September 26, 2012

Bethany at W&J Preview

More news about: Bethany

When the Bethany College football team invades Cameron Stadium Saturday night to take on Washington & Jefferson in a 7 p.m. contest, the Bison will not only be trying to break into the win column for the first time this season, but also snap a lengthy streak against the Presidents.

Last week saw BC fall to 0-3 overall and 0-1 in the conference with a crushing 44-40 loss at Grove City. Bethany led 21-0 early in the second quarter and 40-24 in the fourth quarter before 20 unanswered Wolverine points sunk the Bison. The Green and White outgained the hosts 346-318, but four BC turnovers led to three Grove City touchdowns. Head coach Tim Weaver said the outcome was surprising if you look at the stats, but the errors committed by the Bison changed everything.

"Saturday was probably the toughest loss we've had in our time here," said Weaver. "When you blow two big leads like we did, it comes down to preparing and having the team ready to finish. And that comes down to me. No excuses, it's my fault. We have a veteran group on offense and we turned it over four times. We have a veteran group on defense and we didn't get a key stop when we needed one. We needed one more turnover or one more stop to win the game and we didn't get it done.

"Overall, our game plan was really good," said Weaver. "We held them to 3.3 yards per carry and they were averaging about a yard more coming into the game. We had 10 third down stops (5-15). On offense we outgained them and scored 40 points. No way we should have lost that game if you look at the stats, but we did and it's because of our mistakes."

The Bison passing offense is off to a quick start, due in large part to senior wide receivers Johnathan Foster and Ed Holmes. Foster hauled in a two-yard TD reception last week and ranks second in the PAC with 19 catches. Holmes, who caught a career-high nine passes and two touchdowns last week, has hauled in 15 balls this season and moved up to seventh all-time at Bethany with 111 receptions.

"Johnathan and Ed are two of our leaders and both are having their best seasons, which you love to see from seniors," said Weaver. "They are models of what you want in your program. They do it in the class room, come to work every day and get better on the field every year. You can also see them working on the sidelines coaching the young guys and not just (freshman wide receiver Eric) Blinn (who has two touchdown receptions this season). They do a great job of working with all the young guys.

"Both of them are real easy to root for to have success and I want to make sure we get a bunch of wins before they leave here because they deserve it," said Weaver.

The Bethany defense continues to look for answers after another tough game point-wise, but there were strides made last week. The unit allowed a season-low in total yards and forced a pair of turnovers last week while also making four sacks. Weaver highlighted the play of senior Blake DeBord and junior Seth Cawoski inside, as well as sophomore cornerback Wyssmy Despagne, and also said the team will take a more straightforward approach this week.

"Our two defensive tackles Blake and Seth are playing great football," said Weaver. "And Wys has the ability and is playing like one of the very best corners in the league. To look at it, we've only had one really bad game as a group and that was at Randolph-Macon. We had 10 third-down stops and held Grove City to under 320 yards last week, so there are just plays here and there that we have to make.

"We've done a lot of self-evaluating after last week and determined we're doing too much," said Weaver. "That's solely on me because we have a veteran group and was thinking we could be creative. But now we have guys thinking too much, so we've really stripped it down this week and want to get back to having guys play."

W&J is 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the league coming into Saturday. The Presidents' only loss this year was a 28-24 setback to ninth-ranked St. John Fisher and they are fresh off a 17-0 shutout at Thiel last Saturday. W&J's defense allowed just 161 total yards and had five sacks. Senior linebacker John Hunter was named the PAC Defensive Player of the Week after he made eight tackles, including three and a half for loss and two sacks. The offense was solid enough, recording 261 yards and was led by RB Dion Wiegand with 84 rushing yards and one touchdown.

The Presidents' main strength for years was an explosive offense and while W&J can still get it done on that side of the ball, W&J's defense has become the staple of the program. They rank second in the PAC in points allowed (12.8) and sacks (12), third in total defense (244.2) and teams are converting a conference low 18 percent of third-down chances against them (9-51). Hunter has been a force all season long, leading the team in tackles (29), tackles for loss (6.5) and sacks (three) and containing Hunter and the rest of the Presidents pass rush is a big concern for the Bison this week.

"They've shifted from spread-it-out, throw it all over the place to defense first," said Weaver. "Protecting the quarterback is an issue against them. Our pass protection has been pretty good, outside of some issues in the fourth quarter against Grove City, but we think we have those worked out. We need to establish the run game and focus on protecting the quarterback to slow the rush down."

The W&J offense can still be a force, especially with a ground game posting 154.5 yards per game. Senior TB Tim McNerney sat out last week's win over Thiel but is still second in the conference with 373 rushing yards. Quarterback Matt Bliss has completed 64 percent of his passes for 645 yards, but he was injured last week and is questionable for Saturday. Senior Alex Baroffio, who currently leads the PAC with 36 receptions for 322 yards, took over under center last week and was 6-for-11 for 72 yards and a touchdown and added 62 rushing yards.

Regardless of who calls the plays for W&J, Weaver says the Bison must stop the run this week.

"Their situation at quarterback appears like they're willing to go with two," said Weaver. "Both Bliss and Baroffio are very athletic. Bliss can throw the ball down the field well and is a threat to run. Against Baroffio, keeping him in the pocket and in our vision is job one.

"But right now, teams run on 75 percent of snaps against us, so we need to stop the run," said Weaver. "That's what our focus will be all week and we can emphasize it all we want but it will come down to beating blocks, pursuing at the right angles and making tackles."

This is the longest running rivalry in the PAC, as the teams meet for the 89th time this weekend. The Presidents have won 29 in a row in the series, so that is a streak the Bison would love to put an end to Saturday. And while Weaver, who carries a strong belief in his team into Saturday, says a win won't take away the sour taste from three losses to open the season, it will go a long way in righting the ship for the rest of the year.

"We've been looking for a win in a game like this since we got here and we can win this game," said Weaver. "We've won some games, but we haven't beaten a top team, either in conference or out. I believe in our players and what we're doing. I have no doubt we can go win this week. The biggest thing a win would do is get us to 1-1 in the league. It doesn't erase the last three games, but it would put us back on track and give us some confidence."
comments powered by Disqus
Oct. 3: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
MIT at Curry
Live Stats Live Stats
10:00 PM
George Fox at Willamette
Live Stats Video
Oct. 4: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Hobart at WPI
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Mass-Dartmouth
Video
12:00 PM
Southern Virginia at Kean
Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Endicott at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Juniata at Johns Hopkins
Audio
12:00 PM
Springfield at Union
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
Salisbury at St. John Fisher
Live Stats Audio Audio
12:00 PM
TCNJ at Morrisville State
Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
Apprentice School at Newport News Apprentice
Live Stats
12:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Rochester
Live Stats Video Audio
12:30 PM
Mount Union at Capital
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
RPI at Merchant Marine
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Trinity (Conn.) at Hamilton
Preview Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Wesleyan at Colby
Video
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Westfield State
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Norwich at Husson
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Williams at Bates
Preview Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at King's
1:00 PM
Montclair State at William Paterson
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Gallaudet at Anna Maria
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Moravian at Ursinus
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Western Connecticut
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Stevenson at Lycoming
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Coast Guard at Western New England
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Dickinson
Video
1:00 PM
Hope at Albion
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Emory and Henry
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Guilford
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Catholic
Preview Video Audio
1:00 PM
Benedictine at Kalamazoo
Live Stats Video Audio Tickets
1:00 PM
Alma at Trine
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wooster at Wabash
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Westminster (Pa.) at Carnegie Mellon
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Widener at Misericordia
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Nichols at Salve Regina
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Louisiana College at Wesley
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Averett at N.C. Wesleyan
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Susquehanna
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Alfred at Hartwick
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Rowan at Cortland State
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Buffalo State at Frostburg State
Live Stats
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Gettysburg
Preview Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Allegheny
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Albright at Delaware Valley
Live Stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Utica at Ithaca
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
FDU-Florham at Wilkes
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Rhodes at Chicago
Preview Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Minnesota-Morris
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Grinnell at Lawrence
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Tufts at Bowdoin
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Amherst at Middlebury
Live Stats Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Massachusetts Maritime at Fitchburg State
Preview Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Ohio Northern
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Franklin at Manchester
Preview Live Stats Live Stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Heidelberg at Otterbein
Audio
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Earlham
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Hanover at Bluffton
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Denison at DePauw
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Castleton State at Becker
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Mount Ida
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Hiram at Wittenberg
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
LaGrange at Maryville (Tenn.)
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Anderson at Rose-Hulman
Preview Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Waynesburg at Grove City
2:00 PM
Muskingum at Baldwin Wallace
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Millsaps at Hendrix
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Aurora at Rockford
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Greensboro at Huntingdon
Video
2:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Concordia (Wis.)
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Lakeland
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Bethel
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Hamline at St. John's
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Carleton at Gustavus Adolphus
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Sewanee at Birmingham-Southern
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Hardin-Simmons
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Simpson at Buena Vista
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
St. Norbert at Cornell
2:00 PM
Knox at Macalester
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Texas Lutheran at Howard Payne
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Okla. Panhandle
2:00 PM
Augustana at Elmhurst
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
North Park at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
Wartburg at Central
Audio
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Luther
Video
2:00 PM
Loras at Coe
2:00 PM
Martin Luther at Eureka
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Greenville
2:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Crown
2:00 PM
Ripon at Illinois College
2:00 PM
Beloit at Monmouth
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at UW-Whitewater
Live Stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Trinity Bible at Maranatha Baptist
Video
2:10 PM
St. Thomas at St. Olaf
Live Stats Video Audio
3:00 PM
St. Vincent at Thiel
Video
3:00 PM
UW-Stout at UW-Oshkosh
Live Stats Video Audio
3:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at UW-River Falls
Audio
3:30 PM
UW-Platteville at UW-Eau Claire
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio Tickets
4:00 PM
Austin at Southwestern
Preview Live Stats
4:00 PM
Lewis and Clark at Puget Sound
4:00 PM
Linfield at Pacific Lutheran
Live Stats Audio Audio
4:00 PM
Chapman at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Live Stats Video Audio
4:00 PM
Whitworth at Pacific
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
5:00 PM
Olivet at Adrian
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
5:30 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at St. Scholastica
Live Stats Live Stats Video
6:00 PM
Bethany at Case Western Reserve
Preview Live Stats Video
6:00 PM
Wilmington at Marietta
Live Stats Video Audio
6:00 PM
Washington U. at Berry
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio Tickets
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Bridgewater (Va.)
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Thomas More at Washington and Jefferson
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Ferrum at Christopher Newport
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Millikin at North Central (Ill.)
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Carthage at Illinois Wesleyan
Live Stats Video
8:00 PM
Cal Lutheran at Whittier
Live Stats Video
10:00 PM
Occidental at La Verne
Live Stats Video
10:00 PM
Redlands at Pomona-Pitzer
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
Oct. 4: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Thomas More at Washington and Jefferson
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Millikin at North Central (Ill.)
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Hiram at Wittenberg
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Ohio Northern
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Heidelberg at Otterbein
Audio
3:30 PM
UW-Platteville at UW-Eau Claire
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio Tickets
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Catholic
Preview Video Audio
1:00 PM
Wooster at Wabash
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Louisiana College at Wesley
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Utica at Ithaca
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Stevenson at Lycoming
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
3:00 PM
UW-Stout at UW-Oshkosh
Live Stats Video Audio
12:30 PM
Mount Union at Capital
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
2:10 PM
St. Thomas at St. Olaf
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
Juniata at Johns Hopkins
Audio
12:00 PM
Salisbury at St. John Fisher
Live Stats Audio Audio
12:00 PM
Hobart at WPI
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Wartburg at Central
Audio
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at UW-Whitewater
Live Stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Bethel
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
North Park at Wheaton (Ill.)
4:00 PM
Linfield at Pacific Lutheran
Live Stats Audio Audio

What We're Reading