Juniata at McDaniel
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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 24th meeting between McDaniel (1-6, 1-5 CC) and Juniata (0-7, 0-6 CC) in a series that dates back to 1923. The Green Terror has won back-to-back meetings, including by a 3-0 margin last season in Huntingdon, to draw the all-time series even, 11-11-1. The Eagles last win came by a 12-10 margin in 2008.
WHEN LAST WE MET: Ray O'Hara netted a career-high 120 yards on 23 carries to lead an offense that did just enough to earn McDaniel a 3-0 victory over Juniata in the season and CC opener last season. The Green Terror outgained the Eagles 243-184 and then-freshman Bill Castor (Morrisville, Pa./Conwell-Egan Catholic) provided the only points with a 27-yard field goal in the second quarter. Chris Kolb and Aaron Slaughter each recorded six tackles to lead the defense.
LAST TIME OUT: Dickinson scored 14 of the 17 second-half total points, including the go-ahead score with 7:25 remaining, to overcome a 13-3 halftime deficit and defeat McDaniel 17-16 last Friday. Joe Rollins (Temple Hills, Md./Surrattsville) carried the ball 26 times for 150 yards for the Green Terror to give him 1,039 on 174 carries this season. Rollins also caught two passes for 36 yards and returned two kickoffs for 46 yards to give him 232 all-purpose yards on the night. Mike Shimkin added his own 100-yard rushing day for the Red Devils, running 19 times for 124 yards. Cam Di Fede finished with nine catches for 99 yards and a touchdown.
WITH HONORS: Joe Rollins and Tim McLister (Leesburg, Va./Loudoun) were named to their respective CC Weekly Honor Rolls last week. Rollins was named to the offensive list after rushing for 150 yards on 26 attempts to go over 1,000 for the season. McLister earned the defensive nod after recording eight tackles and an interception.
LEADING THE WAY: Sam Cox (Towson, Md./Towson), Tom Massucci, Diego Weiner (Miami, Fla./Riverside Military Academy [Ga.]) and Kevin White (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Haverford Twp.) captain the squad in 2011. The quartet is all first-time captains for the Green Terror. Weiner and White earned the nod as juniors. It marks the first time since 2008 that McDaniel will be led by a completely new group of captains.
ISN'T HE GRAND: With a 14-yard run late in the third quarter, Joe Rollins recorded the Green Terror's seventh 1,000-yard rushing season and just the fifth different player to eclipse the mark in program history. Rollins finished Friday night with his fifth 100-yard game of the season. The 150 yards on the ground gave him 1,039 for the season with three games to play. His 148.4-yard-per-game average still leads the conference and ranks sixth in Division III. Rollins became the first McDaniel runner to run for 1,000 in a season since Broderick Maybank went for 1,200 in 2004. In just 16 career games, Rollins already has 1,662 yards, ranking ninth on the all-time list already. If he stays on his average, he will eclipse 2,000 by the end of the year, becoming just the sixth Green Terror player to reach that plateau in a career.
CENTURY MARKS: The number 100 has become almost a standard with the McDaniel offense this season. As a team, Green Terror players have recorded 100 yards in some category on 12 occasions. Joe Rollins has turned in five 100-yard rushing days – the most by any individual player since Broderick Maybank had seven during the 2004 season. He has at least 100 all-purpose yards in all seven games this year. Nick O'Melia (Taneytown, Md./Francis Scott Key) has three 100-yard receiving days while Woody Butler (Smithsburg, Md./Middletown) and Mike Oliveto each have one. Donny Sherman (Darlington, Md./Havre de Grace) also has one additional 100-yard all-purpose game. In three of the seven games, McDaniel has had both a 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver.
ONE AND DONE: For the third time this season, the Green Terror scored a touchdown on its first play of a drive. One play after Josef Jolisaint (Woodstock, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) recovered a fumble at the Dickinson 12, Nick Valori hit Woody Butler for a 12-yard touchdown to give McDaniel a 13-3 lead with 6:09 to play in the first half. It was, however, the Green Terror's shortest one-play scoring drive of the season. One play after Ursinus took a 14-6 lead, Valori connected with Nick O'Melia for a 65-yard touchdown strike to pull McDaniel back within one with 3:53 to play in the first half. A week later, Valori and O'Melia hooked up for a 56-yarder one play after Mike Cousar (Easton, Pa./Easton Area) recovered a fumble in the end zone and returned it to midfield. The touchdown put the Green Terror on top 30-24 with 3:28 to play in the third quarter. Two other drives have taken two plays.
HELLO, ALUMS: Today is Homecoming on the Hill for McDaniel. In addition to the team's normal festivities, it will honor the 2001 CC championship team – the fifth of six straight Green Terror titles. The Green Terror is 53-23-1 on Homecoming, including 11-5-1 under Tim Keating. Today is the third time this season in which McDaniel has participated in a Homecoming game. The Green Terror dropped a 34-26 decision in front of the Muhlenberg alums on Sept. 17 before falling 35-28 in front of the Ursinus Homecoming crowd a week later. This is the third time Juniata has visited Westminster on a special weekend but first visit for Homecoming on the Hill. The Eagles' last two trips (2007, 2009) came on Families Weekend.
IT'S A BAKERY: Friday night's game between McDaniel and Dickinson featured a combined eight turnovers. There have been 30 CC games so far this season and the eight combined turnovers ties for the most in any single game. It was the second time the Red Devils were part of an eight-turnover game. In a 24-12 loss to Moravian on Sept. 24, Dickinson also lost the turnover battle, 5-3. The five turnovers were the most forced by the Green Terror in a single game since turning Bethany over five times in a 45-15 win on Nov. 8, 2003. Despite the eight turnovers on Friday night in Carlisle, the offenses were able to turn them into only 17 points. McDaniel scored just 10 points off the five takeaways while Dickinson had just seven points off turnovers – the game-winning touchdown. For the season, the Green Terror has scored 30 points off 14 turnovers while opponents have scored 21 points off 15 McDaniel miscues.
SEEING RED: The Green Terror has the best red-zone offense in the CC entering play this weekend. McDaniel has registered points on 19 of its 24 trips inside the opponent 20. Of the 79.2-percent conversion rate, 15 of the scores have been touchdowns. McDaniel is 4-for-5 on field-goal attempts when it reaches the red zone. Only Johns Hopkins, which has scored on 32 of 40 trips (80.0 percent) into the red zone, has a better rate of scoring than the Green Terror.
NO MORE STREAKING: For the first time in five games, freshman QB Nick Valori failed to throw for 200 yards. Valori completed just 9 of 20 attempts on Friday night for 147 yards – his fewest since throwing for 135 in his first start. It was the fourth straight game that he threw multiple touchdown passes. However, it was the first time in his six career starts that he rushed for positive yards. His 12 run attempts netted three yards. For the season, Valori is 71-for-132 with 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He has thrown for 1,276 yards – the most by any Green Terror rookie signal caller since Ron Sermarini's 1,814 yards in 1996. Johns Hopkins' Hewitt Tomlin – the CC's all-time leading passer with 9,462 yards entering today – surpassed Sermarini for the conference freshman record with 1,847 in 2008.
CATCHING BIG AIR: Sophomore WR Nick O'Melia caught his fifth pass of 50 or more yards on Friday night, accounting for nearly 20 percent of his total receptions. O'Melia has caught 26 passes for a total of 583 yards and six touchdowns. He is averaging a CC-best 22.4 yards per reception. He is also the Green Terror's top "money receiver" with 21 of his 26 catches resulting in first downs.
MORE YARDS EQUALS MORE POINTS: In all seven McDaniel games this season, the team that has accumulated more yards on offense has won the game. The only game in which the Green Terror finished with more yards on offense than its opponent was the 35-14 win over Moravian on Sept. 10. McDaniel ended the day with a 436-370 advantage in total yards – 311 of which came from Joe Rollins' program record-tying rushing performance. The Green Terror had been outgained by an average of 132.25 yards per game entering its last home game before Franklin & Marshall racked up 165 yards in the first half while holding McDaniel to minus-1. The Green Terror closed the margin at game's end to five after outgaining the Diplomats 250-89 in the second half. Last week, the margin return to 81 yards and the average has dropped to 102.5 per game.
THRILLING THE ALUMS: For the fourth time in the last six years, McDaniel has had its Homecoming game come down to the wire. In three of those four games, overtime was needed for a decision. The stretch started in 2005 when the Green Terror and Franklin & Marshall played to overtime. Brandon Kline hit a 25-yard field goal on the Diplomats' first OT possession before blocking Jay Leonard's 20-yard attempt for a 17-14 win. The next year, Jay Leonard hit a career-long 46-yard field goal with 2.8 seconds to play in regulation, breaking a 14-all deadlock for a 17-14 victory over Gettysburg. In 2007, Franklin & Marshall and McDaniel once again played to overtime. The Diplomats scored on a five-yard touchdown on their sixth play of OT before forcing a Green Terror fumble inside the 10-yard line for a 24-17 win. Last year, it was triple overtime when Woody Butler caught a 10-yard touchdown pass for a 36-30 McDaniel victory over Gettysburg. Both kickers missed field goals in the final 5:33 of regulation.
TERROR TIDBITS: Five of the Green Terror's six losses this season have been by a combined 26 points. The lone loss to come by double digits was a 31-14 setback to Franklin & Marshall two weeks ago… More than half (16 of 28) of the Green Terror's scoring drives have taken 1:51 or less… Last Friday marked the first time this season that McDaniel did not allow 30 or more points in a loss.
COACHES' CORNER: Tim Keating is in his 19th season at the helm of the Green Terror. His 109 victories are the most by any McDaniel coach. Keating enters today's game with record of 109-81-3, guiding the program to seven CC championships and a pair of NCAA playoff wins. Before coming to the Hill, Keating notched a 26-23 record in five seasons at Wesley… Tim Launtz is in his first season at the helm of the Eagles, entering today in search of his first win. He became Juniata's 22nd head coach after serving 15 years on the staff. He most recently served seven seasons as the Eagles' quarterbacks coach. Prior to that, he mentored the receiving corps, defensive backs and served as special teams coordinator from 1997-99. The Huntingdon native graduated from Juniata in 1980.
THE WORD ON JUNIATA: The Eagles enter today's game off a 28-3 loss to Muhlenberg on Saturday – their ninth straight loss dating back to last season… Ward Udlinski completed 18 of 33 pass attempts for 134 yards but threw three interceptions. Scott Andrews hit a 39-yard field goal with 11:44 to play in the first half for Juniata's lone points of the contest… Udlinski is 78-for-177 for 641 yards on the season. He has three touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. Udlinski is one of seven Eagles to attempt a pass this season. David Smyers is the only other player to complete a pass, going 6-for-16 for 34 yards… As a team, Juniata has run for just 422 yards, averaging 60.3 yards per game and 1.9 yards per carry. Udlinski leads the team on the ground as well with 183 yards rushing… Zach McCaulley is the only other Eagle runner to eclipse 100 yards in the first seven games, rushing for 122 yards on 34 carries… Julian Valdiserri has caught 21 passes for 202 yards while Hunter Phillips has 18 receptions for 162 yards, accounting for 364 of the team's 674 receiving yards… Kevin Gorman leads the defense with 49 tackles… The Eagles rank last in every offensive category and ninth in every defensive category in the conference.