Gorillas Try to Rebound Against Washburn - KOAM TV 7

Gorillas Try to Rebound Against Washburn



PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg State University football team returns to the friendly confines of Brandenburg Field/Carnie Smith Stadium Saturday (Sept. 30) for an MIAA match-up against Washburn University. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. (CDT).

Pitt State enters Saturday's contest with a 2-2 record. The Gorillas are seeking to become the first Division II team to reach 700 all-time victories with a victory over the Ichabods. Only 32 schools across all divisions of the NCAA have eclipsed 700 all-time wins.

After opening the season with a hard-fought 28-23 road loss to No. 21 University of Central Missouri on Aug. 31, the Gorillas posted back-to-back wins over the University of Central Oklahoma (21-28) on Sept. 9 and Northeastern State University (68-21) on Sept. 16 before suffering a 45-11 home defeat to Lindenwood University last Saturday (Sept. 23).

Washburn is 3-1 on the season. The Ichabods have posted back-to-back wins over Lindenwood (26-16) and the University of Nebraska-Kearney (60-28) after suffering a hard-fought 20-14 loss to No. 1 Northwest Missouri State University on Sept. 7.

The Coaches
Tim Beck is in his eighth season as head coach at Pitt State. He has compiled a 62-25 (.713) career record.  

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

In 2014, the Gorillas shared the MIAA regular season title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA-II playoffs during an 11-2 campaign.

In 2015, a young Pitt State team battled a rash of key injuries to frontline players and the Gorillas had to settle for an uncharacteristic 6-5 season. Last year, the Gorillas battled key injuries once again and Pitt State posted a 7-4 season.

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 seventh meeting vs. Washburn. He is 3-3 vs. the Ichabods.

Craig Schurig is in his 15th season directing the Ichabods program and his 15th 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 106-69-0 (.606) record leading the Ichabods. He is 6-8 all-time vs. Pitt State.

The Pitt State-Washburn Series
This will be the 88th 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 63-23-1 advantage in the series.  The Gorillas are 31-10-1 vs. the Ichabods in Pittsburg.

Last year, the Pitt State defense returned a pair of interceptions for first-half touchdowns and the Gorillas offense got rolling in the final 30 minutes of play in a 45-20 road win over Washburn on Oct. 1 at Topeka.
Darrius White jumped the game's first pass play and returned the INT 15 yards to give Pitt State a 7-0 lead 11 seconds into the game. WU countered with a pair of Perry Schmiedeler field goals and a Derek McGinnis to Cary Woods touchdown pass to take a 13-7 lead over the Gorillas with 8:55 to play in the second quarter.

Pitt State's Lorenzo West returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for a TD and a 14-13 Gorillas lead. Deron Washington added a second pick six when he snared a tipped ball and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown with 1:07 to play in the second quarter.

Quarterback John Roderique tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kohl Slaughter. Running back Michael Rose started the play by lateraling the ball back to wide receiver Brenner Clemons, who in turn flipped the ball back to Roderique. Rose added a pair of touchdown runs – from 16 yards out in the third quarter and a one-yard plunge in the fourth quarter after DeShaughn Terry returned an interception to the WU 9.

Kicker Chad Levin added a 25-yard field goal in the third quarter to complete the Pitt State scoring.

Roderique completed 18 of 35 passes for 263 yards. Levi Copelin caught five passes for a game-high 73 yards, while Austin Panko had three grabs for 69 yards. Rose rushed the ball nine times for a team-leading 62 yards.

Spencer Brown made a career-high 15 tackles while Ethan Fugitt added 10 stops. Heath Wilson made five tackles and 1.0 quarterback sack.

Gorillas at Home
Pitt State holds a 346-129-12 (.723) record in 487 games inside Carnie Smith Stadium (including postseason). The Gorillas have won 146 of their last 170 regular season home games, posting a 146-23-1 record (.862) over the last 33 seasons.

Washburn is 25-16 (.610) in 41 road games since the start of the 2010 season.

PSU's Regular Season Success
Pitt State has won 290 of its last 350 regular season games, posting a phenomenal 290-58-2 (.831) mark during the past 33 seasons (1985-2017). PSU is 155-23-1 at home, 131-26-1 on the road and 4-9-0 at neutral sites in the regular season during that span.

All-Time Winningest Programs
Pittsburg State is the all-time winningest NCAA Division II football program. The Gorillas, who are in their 110th season of intercollegiate competition, have compiled a 699-344-48 overall record, winning 66.3 percent of their 1,091 all-time games.

Pittsburg State is one of just five NCAA Division II institutions to have recorded 600 all-time victories and the Gorillas are bidding to become just the 33rd program across all levels of college football to reach the 700-win plateau.

Tuskegee is second on the Division II all-time list with 679 victories, followed by Hillsdale (624), Carson-Newman (620) and Central Oklahoma (618).

WU has a 546-573-44 (.488) record in 126 seasons of intercollegiate play.

Quick Strike Offense
The Pitt State offense has exhibited a penchant for being a "quick strike" unit. During the last 13 seasons (2005-17), the Pitt State offense has generated 806 scoring drives (672 TDs, 134 FGs) and averaged just 2:54 of elapsed time per drive.

2005    97 scoring drives (86 TDs, 11 FGs)    2:40 elapsed time    2012    51 scoring drives (40 TDs, 11 FGs)    2:58 elapsed time    
2006    79 scoring drives (72 TDs, 7 FGs)    2:14 elapsed time     2013    83 scoring drives (70 TDs, 13 FGs)    2:29 elapsed time
2007    64 scoring drives (55 TDs, 9 FGs)    3:02 elapsed time     2014    74 scoring drives (53 TDs, 21 FGs)    3:06 elapsed time
2008    69 scoring drives (61 TDs, 8 FGs)    3:23 elapsed time     2015    50 scoring drives (41 TDs, 9 FGs)    2:53 elapsed time
2009    49 scoring drives (44 TDs, 5 FGs)    3:21 elapsed time     2016    60 scoring drives (48 TDs, 12 FGs)    2:54 elapsed time
2010    41 scoring drives (34 TDs, 7 FGs)    3:04 elapsed time     2017    18 scoring drives (13 TDs, 5 FGs)    2:59 elapsed time
2011    78 scoring drives (60 TDs, 18 FGs)    2:54 elapsed time

The Gorillas have been highly successful when they are quick out of the gates. Pitt State has scored on its opening drive 71 times (60 TDs, 11 FGs) in the last 147 games, posting a 63-8 (.887) record in those games. By contrast, Pitt State is 42-34 (.553) in games it doesn't score on its opening drive during the same span.

Inside The Pitt State Offense / Defense
Senior running back Michael Rose rushed for 80 yards against Lindenwood last week. The Albuquerque, N.M., native has 52 carries for 270 yards (5.2 ypc) on the season, averaging 90.0 rushing yards per game. He currently ranks third in the MIAA in rushing yards. For his career, Rose has gained 1,528 yards on 286 carries (5.3 ypc) with 14 touchdowns.

Senior wide receiver Austin Panko has amassed 92 career receptions for 1,406 yards (15.3 ypc) and 10 touchdowns.The Lee's Summit, Mo., native needs 13 more receiving yards to break into the Gorillas' all-time top 10 list for receiving yards.  Pierce Curran (2004-07) is currently 10th on the list with 97 grabs for 1,419 yards. Panko also broke into Pitt State's top 10 list for career receptions against NSU on Sept. 16.  His 92 receptions currently ranks tied for seventh all-time at PSU – he needs five receptions to climb to No. 6 on the list.

Sophomore Junior safety Marcus Brantley made a game-high 15 tackles (eight solo) for the Gorillas against Lindenwood last week, including 2.0 TFLs and 1.0 quarterback sack. The Tempe, Ariz., native also forced a fumble against the Lions. For the season, Brantley has made 19 tackles (11 solo) and also recovered two fumbles. Brantley earned honorable mention NJCAA All-America honors a sophomore at Mesa Community College in 2016.

Sophomore placekicker Jared Vincent has converted five of six field goals (.833) and 14 of 16 PAT tries (.875) on the season, scoring a team-leading 29 points (7.3 ppg). Vincent ranks third in the MIAA in field goals (1.3 pg) and second in the conference in field goal percentage.  The Claremore, Okla., native ranks seventh in the MIAA in scoring – second in the league in kick scoring.

Scouting the Ichabods
Sophomore quarterback Blake Peterson directs the WU offense. Peterson (6-2, 195) has completed 47 of 86 passes (.547) for 466 yards (116.5 ypg) and four touchdowns with no interceptions. He also has rushed the ball 29 times for 126 yards (4.3 ypc). Peterson has started two of the Ichabods' first four games.

Senior running back Mickeel Stewart (6-1, 210) has rushed the ball 44 times for a team-leading 219 yards (5.0 ypc) and three touchdowns

Senior wide receiver Carey Woods (6-1, 195) has caught 17 passes for 127 yards (7.5 ypc) and two scores, while sophomore wide receiver Jace Williams (6-5, 220) has 12 grabs for 136 yards (11.3 ypc) and two touchdowns.

The WU offense is averaging 32.8 points and 319.8 total yards (164.5 rushing).

Junior linebacker Derrick McGreevy (6-2, 220) has made a team-leading 44 tackles (20 solo) with 2.0 tackles-for-loss and two pass break-ups, while senior safety D.J. Olmstead (5-11, 185) has posted 12 tackles (eight solo) with a team-leading three interceptions to date.

As a unit, the WU defense is allowing 17.8 points and 241.2 total yards (98.2 rushing) per game.

Junior Perry Schmiedeler (5-11, 160) has converted three of five field goals on the season and all 12 of his PAT tries. He's also punted 18 times for a 42.1-yard average.

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