Football Clashes With No. 11 Ithaca Saturday
Springfield College Pride (3-0) at No. 11 Ithaca College Bombers (3-0)
Saturday, Oct. 5, 2002 • 1:00 p.m. • Ithaca, N.Y.
Game Day Quick Facts
Ithaca leads the series, 21-7. The road team has won the last five meetings.
The Last Meeting:
The Bombers rallied for a 17-16 on Sept. 29 in Springfield.
Last Time Out:
SC defeated Coast Guard, 64-14, on Sept. 28; Ithaca defeated St. John Fisher, 30-20, on Sept. 28.
About the Pride:
SC goes for its fifth consecutive win (and third consecutive road win) on Saturday ... SC is ranked in the top 12 nationally in six statistical categories, and is the nation's leading rushing team (385.7 ypg) ... not surprisingly, SC is dominating the FFC statistically. The Pride leads the league in 16 categories, including scoring offense (53.0 ppg), scoring defense (9.0) and total offense (435.3) ... the Pride has scored 11 of 12 times in the red zone (91.7%). Of the 11 scores, eight were touchdowns and the rest were field goals ... the Pride is listed under 'Others Receiving Votes' in this week's AFCA Division III Coaches Poll. SC garnered 64 points. At No. 16, Western Connecticut is the lone FFC team in the national poll. Ithaca is ranked No. 11 ... freshman KR Mitch Dupuis was named FFC Special Teams Player of the Week (Sept. 29). Dupuis returned two kickoffs for a total of 106 yards (53.0 average) in the win over Coast Guard (Sept. 28). He is the fourth SC player to win a conference weekly award this season ... the Pride has outscored the opposition 75-0 in the first quarter and 115-13 in the first half.
The Pride's early-season success can not be directly attributed to one player. Six players have scored at least two touchdowns and the seven backs that have played in all three games are averaging at least 5.4 ypc ... the platoon of sophomore quarterbacks Michael Judge and Ryan Sylvia have combined for 176.3 ypg of total offense and eight touchdowns (five rushing, three passing) ... three SC backs have eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark: Judge (142 yards vs. Kings Point), sophomore HB Will Davis (145 yards vs. Salve Regina) and sophomore HB Tim Lutgens (127 yards vs. Salve Regina) ... seniors HB Dustin Grosso, TE Jeff Barry and SE Jay Curtis have all caught touchdown passes.
Standing On Top:
In addition to being Division III's top rushing team (385.7), the Pride ranks in the top 12 nationally in five other categories:
Scoring Offense: 53.0 ppg (rank: 2nd)
Pass Efficiency Defense: 62.3 rating (rank: 3rd)
Total Defense: 152.3 ypg (rank:4th)
Turnover Margin: +2.0 (rank: t-11th)
Scoring Defense: 9.0 ppg (rank:12th)
The Pride is also 32nd in total offense (432.3 ypg).
The Pride has used the big play as a major weapon this season. SC has had eight passing or rushing plays go for 30-or-more yards, including sophomore QB Michael Judge's 97-yard touchdown run at Kings Point (Sept. 21) ... SC's defense has produced five plays of 30-or-more yards, including three touchdowns against Coast Guard (Sept. 28).
On The Front Line:
d3football.com honored the SC offensive line as its 'Offensive Line of the Week' (Sept. 11). The Pride's offensive front of C Nick Asermelly, RT Ben Bristol, RG Matt Fritze, LG Andrew MacFadyen and LT Carl Mintken paved the way for 553 rushing yards against Salve Regina (Sept. 6) ... four starters on the offensive line are back from 2001, including three-year starters Bristol, MacFadyen and Mintken ... SC's veteran offensive line also provides quarterbacks with tremendous protection. The Pride allowed a conference-low eight sacks in nine games in 2001, and has allowed just one sack this season.
The Pride, which is currently Division III's top rushing team, led the FFC in rushing for the seventh consecutive season at 278.7 ypg in 2001, which was sixth nationally. SC is 6-1 in games when it rushes for more than 300 yards over the past two seasons ... SC captured its second consecutive NCAA Division III rushing title in 2000, and third in five seasons. Only three other teams have won it three-or-more times. SC averaged a Division III-record 427.5 ypg on the ground in 2000. In 1999, the Pride averaged 375.3 ypg and, in 1996, SC rushed for 351.2 ypg.
In the win over Salve Regina (Sept. 6), the Pride recorded its first shutout in six seasons. SC blanked Western Connecticut, 16-0, on Sept. 6, 1996 ... in last season's game against then No. 21 Ithaca (Sept. 29), which came in averaging 39.7 ppg, SC did not allow a touchdown until there was 5:29 left in the game.