DEFIANCE, OHIO - The Defiance College Yellow Jackets travel to Terre Haute, Ind. to take on Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference game at 1:30 p.m. [Complete Game Notes in PDF]
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Saturday's meeting will be the 10th meeting between the two schools. Defiance holds a slim lead in the series standings, 5-4, despite having lost the last three meetings.
Last season the Yellow Jackets lost to the Fightin' Engineers, 28-12, at Justin F. Coressel Stadium. After a scoreless first quarter, DC scored 12 points in the second quarter on a one-yard TD run and a 34-yard TD reception to RHIT's lone TD coming on a four-yard pass play. But the second half belonged to the Engineers as RHIT put up 21 unanswered points to post a 28-12 come-from-behind win on Homecoming for the Jackets.
Scouting the Yellow Jackets
Defiance returns 36 lettermen, including 17 starters in 2015.
After five games this season, the offense is averaging 257.8 yards per game. Sophomore Logan Scott (Curtice/Genoa) is listed as the starter for this week against Rose-Hulman. To date, Scott has completed 47-of-127 passes for 645 yards and four of touchdowns. He has also rushed for 68 yards on 33 carries (2.1 yards per carry).
The Yellow Jackets have a young backfield with freshman Jeff Watson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead) listed as the starter. Coming into this week, Watson has carried the ball 55 times for 131 yards (2.4 yards per carry). Also look for the duo of freshman Tanner Hughes (Pierceton, Ind./Whitko) and junior Cody Wilson (McComb) to see carries. Hughes is sixth on the team with 47 yards on 13 touches, while Wilson has carried the ball 16 times for a team-high 141 yards (8.8 yards per carry).
At the wideout position, look for juniors Cody Wilson, Andy Foore (Swanton) and freshmen Devin Bolden (Lake Worth, Fla./Wellington) and Nate Roberts (St. Petersburg, Fla./Boca Ciega) to start. Wilson leads the team in receiving with 27 catches for 310 yards (11.5 yards per catch) so far this season. Roberts, Foore and Bolden are all tied for second with six catches each. Roberts has 59 yards and one TD and is preceded by Foore with 97 yards. Bolden is third overall in reception yards with 97 (16.2 yards per catch).
On defense, Defiance is currently allowing 377.4 yards per game, but has accounted for 11 takeaways this season with six interceptions and five fumbles.
The defensive line will be anchored by seniors Kyle Wilson (Wauseon) and Cody Lee (Tampa, Fla./Jefferson). Kyle Wilson has made 17 total tackles (eight solo and nine assists) to go along with one sack. Lee has also made 17 tackles (nine solo and eight assists), including 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack. Also look for junior Matt DeVore (Van Buren) and sophomore Greg Ward (Ypsilanti, Mich./Ypsilanti) to start alongside Kyle Wilson and Lee.
The linebackers will start junior Keandre Gilmer (Toledo/Rogers) and freshman Jalin Nealy (Pontiac, Mich./West Bloomfield). Gilmer leads the team in tackles with 39 (29 solo and 10 assists) and has five tackles for loss, two sacks, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. Nealy is third in tackles with 35 (20 solo and 15 assists). He also has 4.5 tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble.
The Jacket secondary is led by junior Kenny Jones (Toledo/Bowsher) and freshman Dalin Brown (Port St. Lucie, Fla./St. Lucie Wester Center) at the corners along with senior Andrew Feldhaus (Lutz, Fla./Steinbrenner), junior Cody Wiggins (Howell, Mich./Howell) and sophomore Jacob Bickel (Fort Wayne, Ind./Concordia Lutheran) at the safety positions. Jones is sixth on the team in tackles with 20 (15 solo and five assists). He leads the team in interceptions with two to go along with a fumble recovery and a blocked kick. Brown has made eight stops (six solo and two assists). Feldhaus is second in tackles with 36 (25 solo and 11 assists) to go along with three tackles for loss and a sack. Wiggins has made five tackles to go along with a tackle for loss and an interception. Bickel has added nine tackles (six solo and three assists) and has one INT.
On special teams, freshman Bobby Black (Morenci, Mich./Morenci) is listed as the starting placekicker, while junior Seth Bauer (Findlay/Arcadia) will be the team's starting punter. Black will be making his first start of the season and has yet to attempt a field goal or extra point. Bauer has punted the ball 16 times and is averaging 34.4 yards per punt. He has recorded two punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line so far this season.
Scouting the Fightin' Engineers
The Rose-Hulman offense has been averaging 502.0 total yards per game through five games this season, which is second highest in the HCAC.
Calling the plays for the Fightin' Engineers will be junior Austin Swenson. Coming into this week's game, Swenson has completed 128-of-189 passes for 1,542 yards with 19 TD and averages 308.4 yards per game through the air. He has also rushed for 41 yards on 11 carries.
Expect to see the Engineers line up with one person in the backfield as a running back with sophomore Kevin Dufauchard getting the start. Dufauchard leads the team with 449 yards (4.2 yards per carry) and has found the endzone three times as a ball carrier. As a receiver, Dufauchard has caught nine passes for 123 yards and a pair of scores.
At the wide receiver position, look for seniors Aaron Abbott, Jacob Dye and junior Alec Fisher to start. Abbott is currently second on the team in receiving with 27 catches for 331 yards (12.3 yards per catch) and a TD. Dye has caught 10 passes for 139 yards 913.9 yards per catch) and has found the endzone four times. Fisher leads the team in receptions (29), yards (379) and TD (seven).
Defensively, RHIT is allowing 296.6 yards per game (87.2 rushing and 209.4 passing).
The Engineers line up in a 3-4 scheme, and will start a pair of juniors in Kyle Brewer and Connor Kispert and one sophomore in Tyler Stewart up front. Kispert leads all linemen in tackles with 19 (13 solo and six assists) and leads the team in tackles for loss (nine) and sacks (four).
At linebacker, RHIT will start junior Marlin O'Neal and sophomores Kaelen Garner, Mike Henry and Brandon Volmerding. Garner leads the linebacking corps in tackles, and ranks second overall on the team, with 24 tackles 914 solo and 10 assists), including three tackles for loss, a sack and an interception.
The secondary will feature junior Kevin Nowak and sophomore Alec Thompson at the corners and senior Chris Sander and sophomore Tyler Brutofsky at the safety positions. Thompson is third overall in tackles with 21 (12 solo and nine assists) and has a team-tying high two interceptions. Sander leads the safety position in stops with 19 (14 solo and five assists) with two tackles for loss, an interception, a fumble recovery and two forced fumbles.
On special teams, both the kicking and punting duties will be the responsibility of senior Craig Larew. So far this season, he is four-of-eight in field goal attempts and a perfect 25-of-25 in extra points. As a punter, Larew is is averaging 38.0 yards per kick in 22 attempts with two kicks over 50 yards and 10 inside the 20-yard line.