Pacific University Football Weekly Notebook
Game No. 6/Home Game No. 4
Sat., Oct. 15, 1:30 p.m., Lincoln Park Stadium, Forest Grove
Radio: 1360 AM KUIK
Live Audio Webcast: www.goboxers.com/webcasts
Live Video Webcast (Pay Per View): www.goboxers.com/webcasts
Live Stats: www.goboxers.com/livestats
BOXERS TO HOST NATIONALLY RANKED WILDCATS ON SATURDAY
After struggling in their passing game and with turnovers and penalties in their loss to Willamette on Saturday, the Pacific football team returns home to host the Northwest Conference's only nationally ranked team. The Boxers will renew their traditional rivalry with Linfield as they host the Wildcats in their first trip to Lincoln Park Stadium.
• Willamette finished with 464 yards of total offense and scored seven touchdowns to post a 49-7 rout of Pacific on Saturday at McCullough Stadium. The Bearcats' defense forced three interceptions and limited the Boxers to 323 yards of offense.
• P.J. Minaya saw his first extended action of the season as the Boxers played four quarterbacks against Willamette. Minaya completed 13 of 18 passes for 167 yards and had the Boxers' only touchdown of the game in the third quarter on a pass to Brian Taylor.
• Jordan Fukumoto had his third game this season of 100-yard plus receiving, making four catches for 114 yards. He had a long catch for 53 yards from Minaya late in the third quarter and saw a 40-yard reception on the opening play from scrimmage called back due to a penalty.
• Safety Josh Brinkworth led the Pacific defense in tackles for the second straight week, coming up with seven tackles against Willamette. The performances have earned him the top spot on the depth chart at strong safety.
• Pacific enters the week ranked second in the NWC in passing offense with an average of 288.8 yards per game. The Boxers enter the week with the 21st ranked passing offense in NCAA Division III football.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: LINFIELD WILDCATS
Location: McMinnville, Ore.
Colors: Purple & Cardinal Red
Conference: Northwest (NCAA III)
Stadium: Maxwell Field (3,000, covered, FieldTurf)
President: Dr. Thomas Hellie
Athletic Director: Scott Carnahan
Head Coach: Joseph Smith (Linfield 1993)
Smith's Record At Linfield: 39-12/5 Years
Smith's Record Overall: 39-12/5 Years
All-Time Series: Linfield leads 82-37-4
Last Meeting: Linfield won 69-14 at McMinnville, Ore., on Oct. 16, 2010
ABOUT THE COACH: Joseph Smith enters his sixth season as the head coach of the vaunted Linfield football program. A longtime assistant coach and former All-America defensive back, Smith took over in 2006 and has a 39-12 record entering the 2011 campaign. During his tenure, Smith has led Linfield to Northwest Conference championships in both 2009 and 2010 and the semifinals of the NCAA Division III playoffs in 2009. Prior to becoming head coach, Smith spent seven seasons as defensive coordinator for the Wildcats and his teams finished first in the NWC in total defense and scoring defense four times.
THE SERIES: Linfield leads the all-time series 82-37-4. Linfield won the last meeting 66-14 in McMinnville, Ore., on Oct. 16, 2010.
LAST MEETING: LINFIELD 66, PACIFIC 14
The second longest pass play in school history was not enough to get Pacific moving the right direction as the Boxers fell to Linfield 66-14. P.J. Minaya, making his first start at quarterback, threw a 79-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Fukumoto on the Boxers' first play from scrimmage.The Wildcats went on to score the next 52 points of the game as they rattled off 557 yards of total offense, including 279 yards on the ground. Fukumoto finished with his first 100-plus yard receiving game, making four catches for 106 yards. Quarterback Aaron Boheme completed 10 of 12 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns for Linfield while Deidre Wiersma made five receptions for 82 yards. Josh Hill led the Wildcats in receiving, carrying seven time for 54 yards.
• Linfield had little problem beating Puget Sound for their fourth win of the season Saturday, scoring the first 73 points of the game into a 73-7 rout of the Loggers. It was the Wildcats' most points scored since World War II. Linfield scored 10 touchdowns and added scores on an interception, a blocked punt and a 49-yard field goal.
• Linfield enters the week ranked No. 5 in the D3Football.com Top-25 Poll. They are second in the NWC in total offense with an average of 448.2 yards per game and second in scoring at 45.5 points per game (trailing Lewis & Clark in both categories). The Wildcats do most of their damage in the air with an average of 261 pass yards per game.
• Linfield has lost little behind new starting quarterback Mickey Inns. The junior is averaging 218.8 yards passing per game, which includes eight touchdowns. His favorite target is Deidre Wiersma, who ranks fourth in the NWC in average of 85.5 yards per game.
• A win over Pacific on Saturday would secure Linfield's 56th consecutive winning season, extending what Linfield fans affectionately call "The Streak." The Wildcats have not had a losing season since 1955.
PACIFIC NEWS & NOTES
THE CENTURY MAN: Jordan Fukumoto (So., Mililani, Hawaii) gave Pacific one of its few found bright spots in their loss to Willamette on Saturday, putting together his third 100-plus yard receiving day of the season. Fukumoto made four catches for 114 yards. His afternoon was highlighted by a 53-yard catch from P.J. Minaya late in the third quarter. He also had a 40-yard completion from starting quarterback T.C. Campbell (So., Kaimuki, Hawaii) on the first play from scrimmage that was called back by a penalty. Fukumoto continues to rank as one of the top receivers in the Northwest Conference. He ranks second in the league and 25th among all NCAA Division III receivers with 104 yards per game and leads the league with six receiving touchdowns. Fukumoto is also tied for 80th nationally with a total of 5.60 receptions per contest and is second in the NWC with his total of 560 receiving yards, just short of his 2010 total of 603 yards.
EXTENDED TIME FOR P.J.: After receiving spot time for the Boxers over their first four contests of the season, P.J. Minaya saw his first considerable playing time of the season on Saturday at Willamette. Minaya came in late in the second quarter for the Boxers, completing 13 of 18 catches for a team-leading 167 yards as Head Coach Keith Buckley used four quarterbacks on the day. Minaya's play was highlighted by a 53-yard pass play to receiver Jordan Fukumoto late in the third quarter and his touchdown pass to Brian Taylor (So., Lewiston, Idaho) with 14 seconds left in the third. In the time that he has received, Minaya has played well, completing 24 of 37 passes for 256 yards. He owns a pass efficiency rating of 140.82.
CAMPBELL AMONG NATION'S BEST: While T.C. Campbell did not have his best game on Saturday against Willamette, he still continues to rank among the top quarterbacks in the conference and in the nation. Campbell completed 6 of 12 passes for 84 yards, but also threw two interceptions while playing the first quarter and a half of the contest. Despite the down day, Campbell still has numbers that rank high in the NWC and NCAA Division III stats. He ranks third in the NWC with 234.6 yards per game and third in NWC and 67th nationally in total offense with 228.4 yards per game. Campbell also ranks second in the NWC in pass completions (83), pass attempts (136) and passing yard (1,173) and is third with eight passing touchdowns.
MAKING A DEFENSIVE STAND: Over his last two games, Josh Brinkworth (Fr., Elk Grove, Calif.) has made the most of his opportunities and, as a result, had impressed the Pacific coaching staff. Brinkworth led Pacific tackles for the second straight week against Willamette, coming up with seven tackles (3 solo, 4 assisted). The week before, he led the Boxers with eight tackles against Lewis & Clark. The back-to-back leading performances have earned Brinkworth the tentative starting spot at strong safety on the two-deep roster.
ADD DEFENSE: Bryan Mills (So., Imbler, Ore.) and Landon Aano (So., Ewa Beach, Hawaii) each had five tackles for the Boxers against the Bearcats with Aano coming up with a tackle for loss and a sack. Mills enters the week as Pacific's leading tackler with 31 tackles, ranking him in a tie for eighth in the NWC. Aano now has two sacks for the season, tying him for 10th in the league.
A TOP PASSING OFFENSE: Pacific continues to have one of the top passing offenses in the NWC and in the nation at the Division III level. The Boxers enter the week averaging 288.8 passing yards per game. That is second in the NWC (behind the 325.2 yards per game of Puget Sound) and also ranks 21st among NCAA Division III programs. The Boxers rank 52nd in Division III in pass efficiency, with four quarterbacks combining for a rating of 160.60. While Pacific is doing it's job offensively in the passing department, so is the defense. The Boxers rank 52nd among Division III teams in passing defense, allowing 160.60 yards by opponents per game. The NCAA Division III national statistics are updated every Tuesday and can be seen at www.ncaa.com/stats/football/d3.
SPORTSCENTER'S TOP PLAY: The fact that Pacific lost to Lewis & Clark on Oct. 1 may be remembered by few after a head's up special teams play by starting safety Bryan Mills was given national attention by ESPN. After the Pioneers' opening touchdown with 12:11 left in the first quarter, Devin Lagorio (So., Stockton, Calif.) blocked Simon Monley's extra point attempt. A Lewis & Clark player, thinking that the play was over, tossed the ball towards referees standing at the goal line. Mills, who may have been the only player on the field who knew the play had not been blown dead, picked up the ball and darted down the Pacific sideline, breaking three tackles and eventually going 100 yards for a rare defensive two-point conversion.
The video of the play was named the Play of the Day by ESPN's SportsCenter on Oct. 1, receiving mutiple plays on the network's anchor show over the weekend as well as SportsNation (anchored that day by former Portland sportscaster Colin Cowherd), and appeared locally on KGW Newshcannel 8 and KATU. The play was also selected by D3Football.com as their Play of the Week, marking the second time in as many years that the Division III football site has highlighted the Boxers. The play was also featured on a number of prominent websites, including CBS News, Larry Brown Sports, Awful Announcing.com and the Huffington Post. Since then, the video clip has received over 226,000 hits (as of 10/10/2011) on Pacific's YouTube site and has shown up on multiple Internet sports blogs. To view Mills' head's up play, please visit http://youtu.be/tCL-QxQJTuI.
WHAT A CATCH: Pacific's lone scoring highlight in their Sept. 18 game at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is one that puts Jordan Fukumoto into the record book for a second time. Fukumoto caught an 87-yard touchdown pass from T.C. Campbell with 10:32 left in the third quarter, which accounted for the Boxers' only touchdown of the game. The strike ranks as the second longest pass play in school history. The only longer play was a 95-yard pass from Pacific Hall of Fame quarterback Ralph Nickerson to Jim Wills in a game against Eastern Oregon during the 1973 season. Fukumoto now has a part of two of the top-three passing plays in school history. Last year, Fukumoto hooked up with quarterback P.J. Minaya on the Boxers' first play from scrimmage against Linfield for a 79-yard touchdown pass. That play is third longest in school history. View the play at http://youtu.be/_9a4smpKkac
AN UNUSUAL TRADE OF SAFETIES: Two safeties in a game is rare enough, but to have two safeties in the same game awarded because of penalties is even rarer. Pacific was awarded their first safety of the season in the second quarter against Menlo on Sept. 10 when quarterback Matt Pelasasa was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone. The two points put Pacific ahead 9-0. Pacific was then flagged for a safety in the third quarter when they were called for holding in the end zone with the Boxers starting a drive on their own 1-yard line. Since the program was reinstated in 2010, the Boxers have been involved in four safeties. Ironically, all four were against Menlo. Saturday's safety scored by Pacific is the first since the reinstatement of the program.
BREAKING THE SKID: Pacific continues to look for the right combination needed to break a rather long beaten streak. The Boxers enter Saturday's game with Linfield having lost their last 23 games, which dates back to the 1991 season, the final year of the original program. Pacific's last victory on the gridiron came on Nov. 10, 1990, when the Boxers beat Oregon Tech 15-14 on the old McCready Field. Pacific's current losing streak is nowhere near the record of 30 consecutive losses, which was set between the 1979 and 1982 seasons.
LOCAL TIES: The Pacific roster in 2011 features three players with ties to the three high schools in the Forest Grove area. Offensive lineman Eric Gietzen, a 2010 graduate of Forest Grove High School, reprises a starting role at guard. The Fargo, N.D., native spent a year at Portland State (did not play football) before returning to The Grove. Brandon Carow (Fr., Forest Grove, Ore.) comes to Pacific after four years of Forest Grove High School, two of those seasons playing for current Pacific running backs coach Mike McCabe. Carow is competing for a role as the Boxers' kicker. Carow is in competition with Austin Shulund (Fr., Banks, Ore.), who played the same role, as well as punter, kicker and tight end, at Banks High School. Of the 137 players on the Pacific roster, 30 of them hail from the Portland area, northwest Oregon or the Willamette Valley.
HAWAII TIES: Not surprisingly, the Pacific roster has quite a Hawaii flavor to it. A total of 32 players on the team hail from the Islands, right in line with the over 25 percent of students from Hawaii present in Pacific's undergraduate student body. Of those 32 players, 15 are new recruits to the Pacific program.
SEASON PREVIEW: The complete 2011 Pacific football season preview can be read at http://www.goboxers.com/news/2011/8/27/FB_0827113717.aspx?path=football.
PACIFIC TO BROADCAST ALL NINE GAMES: All nine Pacific football games will be broadcast both on the radio and online. AM 1360 KUIK (Hillsboro) will air all nine games live with pregame beginning 15 minutes prior to kickoff. For those outside of the Portland area, a live audio webcast will also be available at goboxers.com/webcasts. In addition, a video webcast will be available for all five home Pacific games. The video webcast will be available for $10 per game. The webcasts are available at www.goboxers.com/webcasts.
Matt Richert returns for his second season as the play-by-play voice for Pacific football. A 20-year broadcast veteran, Richert most recently worked as one of the prep play-by-play voices for KUIK-AM in Hillsboro. He has also lent his voice to a number of OSAA Radio Network state championship broadcasts. He also works as Pacific's assistant sports information director. Scott Hermo will provide the color analysis. Hermo has worked as a color commentator and sports host for KUIK since 1994.
BOXERS PICKED SEVENTH IN THE NWC: Northwest Conference coaches have picked Pacific to finish seventh in the annual coaches preseason poll conducted in August. The Boxers received seven votes in the poll after going 0-9 in their 2010 return to the gridiron. Linfield was picked as the odds-on favorite to win the conference again in 2011, receiving five of seven first place votes for a total of 40 points. Willamette was picked second with 34 points, gaining two first place votes. Pacific Lutheran was picked third (26 pts.), followed by Lewis & Clark (16), Puget Sound (11) and Pacific (7).