team-leading 162 yards (5.4 ypc). Moore (5-9, 200) needs 874 rushing yards to become the school's all-time rushing leader.

Senior wide receiver DaJuan Beard has been Buhler's favorite target. Beard (6-2, 200) has eight catches for 59 yards (7.4 ypc) and three TDs.

Defensively, sophomore safety Calvin Kenney (6-2, 210) has made a team-leading 17 tackles with 1.5 TFLs and one interception. Sophomore defensive end Akhmad Abdul-Razzaq (6-4, 240) also has made 16 tackles (five solo) with a team-leading 3.0 TFLs.
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