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Western Pennsylvania Small College Football Preview



No. 18 IUP, Cal U Battle in Coal Bowl

For the second consecutive week, Indiana (Pa.) will have its hands full with another rivalry matchup, this time in the 13th Coal Bowl against California (Pa.).

Following a 20-12 victory over Slippery Rock, IUP entered the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) poll at No. 18. The Crimson Hawks also remain the only undefeated team overall in the PSAC West.

While IUP clinched a pivotal win against Slippery Rock, the Vulcans are now the next step in the way as they are also 2-0 in conference play. 

Through the first four games, IUP has led the PSAC in rushing with 214 yards per game. Redshirt sophomore Dayjure Stewart has excelled on the ground so far for the Crimson Hawks with 152 yards per game and three touchdowns.

Cal U has responded nicely following two early season losses. Since the two-game schneid, the Vulcans have scored 54 points per game, while keeping opposing teams to 208 yards of offense per game.

Slippery Rock Looks for Response Win

No. 20 Slippery Rock held a spot in the AFCA poll following its loss to IUP. The Rock will now look for a response win when they welcome Mercyhurst to campus.

While Slippery Rock’s offense was limited against the Crimson Hawks, the defense continues to play a stout brand of football, holding teams to 12 points per game. 

Mercyhurst began the year with a high-scoring offense but has since been kept to 16 and 13 points, respectively in back-to-back losses. The staggering Lakers offense will have a tall test against the best defense in the PSAC.

RMU Begins Big South Action Against Gardner-Webb

Robert Morris returns to Joe Walton Stadium when Gardner-Webb comes to campus for its annual homecoming game.

The Colonials are off to their worst start since 2014 as they look to clinch win number one in front of a home crowd.

The fluid quarterback situation continues to be a concern for the Colonials as both Jake Simmons and freshman Zach Tanner saw time in the loss against Delaware State. Both quarterbacks failed to throw a touchdown.

Gannon Travels to Rival Edinboro

Another rivalry is on the slate for PSAC football as Gannon will make the short trip to Edinboro on Saturday.

Gannon looks to continue its impressive start to the season as the Golden Knights sit with an unblemished divisional record. Quarterback Kory Curtis and running back Melvin Blanks (North Hills) have been leaders of the Gannon offense as the Golden Knights come off of a 21-10 victory against Seton Hill.

Edinboro has seen a back-and-forth campaign to start the year as the Fighting Scots sit 3-2. Last week, the defense showed up and held Mercyhurst to 13 points. Edinboro looks for its first win in the rivalry series since 2019.

Seton Hill Searches for First Win Against Clarion

Two of the PSAC West basement dwellers will meet at Offutt Field when Seton Hill hosts Clarion.

Seton Hill attempts to collect its first win of the season after opening 2022 with an 0-5 record. The Griffins have scored a mere 9.4 points per game. On the other hand, Clarion currently sits with a 1-4 record as the Golden Eagles are not too far ahead of Seton Hill.

No. 18 Carnegie Mellon Aims to Maintain Perfect Season

No. 18 Carnegie Mellon will aim to keep its perfect season intact when the Tartans travel to Waynesburg.

The Tartans are coming off a 10-0 shutout against Westminster. As a result of the strong defensive performance, sophomore safety Nolan Pitsenberger was named the PAC Defensive Player of the Week. Pitsenberger returned a 64-yard interception for Carnegie Mellon’s lone touchdown.

Waynesburg is looking to respond following its 31-15 loss. The Yellow Jackets’ run game only put together 69 yards in the losing effort.

Grove City Starts Road Trip at Bethany

Grove City begins a two-game road trip with a game in Bethany, W.Va against the Bison.

The Wolverines are 4-1 after sneaking past Case Western Reserve, 14-13. Grove City’s defense forced three turnovers in the win. As for Bethany, the Bison are in a midst of a three-game losing streak.

High-Flying W&J Offense Enters Westminster

Washington and Jefferson enters its matchup against Westminster following back-to-back strong offensive performances.

Two weeks ago, the Presidents dropped 50 points on Bethany and then last week they reached the 66-point mark. It was the ground game that carried the Presidents with six touchdowns. Westminster is looking to break its 2-2 record and move up the PAC standings.

Saint Vincent Makes Trek to Case Western Reserve

Following an abysmal 42-7 loss to Grove City two weeks ago, Saint Vincent will cross the border into Ohio to take on Case Western Reserve.

Saint Vincent is looking for an all-around better day from its offense. Quarterback Brady Walker Gateway) will look to bounce back after throwing two interceptions in the loss to Grove City. Case Western Reserve is also coming off of a loss to Grove City that put its record to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the conference.

Geneva, Allegheny Meet for First Time Since 1979

For the first time since 1979, Geneva and Allegheny will meet. 

Geneva has struggled to start the season as the Golden Tornadoes are 0-4. The Golden Tornadoes are coming off of a bye week as they have let up 39.8 points per game, the most of any team in the conference. Allegheny will look to respond after a large 66-14 loss to W&J a week ago.


Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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