#15 PSU Looks to Rebound at Fort Hays - KOAM TV 7

#15 PSU Looks to Rebound at Fort Hays



PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg State University football team, the  No. 15 ranked team in NCAA Division II, will travel to Hays, Kan., to face MIAA rival Fort Hays State University Saturday (Sept. 26).

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (CDT) at Lewis Field Stadium.

Pittsburg State, the winningest all-time NCAA Division II program, is off to a 2-1 start to the season. The Gorillas dropped a 28-21 home decision to Washburn University last Saturday (Sept. 19) after opening the season 2-0. Pitt State slipped 11 spots from No. 4 to No. 15 in this week's AFCA/NCAA Division II Top 25 poll.

Fort Hays State is 3-0 on the season. The Tigers posted a 30-7 road win over Lindenwood University last Saturday (Sept. 19) at St. Charles, Mo. FHSU opened the season with a 30-29 road win over the University of Central Oklahoma on Sept. 3, before claiming a 27-13 home win over Northeastern State University on Sept. 10.

The Coaches
Tim Beck is in his sixth season as head coach at Pitt State with a 49-15 (.766) 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 fourth meeting vs. the Tigers.  He is 2-1 vs. FHSU.

Chris Brown is in his fifth season as head coach at FHSU. Brown (Pitt State, 1996) has compiled a 25-21-0 (.543) record leading the Tigers. Brown, a three-time All-America free safety for the Gorillas from 1993-95, came to FHSU after serving as defensive coordinator at Washburn from 2002-10. This will be his fourth meeting vs. his alma mater. Brown is 1-2 vs. Pitt State.

PSU Staff to Support Coach to Cure MD Initiative Saturday
For the eighth consecutive year, football coaches nationwide will band together for the Coach to Cure MD program during games played this weekend. The annual effort has raised more than $1.25 million to battle Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

This Saturday, American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) members – including the Pitt State coaching staff – will wear a Coach to Cure MD logo patch on the sidelines. College football fans will be asked to donate Duchenne muscular dystrophy research by either going online to www.CoachtoCureMD.org or by texting the word CURE to 90999 (a $5 will automatically be added to your next phone bill.)

The Pitt State-Fort Hays State Series
This will be the 74th all-time meeting between the Gorillas and the Tigers in a series that dates all the way back to the 1915 season.

Pitt State holds a commanding 45-19-9 advantage in the series. The Gorillas are 21-10-6 vs. the Tigers at Hays all-time, with an 11-0-1 mark since 1979.

Pitt State is 19-1-1 in its last 21 overall meetings against Fort Hays State.

Last year, the Tigers claimed a hard-fought, 7-6, victory over the Gorillas in Pittsburg on Sept. 27.
FHSU managed just 141 yards of total offense but the Tigers defense came through time and time again before 11,489 partisan fans at Brandenburg Field/Carnie Smith Stadium.

The Tigers held the Gorillas to their lowest home scoring output in 23 years as Pitt State managed just a pair of field goals – from 37 and 33 yards – from Connor Frazell in the first half. Pitt State was limited to minus one net yard in the third quarter and 80 total yards in the second half.

FHSU's Daniel Lindsey blocked Frazell's 55-yard field goal attempt with 2:59 to play in the game. The Gorillas drove 37 yards to the Tigers 38 yard line but the drive, which consumed 6 minutes, 4 seconds of play clock stalled and Pitt State was forced to try the long field goal attempt.

The Gorillas stuffed the Tigers on three straight running plays and got the ball back at their own 23 yard line with 2:00 to play in the game, but quarterback Anthony Abenoja missed on three pass plays before completing a dumpoff pass to tailback Dre Holman on fourth down. Holman was corraled by Nate Simpson at the line of scrimmage to hold the Gorillas on downs.

FHSU got its only score on the opening drive of the game. Quarterback Traveon Albert heaved a 44-yard pass that was ruled intercepted by Pitt State's De'Vante Bausby at the Gorillas 3 yard line and subsequently fumbled into the end zone as he battled with Tigers receiver Ed Williams for possession. Williams then recovered the loose ball for the score.

Gorillas on the Road
Pitt State has posted a 74-22-0 (.771) record in its last 96 road games (including post-season play). The Gorillas posted a school and MIAA record 20 straight road wins between the 2010 and 2014 seasons before dropping a 24-21 overtime decision to Minnesota State in the second round of the NCAA-II playoffs on Nov. 29, 2014. Prior to that loss, Pitt State last dropped a road game on Oct. 9, 2010, in a 17-14 setback to Emporia State.

The Gorillas enter Saturday's action with a 21-game regular season winning streak still intact, spanning back to the ESU loss in 2010. During the last 22 years (1994-pres.), the Gorillas are an equally impressive 85-24-1 (.777) on the road.

PSU's Regular Season Success
Pitt State has won 277 of its last 327 regular season games, posting a phenomenal 277-48-2 (.850) mark during the past 31 seasons (1985-2015). PSU is 150-17-1 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 206 polls and the Gorillas have been ranked in the top 25 poll in 180 of 206 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 686-334-48 overall record, winning 66.5 percent of their 1,068 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 658 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 702 scoring drives (589 TDs, 113 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        2015    17 scoring drives (14 TDs, 3 FGs)    2:47 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 62 times (52 TDs, 10 FGs) in the last 124 games (including all three games this season), posting a 58-4 (.935) 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.

Walker Among National Leaders in INTs, Passes Defended
Pitt State junior transfer cornerback Darnell Walker, Jr. enters Saturday's action leading NCAA Division II in passes defended, while ranking in a tie for second place in interceptions.

Walker has 10 passes defended on the young season – three interceptions and seven pass break-ups. The Lawrenceville, Ga., native logged four PBUs in the Gorillas' last game vs. Washburn.

Walker transferred to Pitt State from Coffeyville Community College after spending 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 three games played.

The Kansas City, Mo., native has punted 13 times for a league-leading 41.2-yard average. He has a long punt of 54 yards with two kicks inside the opponent 20 yard line.
Anchors ranks 25th nationally in punting.

Scouting the Tigers
Offensively, Fort Hays State is averaging 29.0 points and 398.0 yards of total offense on the young season, while the Tigers are surrendering just 16.3 points and 358.3 total yards per game.

Senior quarterback Treveon Albert has completed 26 of 56 passes (.464) for 301 yards (100.3 ypg) and four TDs with one INT, and he's carried the ball 43 times for 296 yards (6.9 ypc).

Sophomore running back Shaquille Cooper has carried the ball 70 times for 483 yards (6.9 ypc) and three scores. He leads the MIAA and ranks sixth in Division II in rushing yards (161.0 ypg).

Senior wide receiver Andrew Flory has been Albert's favorite target, catching 14 passes for 197 yards (14.1 ypc) and two TDs.

Cooper also has six receptions for 65 yards and two TDs.

Senior linebacker Brock Long has made a team-leading 44 tackles (18 solo) with 2.0 quarterback sacks, while junior linebacker Alex Schmidtberger has made 36 tackles (21 solo) with a team-leading 5.0 tackles-for-loss and 2.5 quarterback sacks.

Senior Jordan Stangler has punted 14 times for a 36.4-yard average, while senior Drew O'Brien has converted four of five field goal attempts.

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