No. 4 Gorillas to Host Ichabods on Family Day Saturday - KOAM TV 7

No. 4 Gorillas to Host Ichabods on Family Day Saturday



PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg State University football team, the  No. 4 ranked team in NCAA Division II, will play host to MIAA rival Washburn University Saturday (Sept. 19).
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (CDT) at Brandenburg Field/Carnie Smith Stadium.

Pittsburg State, the winningest all-time NCAA Division II program, is off to a 2-0 start to the season after a 38-14 road win over Northeastern State University on Sept. 3 and a 56-28 home victory over Lindenwood University last Saturday (Sept. 12). The Gorillas climbed one spot to No. 4 in this week's AFCA/NCAA Division II Top 25 poll.

Washburn is 1-1 on the season. The Ichabods claimed a 34-14 home win over the University of Nebraska-Kearney in their last action on Sept. 10. Washburn dropped a 20-14 decision to Lindenwood in its season-opener at St. Charles, Mo., on Sept. 3.

The Coaches
Tim Beck is in his sixth season as head coach at Pitt State with a 49-14 (.778) 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 2012, the Gorillas opened the season 5-0 before finishing the year 7-3 overall, while in 2013 Pitt State posted the program's 20th all-time 10-win season during a 10-2 campaign.
Last year, the Gorillas shared the MIAA regular season title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA-II playoffs during an 11-2 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 Ichabods.  He is 2-2 vs. Washburn.

Craig Schurig is in his 14th season directing the Ichabods program and his 14th 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 a 92-59-0 (.609) record leading the Ichabods. He is 5-7 all-time vs. Pitt State, including a 2-4 mark in Pittsburg.

The Pitt State-Washburn Series
This will be the 86h 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  in 2012-13 thanks to an unbalanced MIAA schedule.

Pitt State holds a commanding 62-22-1 advantage in the series.  The Gorillas are 31-9-1 vs. the Ichabods in Pittsburg all-time, including a 17-2 mark in the last 19 meetings in Pittsburg dating back to the 1979 season.

Last year, the Gorillas blanked the Ichabods, 42-0, at Topeka on Sept. 20, 2014.

In that game, eighth-ranked Pitt State rushed out to a 35-0 lead, rode out a 75-minute weather delay and coasted to a 42-0 win over WU.

Senior quarterback Anthony Abenoja completed 19 of 33 passes for 330 yards and four touchdowns in the contest, while junior running back Jeff Seybold, Jr. carried the ball 17 times for 122 yards and a score.

Gorillas in "The Pitt"
Pitt State holds a 341-122-12 (.731) record in 475 games inside Carnie Smith Stadium (including postseason). The Gorillas have won 140 of their last 157 regular season home games, posting a 141-16-1 (.896) record over the last 31 seasons.

Washburn is 1-7 (.125) in its last eight road games dating back to the 2013 season.

PSU's Regular Season Success
Pitt State has won 277 of its last 326 regular season games, posting a phenomenal 277-47-2 (.853) mark during the past 31 seasons (1985-2015). PSU is 150-16-1 at home, 123-22-1 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 10 116 times in the last 205 polls and the Gorillas have been ranked in the top 25 poll in 179 of 205 weeks overall (dating back to the 1999 season).

All-Time Winningest Programs
Pittsburg State is the all-time winningest NCAA Division II football program.  The Gorillas, who are in their 108th season of intercollegiate competition, have compiled a 686-333-48 overall record, winning 66.5 percent of their 1,067 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 five schools to have reached the 600-win plateau. 

Tuskegee is second on the all-time list with 657 victories, followed by Hillsdale (613), Carson-Newman (604) and Central Oklahoma (602).

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

During the last 11 seasons (2005-15), the Pitt State offense has generated 698 scoring drives (587 TDs, 111 FGs) and averaged just 2:51 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        2011    78 scoring drives (60 TDs, 18 FGs)    2:54 elapsed time
2006    79 scoring drives (72 TDs, 7 FGs)    2:14 elapsed time         2012    51 scoring drives (40 TDs, 11 FGs)    2:58 elapsed time
2007    64 scoring drives (55 TDs, 9 FGs)    3:02 elapsed time         2013    83 scoring drives (70 TDs, 13 FGs)    2:29 elapsed time
2008    69 scoring drives (61 TDs, 8 FGs)    3:23 elapsed time         2014    74 scoring drives (53 TDs, 21 FGs)    3:06 elapsed time
2009    49 scoring drives (44 TDs, 5 FGs)    3:21 elapsed time         2014    13 scoring drives (12 TDs, 1 FGs)    2:49 elapsed time
2010    41 scoring drives (34 TDs, 7 FGs)    3:04 elapsed time

The Gorillas have been highly successful when they are quick out of the gates.  Pitt State has scored on its opening drive 61 times (51 TDs, 10 FGs) in the last 123 games, posting a 58-3 (.951) record in those games. By contrast, Pitt State is 34-28 (.548) in games it doesn't score on its opening drive during the same span.

Roderique Follows Up Debut With Second Big Game
Freshman quarterback John Roderique, Jr. followed up a solid outing in his collegiate debut on Sept. 3 with a second strong showing against Lindenwood last Saturday.

The Webb City, Mo., native completed 19 of 21 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns against the Lions, while rushing 12 times for a game-high 84 yards and two scores.

In two games, he is averaging 8.3 yards per carry and 87.5 yards per game on the ground with 21 rushes for a team-leading 175 yards and five touchdowns. He's the third-leading rusher in the MIAA to date.

Roderique also has completed 78.4 percent of his passes with three TDs and no INTs, going 29 of 37 for 326 yards.  He leads NCAA Division II in completion percentage and ranks second in the MIAA and 12th nationally in passing efficiency (179.1 rating).

He also leads the MIAA and ranks in a tie for fifth place nationally in scoring (15.0 ppg).

Copelin Named MIAA Special Teams Player of the Week
Pitt State junior wide receiver Levi Copelin was selected the MIAA Special Teams Player of the Week Monday (Sept. 14) for his efforts against Lindenwood last Saturday (Sep. 12).

Copelin blocked and recovered a pair of second quarter Lindenwood punts, helping the Gorillas explode for 35 points in the stanza en route to a 56-28 victory over the visiting Lions.
He blocked the first LWU punt and recovered it at the Lions 2 yard line to help the Gorillas break a 14-14 tie. Later in the period, he blocked another attempt and ran the ball in from 16 yards out for a 35-14 lead with 1:53 to play in the first half.

Walker Registers Two INTs vs. Lions
Pitt State junior transfer cornerback Darnell Walker, Jr. raised his season interception total to three with two picks against Lindenwood last Saturday.

Walker halted a pair of Lions drives in the fourth quarter as the Gorillas defense made three interceptions overall in the contest.

The Lawrenceville, Ga., native returned one INT 54 yards to set up the Gorillas' final score of the game. For the season he has eight tackles with the three INTs and two PBUs.

Walker transferred to Pitt State from Coffeyville Community College after playing two seasons at the University of Tulsa.

He now has 13 career interceptions – four at Tulsa in 2013, six at Coffeyville in 2014 and three this season.

Anchors Leads MIAA in Punting
Pitt State freshman Carter Anchors has enjoyed a solid start to his collegiate career, leading the MIAA in punting after two games played.

The Kansas City, Mo., native has punted nine times for a league-leading 42.7-yard average. He has a long punt of 54 yards with two kicks inside the opponent 20 yard line.
Anchors ranks 15th nationally in punting.

Scouting the Ichabods
Offensively, Washburn is averaging 24.0 points and 380.0 yards of total offense on the young season, while the Ichabods are surrendering just 17.0 points and 315.0 total yards per game.

Junior quarterback Derek McGinnis has completed 36 of 62 passes (.581) for 474 yards and five TDs with one INT, while senior running back Brandon Bourbon has carried the ball 42 times for 149 yards and one score.

Junior defensive end Akhmad Abdul-Razzaq has made a team-leading 17 tackles (seven solo) with 4.0 tackles-for-loss, 1.0 quarterback sack and one PBU, while senior defensive end Spenser Matthews has made four TFLs including 3.0 QB sacks.

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