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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 42nd meeting between McDaniel (3-4, 2-4 CC) and Ursinus (4-3, 3-3 CC) in a series that dates back to 1976. The Green Terror leads the all-time series 25-16-1 but the Bears won last season 28-21 in Collegeville. McDaniel's last victory was a 30-27 triumph in the last meeting in Westminster in 2016.
WHEN LAST WE MET: Ursinus scored 28 straight points before staving off a McDaniel rally to notch a 28-21 victory last Saturday. Garvin Brooms (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) led the Green Terror with seven tackles, 2.5 sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries. Stacey Gardner led the Bears with 22 carries for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
LAST TIME OUT: Muhlenberg jumped out to a 28-3 lead after its first four possession, outgaining McDaniel 403-263 on the day in a 42-18 victory. Nah'shon Godfrey (Baltimore, Md./Baltimore City College) had a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown. Isaac Murray (Columbia, Md./Atholton) ran for a career-high 138 yards for the Green Terror. Mike Hnatkowsky threw for 250 yards, completing 24 of 33 passes to lead the 20th-ranked Mules.
LEADING THE WAY: Paul Flagg (Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown), Markos Katrakazis (Broomall, Pa./Marple Newtown), Angelo Payne (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech) and Jared Staub (Union Bridge, Md./Francis Scott Key) will captain the squad in 2018. All four seniors are first-time captains.
TOTAL EFFORT: McDaniel enters the week as the CC's No. 1 defense in yards allowed. The Green Terror is allowing an average of just 277.6 yards per game through the first seven contests. McDaniel is second against both the run (173.1 ypg) and the pass (104.4) but has the fewest total yards allowed. Muhlenberg (295.1) is the only other conference team allowing fewer than 300 yards per game. McDaniel is fourth in the conference in scoring defense (19.6 ppg).
DOUBLE IT UP: Anthony Crawley (Baltimore, Md./Baltimore City College) has recorded his first two double-digit tackle games in the last two outings. He recorded 12 stops against Dickinson on Oct. 6 before also making 12 stops at Muhlenberg last Saturday. He is currently fourth on the team with 38 tackles for the year.
HITTING THE CENTURY MARK: Isaac Murray rushed for his first career 100-yard game last week at Muhlenberg. He averaged 8.6 yards on his 16 carries. He ripped off a pair of big runs. He had a 37-yarder on the first play of the Green Terror's first-quarter field-goal drive. In the third quarter, he busted out for a 63-yard run. That run was McDaniel's longest play of the season and the longest run since Joe Rollins had a 77-yarder against Susquehanna on Nov. 9, 2013.
SHORT FIELD WOES: Overall, opponents are averaging a starting field position of the 34.3-yard line against McDaniel this season. However, the defense has been forced to start in plus-territory on 14 occasions, including eight times in the last three games. Of those 14 dives in which opponents have had fewer than 50 yards to reach the end zone, four have resulted in touchdowns and one additional drive has resulted in a field goal, including three touchdowns and a field goal in the last two contests. In total, the defense has allowed 17 touchdowns in 101 opponent possessions.
MANY HAPPY RETURNS: Nah'shon Godfrey notched his first collegiate interception return for a touchdown on Saturday. On his first career interception, the junior snagged the ball and took it the house 37 yards down the sideline for his first score. It was the Green Terror's first interception returned for a touchdown since Keegan Romanoff opened the 2016 season with a 30-yard return for a score at Catholic. It was the second straight game that McDaniel had scored a non-offensive touchdown.
SAFETY HATS: Kofi Siga (Upper Marlboro, Md./Largo) made the Green Terror's lone sack of the day count. With Muhlenberg backed up inside its five-yard line on a personal foul penalty after an interception, the defense nearly got to the quarterback on his second-down pass attempt. On third down, Siga knocked the ball from his hand and it rolled out of the back of the end zone for a safety. It was McDaniel's second safety of the year.
TERROR TIDBITS: The Green Terror has lost eight straight games coming off the bye week… McDaniel is 3-0 this season when kicking off to start the game and 0-4 when receiving the opening kickoff… Breon Herbert's (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) 38-yard touchdown grab late in the fourth quarter was just the third passing touchdown of the year for the Green Terror. All three have come in the fourth quarter.
COACHES' CORNER: Mike Dailey is in his third season at the helm of the Green Terror. He enters today's game with a 9-18 record, going 3-7 in his each of his first two campaigns 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 one season coordinating the pass game and working specifically with the wide receivers… Peter Gallagher is in his 18th season at Ursinus. He has posted an 89-90 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 off a 41-35 overtime loss to Susquehanna. Ursinus has scored 14 straight points late in the fourth quarter to take a 35-28 lead before the River Hawks converted a 45-yard Hail Mary from Mitch Carsley to Michael Ruisch and the ensuing Elijah Hoffman extra point as time expired to force their fourth overtime game of the year. The Bears opted to go for it on fourth-and-3 from the Susquehanna 18 in the first possession of overtime but the pass fell incomplete. Five Aaron Speight runs coupled with a Ruisch run, including the final four yards by Speight gave the River Hawks the victory… Ursinus outgained Susquehanna 506-415 on the day. Thomas Garlick threw for 337 yards on 28 of 43 passing. Samuel Ragland caught 14 passes for 110 yards… Garlick is third in the CC with 1761 passing yards, averaging 251.6 yards through the air and completing 62.5 percent of his passes. He has 10 passing touchdowns and six interceptions… Ragland has been a key cog in the offense. In addition to 544 yards rushing and 10 running scores, he has also been Garlick's favorite target out of the backfield with 44 grabs. He is second on the team with 431 yards receiving. His 156.0 all-purpose yards per game is tops in the conference… Jacob McCain leads the defense with 67 tackles. He also has a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries… Marcus Weathers, Charles Anderson and Matt Hartigan have 4.0 sacks each and no fewer than 6.5 tackles for loss each… Last week was the fourth time this season that Ursinus had scored at least 34 points in a game but first since Week 3 at Juniata.