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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 35th meeting between McDaniel (0-3, 0-2 CC) and Ursinus (1-2, 0-2 CC) in a series that dates back to 1976. The Bears have won the last six meetings but the Green Terror leads the all-time series, 24-11-1.
WHEN LAST WE MET: Ursinus found the end zone for fifth time with just 19.4 seconds left to break a 28-all deadlock and defeat McDaniel 35-28 last season. Nick O'Melia (Taneytown, Md./Francis Scott Key) made made three catches for 107 yards and a touchdown to lead the Green Terror, who got another 200-yard passing day from then-freshman quarterback Nick Valori (Treasure Island, Fla./Washington Twp. [N.J.]), who finished 11-for-19 for 245 yards and two touchdown passes. Bryan Ellis led the Bears in the running game, rushing for 180 yards on 26 carries – part of 252 yards on the ground. Chris Curran added 45 rushing yards on seven carries with two touchdowns in addition to his 166 yards passing.
LAST TIME OUT: Muhlenberg piled up 413 yards of total offense and the defense pitched a shutout, defeating McDaniel 33-0 in CC action last Saturday. Joe Rollins (Temple Hills, Md./Surrattsville) led the Green Terror with 86 yards rushing. He also had 58 yards on a pair of kick returns. Dan Deighan threw for 158 yards to lead the Mules while Terrence Dandridge ran for 100 yards. Deighan ran for another 91 yards.
WITH HONORS: James Price (Baltimore, Md./W.E.B. DuBois) was named to the CC Weekly Honor Rolls last week. Price earned the defensive nod after leading the Green Terror with nine tackles in his first start for McDaniel.
LEADING THE WAY: Tyler Lloyd (Broad Run, Va./Fauquier), Tim McLister (Leesburg, Va./Loudoun) and Kevin White (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Haverford Twp.) will captain the squad in 2012. White is a two-time captain while Lloyd and McLister will lead the squad for the first time as seniors.
MANY HAPPY RETURNS: After injuries continued to take their toll, Joe Rollins and Matt Emerson (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown) were called into kick-return duty on Saturday. The duo each turned in a pair of returns that covered more than 20 yards. Rollins took the first return 23 yards before adding a 35-yard return in the fourth quarter. Emerson had the three returns in between. After a muffed return that netted nine yards, the senior rolled up a 22-yard return and a 43-yard burst. The duo combined for 132 of the team's 137 yards. McDaniel enters the week fourth in the league, averaging 20.1 yards per return.
ROLL ON: Joe Rollins started to get rolling again last Saturday, carrying the ball 22 times. Rollins amassed 86 yards on the ground and finished the day with 143 all-purpose yards after his strong showing in the kick-return game. With his 101 yards this season, he has moved up to fifth on the Green Terror's all-time list and 32nd all-time in the CC with 2,125 career yards.
WANNA BE LIKE MIKE: The Green Terror defense has been led so far this season by junior outside linebacker Mike Cousar (Easton, Pa./Easton Area). Cousar paces the squad and CC with 33 tackles through the first two games of the year. He followed up a career-high 12 tackles in the opener at Catholic with a career-best 14 stops at Moravian last Saturday. His 13.0 tackles per game is tied for 48th in all of the Division III.
THE PRICE IS RIGHT: James Price made the most of the decision to give him the start at cornerback on Saturday. The sophomore saw his first significant action of the season on defense and led the squad with nine tackles.
SAFETY ZONE: Prior to Week Three last season, McDaniel had gone four seasons without allowing a safety. In the last two seasons, Muhlenberg has earned a safety in both of its games against the Green Terror. In the fourth quarter last year in Allentown, a bad snap on the McDaniel 13 resulted in a safety. In the third quarter this year in Westminster, a bad snap on a punt from the Green Terror 20 also resulted in a safety.
FALLBACK PLAN: In hopes of finding an offensive spark, McDaniel went to a two-quarterback system last week against the Mules. While Nick Valori started the game and played his share of time, classmate Seth McFall (Dover, Del./Caesar Rodney) came on with the start of the third series and quarterbacked four drives during the game. McFall threw for a career-high 77 yards on 7 of 13 passing with one interception.
TERROR TIDBITS: Nick Valori needs 74 yards to reach 2,000 for his career. He will be the 10th Green Terror signal caller to reach that mark… Three of McDaniel's last four shutouts have come at the hands of Muhlenberg… The Green Terror is 0-3 for the first time since starting 2007 with four straight losses… McDaniel has won the time of possession battle in all three games this year… All four of the Green Terror's passing touchdowns to date were in the opener and were caught by Francis Scott Key graduates. Nick O'Melia caught three while Keith Woodrow (Taneytown, Md./Francis Scott Key) nabbed the fourth… McDaniel is last in the league in scoring offense (11.7 ppg)… The Green Terror has the fewest penalties in the CC (14).
COACHES' CORNER: Mike Hoyt is in his first season at the helm of the Green Terror, entering today's game with an overall record of 0-3. He spent the last eight seasons as the defensive coordinator, culminating with being a finalist for the American Football Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2011. In his first season at Albright, his defense went from allowing an average of 235.4 yards per game to 175.1 yards per contest, helping to guide Albright to an ECAC South Atlantic championship. His tenure as defensive coordinator was marked specifically by stout run defense, ranking in the top half of the Middle Atlantic Conference in rush defense, total defense and scoring defense in four of his last five seasons. His 2008 defense led the conference and ranked 33rd nationally, allowing just 16.9 points per games and appeared in the ECAC South Central Bowl… Peter Gallagher is in his 12th season at Ursinus. He has posted a 55-60 mark at the helm of the Bears, including a 6-4 record in his first season (2001), marking the first time an Ursinus coach registered a winning season in his first year. In 2006, Gallagher added offensive coordinator to his duties and recorded the most successful campaign in his tenure at 8-3. In 2010, he guided the Bears to a share of the Centennial Conference title. Prior to his arrival in Collegeville, he served as the defensive coordinator at the University of Rochester in addition to successful stints at Dartmouth, Wagner and Georgetown.
THE WORD ON URSINUS: The Bears enter today's game off a 40-28 loss at Franklin & Marshall last week. The Diplomats jumped out to a 13-0 first-quarter lead before the Bears scored three times in the second quarter to close to within 26-21 at the intermission. Chris Curran threw for 266 yards with three touchdowns on 23 of 45 passing. He ran for another 73 yards and a score… Jerry Rahill caught seven balls for 89 yards while Josh Williams made another five snags for 65 yards… Curran currently leads the team in rushing with 92 yards… Curran has completed 52.9 percent of his passes for 783 yards and seven touchdowns. His 261.0 yards per game passing leads the CC… The Bears have the league's best passing offense (268.3 ypg) but the conference's worst pass defense (236.3 ypg)… Ursinus has allowed a CC-worst 36.0 points per game, including surrendering 40 or more each of the first two conference games… The Bears also have the league's worst rushing offense, averaging a scant 62.0 yards per game on the ground. Ursinus is sixth in total offense (330.3 ypg) and 10th in total defense (496.0 ypg)… Matt Glowacki leads the defense with 25 total tackles… Jerry Rahill is the squad's top receiver with 18 grabs for 216 yards and a touchdown. Darius Jones has 12 catches for a team-high 236 yards and four scores. Bryan Ellis also has double-digit grabs, nabbing 12 balls for 93 yards… Ursinus has not scored a point in the first quarter all season but has 35 second-quarter points.