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The Southwestern College football team looks for its second road win of the 2012 season Saturday when it travels to Leavenworth Friends University in a Homecoming rivalry game. Kick-off is slated for 1:30 p.m. at Richard L. Jantz Stadium.
Southwestern (4-3, 3-2 KCAC) at Saint Mary (2-5, 2-3 KCAC)
Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 // 1:30 p.m. // USM Football/Soccer Complex (1,000) // Leavenworth, Kan.
Live Video // Live Audio // Live Stats // Southwestern Notes // Saint Mary Notes
Southwestern Twitter: @buildersports // Saint Mary Twitter: @USMSpireWire
Weather Forecast: 62, Sunny, Wind: SSE-7, Rain Chance: 0%
-Southwestern and Saint Mary will meet for the 13th time on Saturday with a 1:30 p.m. kick-off at the USM Football/Soccer Field in Leavenworth. The Moundbuilders will be playing in northeast Kansas for the third time in four weeks, having already played at Lawrence and Ottawa thus far this season.
-The Moundbuilders are 1-3 in road contests this season. After opeing its road slate with a 40-21 loss at McPherson, Southwestern defeated Haskell Indian Nations, 38-12, then lost 40-21 at Ottawa two weeks ago.
-A win Saturday would be a milestone for Southwestern's football problem. Last week's win over Friends pushed the program's all-time record to 499-435. A win over Saint Mary would be No. 500 for the Moundbuilder Football program.
-Southwestern features multiple options at both of its key skill positions. After missing the first three games of the season due to injury, sophomore Tanner Strohl has quickly claimed the top spot at halfback for the Moundbuilders. Strohl has run for 329 yards on 75 carries and has one touchdown this season. He is complemented by freshman Anthony Sims, who owns 305 yards on 74 carries in 2012. The Moundbuilders also employ a two-quarterback system using senior Jordan Barrett and freshman Tyler Crandall.
-Senior quarterback Jordan Barrett re-wrote the Moundbuilder record books in last week's win over Friends. Barrett's 341 passing yards was the most-ever by a Southwestern quarterback, surpassing a mark set in 1990.
-If opponents are punting the ball away from Lorenzo Fouts, it's for a reason. Fouts ranks No. 18 in the nation in punt return yards per attempt with 10.2.
The Head Coaches...
Southwestern Head Coach Ken Crandall...
-Named head coach of the Moundbuilder football program prior to the 2007 season.
-Is 17-38 in his time at Southwestern
-Is 0-6 all-time against Friends
-Played four years at Fort Hays State University
Saint Mary Head Coach Lance Hinson...
-Is in his eighth season at the helm of the USM football program.
-Is 28-44 in his career.
-Has been a member of the USM coaching staff since 2002.
Scouting the Spires...
-The Saint Mary Spires bring a 2-5 record, and a 2-3 mark in KCAC play into Saturday's contest. The Spires are coming off a 53-14 loss to No. 5 William Penn last week in Leavenworth. That loss snapped a two-game winning streak that included a 21-20 win at Sterling, and a 34-20 home win over the fledgling Bethany Swedes.
-Saint Mary likes to pass the ball, and they do it well. The Spires are ranked No. 6 in the nation for total pass offense (2118 yds), and No. 7 in the nation for passing yards per game (302.6). Having defended their offense in practice everyday, the Spire defense has developed into one of the best passing defenses in the country, and is ranked No. 11 in defensive passing yards per game, allowing just 151.4 yards through the air per contest.
-Defending the run is the glaring weakness of the Spires. Saint Mary allows better than 235 rushing yards per game, and is ranked No. 72 of 80 defenses in the country. The Spires also struggle with their offensive ground game. At a scant 93.3 yards of rushing offense per game, Saint Mary is ranked 70 of 80 rushing offenses in the nation.
-Quarterback Mike Keese has done nothing but produce impressive numbers for the Spires this season. Keese has thrown for 2,107 yards thus far, and is the No. 2-ranked passing quarterback in the NAIA, trailing only Southern Oregon's Austin Dodge, who has thrown for 2,331 yards this season. Keese's favorite target is Jerrell Young, whose 56 receptions is also ranked No. 2 in the country behind Trinity International's Daniel Beals, who has 68 receptions on the season.
-The Saint Mary special teams unit also employs a top-10 ranking. David Harley has returned 504 kick-offs, a mark that finds him ranked No. 2 in the country. Bluefield (Va.)'s Marion Harris has returned 552 kickoffs, and is the only returner with more kick-off returns than Harley.
-The USM Football/Soccer Field will provide the last natural grass playing surface for the Moundbuilders this season. Southwestern defeated Haskell Indian Nations on a grass surface three weeks ago, just 38 miles southeast of Leavenworth in Lawrence, Kan.
-Saint Mary's all-time series with Southwestern is a young one. The two teams have met just 12 times, and the Moundbuilders hold a 9-3 lead in the series after a 40-31 decision a year ago in Winfield. Southwestern has won each of the last two meetings in the series. Saint Mary's last win came in 2009 when the Spires handed the Builders a 49-7 loss at Sonner Stadium in Winfield.
-Saturday will be just the second time the two teams have met in the on-campus football facility in Leavenworth. Southwestern won the first meeting at USM Football/Soccer Field, 43-21, in 2010.
The Moundbuilders will return home Saturday to host the Kansas Wesleyan University Coyotes. Kick-off is slated for 1:30 p.m. at Richard L.Jantz Stadium.