No. 19 Gorillas Look to Rebound Against Griffons - KOAM TV 7

No. 19 Gorillas Look to Rebound Against Griffons


Press Release PSU:

The Pittsburg State University football team, the No. 19 ranked team in NCAA Division II, will travel to St. Joseph, Mo., Saturday (Oct. 4) to face MIAA rival Missouri Western State University.

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. (CDT) at MWSU's Spratt Memorial Stadium.

Pittsburg State, the winningest all-time NCAA Division II program, brings a 3-1 record into Saturday's action. The Gorillas dropped a hard-fought 7-6 decision to Fort Hays State University last Saturday (Sept. 27) in Pittsburg.
Missouri Western also brings a 3-1 mark into this week's match-up. The Griffons claimed a 26-7 victory over Lindenwood University in their most recent action on Thursday, Sept. 25, at St. Charles, Mo.

The Coaches
Tim Beck is in his fifth season as head coach at Pitt State. He has compiled a 39-13 (.750) 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 fifth meeting vs. the Griffons.  He is 2-2 vs. Western.

MWSU's Jerry Partridge is in his 18th year leading the Griffons. Partridge (Missouri Western, '85) has compiled a 135-68 (.665) record while leading his alma mater. He is 7-10 vs. Pitt State.

The Pitt State-Missouri Western Series
This will be the 39th all-time meeting between the Gorillas and Griffons in a series that dates back to the 1970 season.  Pitt State holds a 28-10 (.730) advantage in the series, including a 14-6 record against MWSU at St. Joseph, Mo.

The Gorillas are 5-2 against the Griffons at St. Joseph since 2001, including a 34-14 victory on Oct. 26, 2013. The visiting team has won six of the last eight meetings in the series.

Last year, 12th-ranked Pitt State pounded out 280 rushing yards en route to a 34-14 road win over No. 4 Missouri Western at Spratt Memorial Stadium. The Gorillas got a 24-carry, 179-yard rushing performance from Jeff Seybold, Jr. to spark the offense and help hand the Griffons their first loss of the season.

PSU's Regular Season Success
Pitt State has won 268 of its last 317 regular season games, posting a phenomenal 268-47-2 (.849) mark during the past 30 seasons (1985-2014). PSU is 146-16-1 at home, 118-22-1 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 69-21-0 (.767) record in its last 90 road games (including post-season play), including 16 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 16-game streak, Pitt State has averaged a 39-15 victory over its opponents.

During the last 20 years (1994-pres.), the Gorillas are an equally impressive 80-23-1 (.774) on the road.  

Western has posted a 43-15 (.741) record in home games since 2005. The Griffons are 16-6 (.727) in their last 22 home games overall, but the losses include victories by the Gorillas in their last two trips to Spratt Stadium: 34-7 on Sept. 1, 2011, and 34-14 on Oct. 26, 2013.

Pitt State in the AFCA Top 25 Poll
Pitt State has been ranked in Division II's top 10 107 times in the last 194 polls and the Gorillas have been ranked in the top 25 poll in 168 of 194 weeks overall (dating back to the 1999 season).
Following their 7-6 loss to Fort Hays State, the Gorillas slid 11 spots from No. 8 to No. 19 in this week's poll released Monday, Sept. 29.

All-Time Winningest Programs
Pittsburg State is the all-time winningest NCAA Division II football program.  The Gorillas, who are in their 107th season of intercollegiate competition, have compiled a 676-332-48 overall record, winning 66.3 percent of their 1,056 all-time games.

Pittsburg State is one of just 17 NCAA Division II institutions to have recorded 500 all-time victories and the Gorillas are just one of four schools to have reached the 600-win plateau.  Tuskegee is second on the all-time list with 651 victories, followed by Hillsdale (610), Carson-Newman (601) and Central Oklahoma (597).

Pitt State Defense Leads Country in Points Allowed
The Pittsburg State University defense has allowed just two touchdowns in the Gorillas first four games, a scant 3.5 points per game average.

Pitt State has posted two shutouts – 37-0 over Northeastern State in Pittsburg on Sept. 6 and 42-0 over Washburn at Topeka on Sept. 20 – and currently leads NCAA Division II in scoring defense.

The Gorillas last posted two shutouts in a season in 2007. That squad posted three shutouts during an 8-3 campaign.

Pitt State's 14 points allowed is the lowest four-game total since 1961, when the Gorillas posted five straight shutouts to open their National Championship campaign.  That squad allowed just seven points in their first eight games, with seven shutouts, and ended the season allowing just 45 points in 11 games (4.1 ppg).

Lowest PSU Four-Game Opponent Scoring Total to Open a Season (since 1950)
    1.    0    1961
    2.    13    1952
    3.    14    2014
    4.    20    1953; 1957; 2004
    5.    21    1971

Since joining NCAA Division II in 1989, Pitt State has recorded 33 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.
This marks the 10th time since joining NCAA Division II that Pitt State has posted two or more shutouts in a season (1989, 1991, 1993-94, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2014).

Defense Among Nation's Finest
In addition to leading NCAA Division II in points allowed, the Pitt State defense ranks among the nation's top squads in several statistical categories.

The Gorillas also lead the country in red zone defense, allowing just one score in six opponents trips inside the Pitt State red zone (.167, 1-for-6).

Pitt State ranks third nationally in passing efficiency defense (70.9 rating) and first down defense (45, 11.3 pg), fourth in total defense (199.8 ypg), fifth in third-down conversion defense (.213), sixth in passing yards allowed (121.8 ypg) and 11th in rushing defense (78.0 ypg).

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 286 of 345 overall games.  The Gorillas have posted a 255-30-1 (.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 27-33-1 (.451) 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 98,499 yards (including postseason competition) for an average of 285.5 yards per game.

… But Don't Overlook Pitt State 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 27,050 yards and 206 TDs, averaging 229.2 passing yards and 1.7 touchdown passes per game in the last 118 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.

This year, Abenoja has become the school's all-time passing yards leader (6,431) and he's averaging 260.8 passing yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions.

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 630 scoring drives (535 TDs, 95 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    19 scoring drives (13 TDs, 6 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 112 games, posting a 52-3 (.945) record in those games. By contrast, Pitt State is 30-27 (.526) 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).

The Gorillas are averaging 30.8 points and 416.0 yards of total offense this season.

Abenoja Among Nation's Top Quarterbacks
Senior quarterback Anthony Abenoja is in his third year directing the high-powered Pitt State offense. Abenoja (6-3, 217) has compiled a 20-6 (.769) record as the Gorillas' starter under center.

The Overland Park, Kan., native became Pitt State's all-time passing leader on Sept. 11 against Lindenwood, when he completed 20 of 31 passes for 323 yards and three TDs. He garnered MIAA Offensive Player of the Week honors on Sept. 20 when he completed 19 of 33 passes for 330 yards and four TDs against Washburn.

For the season, he has completed 72 of 114 passes (.632) for 1,043 yards (260.8 ypg) and eight touchdowns with no interceptions. He currently leads the MIAA and ranks 12th in NCAA Division II in passing efficiency with a 163.2 rating.
For his career, Abenoja has completed 439 of 712 passes (.617) for 6,591 yards and 56 touchdowns. He also has rushed for 615 net yards to compile 7,206 yards of total offense.

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 fourth on Pitt State's career total offense list with 7,206 yards.

PSU Career Passing Yards    Comp-Att    Yards
    1.    Anthony Abenoja, 2011-pr.    439-712    6591

PSU Career Passing Touchdowns    TDs
    1.    Neal Philpot, 2001-04    61
    2.    Anthony Abenoja, 2011-pr.    56

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

    3.    Mark Smith, 2005-08    5190    2367    7554
    4.    Anthony Abenoja, 2011-pr.    6591    615    7206

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 five touchdowns to date – two rushing scores and three receiving. Seybold (5-11, 199) has carried the ball 38 times for 196 yards (5.2 ypc) on the season. He also has caught 13 passes for 166 yards (12.8 ypc) out of the backfield.

For his career, the Lincoln, Neb., native has rushed the ball 302 times for 1,929 yards and 26 TDs.  He needs 147 yards to crack Pitt State's top 20 rushing list. Seybold also has 39 career receptions for 351 yards (9.0 ypc) and four touchdowns.

Last year, Seybold rushed the ball 24 times for 179 yards and three touchdowns in the Gorillas' 34-14 road win over Western, earning MIAA Offensive Player of the Week honors. He also caught two passes for 26 yards in the game to compile 205 all-purpose yards against the Griffons.

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.    302    1929

Bausby Climbs PBU List
Senior cornerback De'Vante Bausby intercepted a pass and recorded a pass break-up in the Gorillas' last action against Fort Hays State.

For the season, Bausby (6-2, 179) has made 17 tackles (11 solo), including 1.0 TFL and 0.5 quarterback sack. He also has two interceptions and three PBUs to his credit. The Kansas City, Mo., native now has 24 career pass break-ups, ranking in fifth place on PSU's career list. He also has nine career INTs.

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

    4.    Donnie Johnson, 1985-88    25
    5.    De'Vante Bausby, 2011-pres.    24

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 two field goals against FHSU last Saturday (Sept. 27).

For the season, he's six of nine (.667) on field goal attempts.

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. For his career, Frazell has converted 30 of 39 (.757) field goals and 122 of 125 (.976) PATs to tally 212 career points (8.2 ppg).

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

    2.    James Jenkins, 1988-81    35
    3.    Connor Frazell, 2012-pr.    30
PSU Career Kick Scoring    Points
    1.    Nathan Alleman, 2003-06    401

    3.    Josh Barcus, 1995-98    287
    4.    Connor Frazell, 2012-pr.    212

Scouting the Griffons
Missouri Western has compiled a 3-1 record through its first four games. The Griffons have won two straight games, including a 26-9 decision over Lindenwood University in its most recent action Sept. 25. Western is scoring 20.8 points per game and averaging 295.0 total yards (172.0 rushing, 123.0 passing).

Redshirt freshman quarterback Skyler Windmiller (6-3, 190) has completed 38 of 73 passes (.521) for 378 yards (94.5 ypg) and two touchdowns with three interceptions. He also has carried the ball 11 times for 46 net yards (4.2 ypc).

Junior running back Raphael Spencer (5-9, 190) has carried the ball a team-leading 100 times for 466 yards (4.7 ypc) and three TDs. The Kansas City, Mo., native ranks second in the MIAA in rushing.

Junior wide receiver Stephon Weaven (6-2, 190) has a team-leading 14 catches for 158 yards (11.3 ypc) and one touchdown, while junior wide receiver Brandynn Clark (5-10, 175) has seven grabs for 77 yards (11.0 ypc) and a team-high two scores.

Defensively, the Griffons are allowing just 11.0 points and 346.2 total yards per game (116.8 rushing, 229.5 passing). Western ranks 10th nationally in points allowed.

Senior linebacker Stephen Juergens (5-11, 205) has made a team-best 38 tackles (20 solo) with 2.5 TFLs and an INT. Sophomore linebacker Joey Capul (6-1, 210) has 14 stops wit a team-leading 5.5 TFLs and 3.0 QB sacks. Junior safety Michael Jordan (6-0, 200) has made 11 tackles along with a team-leading three interceptions and three pass break-ups.

As a team, the Griffons have made 14 quarterback sacks and snared eight interceptions on the season.
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