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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 41st meeting between McDaniel (3-4, 2-4 CC) and Ursinus (5-2, 4-2 CC) in a series that dates back to 1976. The Green Terror snapped a 10-game losing streak in the series with a 30-27 victory last season to take a 25-15-1 lead in the all-time series. The Bears won the last game in Collegeville by a 33-17 margin in 2015.
WHEN LAST WE MET: McDaniel scored the final 10 points of the game to defeat Ursinus 30-27 and snap its 22-game losing streak in week four last season. Spencer Wiersberg (Salisbury, Md./J.M. Bennett) hit a then-career-long 43-yard field goal as time expired for the win. Will Koester (Purcellville, Va./Woodgrove) threw for a then-career-best 314 yards. Salvatore Bello led the Bears with a 23-for-36 day through the air, throwing for 235 yards.
LAST TIME OUT: Muhlenberg jumped out to a 12-3 lead after the first quarter en route to a 40-13 victory over McDaniel last week. Bamasa Bailor (Carlisle, Pa./Carlisle Area) led the Green Terror with nine catches for 96 yards. James Diggs recorded 168 rushing yards and a touchdown for the Mules, who outgained their hosts 469-272 on the day.
WITH HONORS: Bamasa Bailor and Spencer Wiersberg were named to their respective CC Weekly Honor Rolls two weeks ago. Bailor was tabbed to the offensive list after making nine catches for 96 yards to lead the offense. Wiersberg was named to the special teams ledger after converting all three of his kick attempts. In addition to hitting his lone PAT, Wiersberg also connected on field goals from 27 and 32 yards out.
LEADING THE WAY: Bamasa Bailor, Vince Gorgone (Clarksville, Md./Good Counsel) and Drew Scott (Brick, N.J./Brick Twp.) will captain the squad in 2017. Gorgone is a two-time captain after also leading the squad as a junior while Bailor and Scott are first-time captains.
BLOCK PARTY: McDaniel blocked three Muhlenberg extra-point attempts last Saturday. It is the first time since Oct. 23, 2010 at Ursinus that the Green Terror blocked multiple PATs in the same game. It is also the first known time that the Green and Gold has blocked three attempts in the same game. The kicks were blocked by three different players. Jack Farquharson (Ellicott City, Md./Howard) knocked down the first one. Kiree Moore (Waldorf, Md./Westlake) attempted to return it for two points but was caught and tackled from behind near midfield. Ben Stapleton (Purcellville, Va./Loudoun Valley) swatted down the next Mule point-after attempt on the other side of halftime. Michael Wright (Baltimore, Md./Dunbar) got the third one early in the fourth quarter.
NO SACK LUNCH: For the third time this season, the McDaniel offensive line did not allow a sack. The Green Terror had gone the first two games of the year without allowing a sack before giving up five over the next four games. McDaniel has the fewest sacks allowed in the conference this year. The 0.71 sacks per game allowed ranks 15th in Division III.
KICKIN' IT THROUGH THE STICKS: Spencer Wiersberg converted two more field goals on Saturday and has now made 29 of his 36 career field-goal attempts. The two field goals on Saturday broke a tie with Craig Walker for the career record of field goals made. Walker made 27 of his 44 attempts from 1978-80. With a career 80.5-percent conversion, he is on pace to hold the career mark for field goal percentage among those kickers with 15 or more attempts. His 12 field goals in seven games this year is second in Division III. Only Johns Hopkins' Jamie Sullivan has more with 13.
BOOTIN' IT: Joey Cornwell (Rockville, Md./Rockville) averaged 43.8 yards on his five punts last week. For the season, he is averaging a conference-best 38.6 yards per boot. He has had at least one punt of 40 yards or longer in each of the last six games. The coverage team has also done its job. The Green Terror has the best net punting average in the conference at 36.53, which is also 24th in Division III.
THE COOL HAND: Senior Luke Lynes (Dillsburg, Pa./Northern) saw his first action at quarterback this season on McDaniel's final drive of the game. He led the team on a 12-play drive in which he completed 5 of 8 passes for 30 yards.
OH, SAY WHERE'D YOU GO?: After averaging 34.8 points per game and 464.4 yards of total offense per game over the first five games of the season, the offense has been limited to just 23 total points and 506 total yards over the last two contests. After running the ball 35 or more times in each of the first five games, including 61 rush attempts in the opener against Catholic, the Green Terror has run fewer than 30 times in each of the last two outings.
TERROR TIDBITS: With last week's loss the Green Terror has now lost seven straight games coming off the bye week. The last victory was a 35-0 home win over Susquehanna in 2010… The four interceptions thrown last week were the most in 23 games… A season-high nine different receivers caught a pass against Muhlenberg last Saturday. Bamasa Bailor caught nine balls, matching his career high and equaling the high for any McDaniel receiver.
COACHES' CORNER: Mike Dailey is in his second season at the helm of the Green Terror. He enters today's game with a 6-11 record, going 3-7 in his debut campaign as the head man after seven seasons as an assistant on the staff. Dailey joined the Green Terror staff in 2009 with a pedigree of success at all levels of football that included compiling a record of 115-83 and two championships in 12 years as a head coach in the Arena Football League (AFL), leading the Albany Firebirds and Colorado Crush that included winning league titles in 1999 and 2005. For his first six seasons on the McDaniel sidelines, he served as defensive coordinator. His scheme put pressure on opposing quarterbacks game-in and game-out, recording 101 sacks and 55 interceptions. He helped produce 12 All-Centennial Conference selections, including four first-team nods. In 2015, Dailey shifted responsibilities to the offensive side of the ball – something he is renowned for from his days in the AFL. He spent last season coordinating the pass game and working specifically with the wide receivers… Peter Gallagher is in his 17th season at Ursinus. He has posted an 84-85 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 and became the program's all-time wins leader. 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. Gallagher guided Ursinus to six straight winning seasons – the longest stretch in program history – before last year's 3-7 mark.
THE WORD ON URSINUS: The Bears enter today's game, winless in October. Ursinus has dropped back-to-back 21-14 losses. A week after snapping Johns Hopkins' 40-game CC winning streak and 45-game regular-season winning streak with a 21-17 victory, the Bears fell 21-14 at Muhlenberg on Oct. 7. After the bye, Ursinus fell 21-14 at Susquehanna last Saturday. The River Hawks scored the first 14 points of the game and outgained the Bears, 372-272. Urisnus was limited to just 92 rushing yards, led by quarterback Thomas Garlick's 30 yards on 13 attempts. He also ran for a touchdown. Garlick also completed 20 of 30 passes for 180 yards. Samuel Ragland caught five passes for 66 yards and a score… Cody Richmond, who had 12 tackles last Saturday, is one of three Bear defenders with 40 or more stops this season, registering 43 on the year. Heath Hidlay has 44 tackles, including 7.5 tackles for loss. Jacob McCain leads the defense with 65 tackles, which ranks third in the conference… Garlick is completing 61.4 percent of his passes, throwing for 1,349 yards on just 171 pass attempts. Ursinus has thrown the ball the fewest times of any conference team this season… Stacey Gardner and Garlick, however, have each carried the ball more than 100 times this season. Gardner has rushed for 616 yards on 118 carries while Garlick has 416 rushing yards on 106 totes. The Bears have scored 18 of their 26 touchdowns on the ground. Gardner has six of those scores while Garlick and Ragland have five each… Alex DeSpirito is second in the CC with 13 punts inside the 20… In each of Ursinus' first four games – all victories, the Bears recorded 35 points. In each of the last three games – a win and two losses, the winning team has scored 21 points. Twice this year, Ursinus has had consecutive games end with the same score. The Bears topped Gettysburg and Juniata in consecutive weeks by a 35-28 score before the two straight 21-14 losses.