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Susquehanna Returns Home to Face Diplomats

More news about: Susquehanna

The Susquehanna University Football team returns home after consecutive road games to face Franklin & Marshall. The River Hawks enter the game with a 2-1 overall record and a 1-1 Centennial Conference mark. The Diplomats are tied for the conference lead with a 3-0 overall record and 2-0 record in Centennial games.

The game against Franklin & Marshall marks the third straight opponent for the River Hawks that was in the top three positions in the Centennial Conference preseason poll with road games against Johns Hopkins and Muhlenberg. The Diplomats defeated Juniata (52-7) and McDaniel (43-41) for its two conference games. Juniata and McDaniel were picked to finish eighth and ninth in the preseason poll. F&M also has a non-conference win over Lebanon Valley (48-7).

The Series

The games between Susquehanna and Franklin & Marshall date back to 1898 when Susquehanna dropped a 6-0 decision just one week after falling 45-6 to Penn State. The teams played 11 times between 1989 and 2010 before Susquehanna finally won a game in the series when Steve Briggs led the squad to a 40-14 victory in 2011. Prior to that win, F&M held a 9-0-2 lead in the series. Since 2011, the series is an even 3-3 after Susquehanna won 20-10 last year.

Only three teams that still exist have a series with Susquehanna that dates back further than F&M. Susquehanna started playing Bloomsburg in 1893, Dickinson in 1896 and Gettysburg in 1897.

In the first 10 meetings between the two schools, F&M outscored Susquehanna by an average of 24.3 to 3.7 as the Diplomats posted four shutouts. Since 2010, the series has been much closer as Susquehanna has outscored F&M by a slim 22.1-21.7 margin.

Last Year

In the 2016 meeting, Nick Crusco threw for a career-high 393 yards including a 69-yard TD pass to Robert Marks in the third quarter. Marks finished with 175 yards on seven receptions while Chris Beals added 122 yards on nine catches. David Simpson led the team with 10 tackles and Danial Shelton picked off two passes to lead the defense. The River Hawks defense forced three three-and-out drives in the fourth quarter and Dixon intercepted a pass to stop the final Diplomat drive to seal the victory.

Last Week

Susquehanna rebounded from a road loss at Johns Hopkins to post its first Centennial Conference win at one of the toughest places to play in the league. In fact, no Centennial team other than Hopkins had won a game at Muhlenberg since 2010 until Saturday as the River Hawks claimed a 14-11 come-from-behind victory.

Connor Thompson led another solid defensive effort in the win with 10 tackles, a sack, a fumble recovery and an interception. He was named the Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts. David Simpson also had 10 tackles and Craig Roumes chipped in five tackles, a forced fumble and an interception.

Offensively, Nick Crusco had 145 yards passing and 10 rushing while Mikah Christian racked up 70 yards on two catches on consecutive plays with a 39-yard reception followed by a 31-yard TD catch.

Franklin & Marshall put up 442 yards of total offense with nearly 300 yards passing with three TDs and also scored on a 94-yard kickoff return. The Diplomats trailed by 10 points in the fourth quarter but scored twice early in the final stanza to escape with the win.

Keeping Track of the Players

The River Hawks more than a few double numbers on this year's roster causing some confusion to announcers at games and on the air. The biggest issues are with the three backup quarterbacks on the roster sharing numbers with other players. Number 16 is shared by Matt Thies and Craig Roumes. Thies can be seen most games as the holder for kicking situations while Roumes is a starter on defense. Number 17 is shared by quarterback Eddie Shields and punter Glenn Dobron and the number 18 is shared by Nicholas Brotzman who is listed as the primary backup to Nick Crusco and punter Jake Wiles.

Award Winning Defensive Stars

The Susquehanna defense was awarded for the third consecutive weekend as Connor Thompson earned Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors following the Muhlenberg game. Tucker Garner (week one) and David Simpson (week two) earned D3football.com National Team of the Week honors.

D-Backs Come Alive in Week Three

In week one, the Susquehanna defense intercepted a pass (Ryan Ganard) to extend a run of interceptions in six consecutive games. The run was brought to an end at Hopkins but the River Hawks started a new streak with four interceptions in the win over Muhlenberg. Craig Roumes and Jason Brougham each picked off their first career passes and Danial Shelton grabbed his first of the season.

The four interceptions from last week also moved the River Hawks up to 25th in the nation in the category and they also are tied for the lead in the Centennial Conference with Muhlenberg and the five total interceptions for the year.

Probably Won't Punt

After all that has happened in the first three games and based on the statistical numbers, we may not see a punter all day. The River Hawks have successfully faked three punts this season earning the first down yardage and then some. The Diplomats are leading the country with a 100 percent success rate on fourth down conversions going a perfect 6-for-6 so far this year.

Close Games

The River Hawks have had three very close games this season. The NCAA statistical programs do not track the point differential but the River Hawks have had just eight points separate them from opponents this season with a one-point win in the opener, a four-point loss in the Hopkins game and a three-point win over Muhlenberg.

Aug. 30: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Alma at Baldwin Wallace
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7:00 PM
Frostburg State at Stevenson
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7:00 PM
University of New England at Coast Guard
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7:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Johns Hopkins
7:00 PM
Hamline at Buena Vista
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7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at McMurry
7:30 PM
Manchester at Trine
7:37 PM
Rowan at Widener
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
8:00 PM
UW-Platteville at East Texas Baptist
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Aug. 31: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Utica at St. Lawrence
7:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
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WPI at Anna Maria
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7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
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Becker at MIT
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7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
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7:00 PM
Dean at Curry
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8:00 PM
St. Olaf at Crown
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
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Brevard at Davidson
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Southern Virginia at Christopher Newport
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Augustana at Coe
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
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12:00 PM
Morrisville State at Norwich
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Buffalo State at Bridgewater State
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12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
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Salve Regina at Worcester State
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Sewanee at Kenyon
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SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
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12:00 PM
Thomas More at N.C. Wesleyan
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1:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Misericordia
1:00 PM
Husson at Union
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Apprentice at Greensboro
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RPI at Allegheny
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Cortland at Fitchburg State
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1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
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Westminster (Pa.) at Wittenberg
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Washington and Lee at Dickinson
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Hobart at Brockport
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McDaniel at Catholic
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1:00 PM
Huntingdon at Guilford
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Gallaudet at Alvernia
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Mass-Dartmouth at Alfred State
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1:00 PM
Shenandoah at Methodist
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1:00 PM
Thiel at Alfred
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
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1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Washington and Jefferson at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
1:00 PM
Hartwick at Wilkes
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
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1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
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1:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at Carthage
1:00 PM
Grinnell at Lawrence
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
1:30 PM
Wooster at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Albion at Defiance
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2:00 PM
Wilmington at Earlham
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2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Stevens Point
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
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Wisconsin Lutheran at Lake Forest
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2:00 PM
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2:00 PM
Aurora at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Nebraska Wesleyan at Concordia-Moorhead
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Martin Luther
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Monmouth at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
Minnesota-Morris at UW-River Falls
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
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UW-Stout at St. John's
2:00 PM
UW-Eau Claire at Loras
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2:00 PM
Bethel at Simpson
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Beloit at Concordia-Chicago
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Southwestern Assemblies at Austin
2:10 PM
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3:00 PM
Puget Sound at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
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4:00 PM
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6:00 PM
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Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
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Benedictine at Franklin
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Willamette at Simon Fraser
7:00 PM
Geneva at Marietta
7:00 PM
Rochester at Case Western Reserve
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7:00 PM
Hanover at Centre
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Ohio Wesleyan at Otterbein
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UW-Whitewater at Dubuque
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Illinois College at Rhodes
7:00 PM
Chicago at Washington U.
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Anderson at North Park
8:00 PM
Lyon at Hendrix
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Carleton at Macalester
10:00 PM
Pacific at Chapman
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10:00 PM
George Fox at Redlands
10:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Arizona Christian
10:00 PM
Lewis-Clark Valley at Pomona-Pitzer
Dec. 9: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 43, at UW-Oshkosh 40
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, Brockport 0
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Dec. 15: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 12, at Mary Hardin-Baylor 0
@ Salem, Va.
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