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Western Pennsylvania Small College Football Preview



IUP Seeks Division Title Against Gannon

With a win over Gannon on Saturday, No. 11 Indiana (Pa.) will clinch its first PSAC West Division title since 2017.

Along with clinching a divisional title, IUP is also looking to extend several winning streaks. The Crimson Hawks have won the last six games against the Golden Knights. Also, IUP is aiming to move to 8-0 this season as well as extend its current 12-game road winning streak.

Each week, the Crimson Hawks continue to climb the AFCA rankings as they reached No. 11 after defeating Seton Hill last week, 44-7. Quarterback Mak Sexton and the passing game led the way as he threw for 238 yards and four touchdowns.

After suffering its first divisional loss two weeks ago, Gannon bounced back in a big way against Mercyhurst last week to reclaim the Niagara Cup. Gannon’s run game fueled the victory as the unit rushed for 277 yards, while Melvin Blanks (North Hills) led the charge with 173 yards and three touchdowns.

Gannon quarterback Kory Curtis has also brought a balanced approach to the offense and that will be needed if the Golden Knights want to upset the Crimson Hawks.

RMU Big Dogs in Road Matchup at Appalachian State

After falling to 0-7, which marks the worst start in Robert Morris program history, the Colonials will make the trek to Boone, N.C. to take on FBS foe Appalachian State.

According to ESPN’s matchup predictor, Appalachian State has a 99.8 percent chance of winning against the Colonials, and rightfully so. RMU continues to struggle in a multitude of areas, including an FCS-low 21.8 percent conversion rate on third downs. Also, the run offense is second to last in the entire FCS with 64 yards per game.

If anything, the Colonials will look for some consistency in what is expected to be a long day at the office. Junior Anthony Chiccitt (Bethel Park) became the first quarterback this season to remain in for the entire game for the Colonials as he will be the starter once again. Also, Robert Morris will try to establish its run game as fifth year back Alijah Jackson finally eclipsed the 100-yard mark last week against North Carolina A&T.

Slippery Rock, Clarion Battle for Milk Jug Trophy

While the top spot in the PSAC West Division is close to being secured by IUP, No. 13 Slippery Rock will just have to try and keep pace and hope for the best as it travels to Clarion to fight to retain the Milk Jug trophy.

The Rock has won four straight in the series against Clarion as the two squads will meet for the 80th time. Slippery Rock continues to climb the Division II rankings after a strong 42-24 victory against California (Pa.) last week. Quarterback Noah Grover struck for four touchdown passes through the air as he maintains his pace as one of the best quarterbacks in the conference.

Last week, Clarion looked for its third consecutive win, but Edinboro rolled to a 47-17 win. The Golden Tornadoes have struggled to hold opponents all year long as they sit near the bottom allowing 32.3 points per game.

Cal U Looks to Get Back Over .500 Against Mercyhurst

Cal U was handled well by Slippery Rock last weekend to give the Vulcans their second conference loss of the season and to drop them to 4-4 overall. This week, the Vulcans travel north to take on Mercyhurst.

Despite the loss a week ago, senior quarterback Noah Mitchell recorded a season-high in passing yards with 302 and connected on two touchdown passes with wide receiver JaQuae Jackson (Serra Catholic).

On the other hand, Mercyhurst is trying to snap a six-game losing streak. After scoring over 40 points in each of their first two games, the Lakers’ offense has repeatedly struggled. Mercyhurst gave the Niagara Cup back to Gannon last week as turnovers plagued the Lakers, including a 29-yard fumble recovery that was taken to the end zone.

Edinboro, Seton Hill Meet for Ninth Time in Lopsided Matchup

Edinboro and Seton Hill will meet for the ninth time on Saturday as the Fighting Scots hold a 7-1 lead in the all-time series.

Edinboro snapped a two-game losing skid with a dominant win against Clarion. The Fighting Scots played takeaway, forcing four interceptions. They look to do the same against a winless Seton Hill team. The Griffins are averaging a mere 10.1 points per game this season.

Carnegie Mellon Aims to Add to Impressive Defensive Season

No. 17 Carnegie Mellon has posted two shutouts this season including last week against Geneva as the Tartans aim for a similar performance against Saint Vincent.

Last week, Carnegie Mellon limited Geneva offensively as the Tartans capped off a 41-0 victory with a 27-yard fumble recovery for a score by Thomas Coury. Carnegie Mellon has leaned on its defense all season long as the Tartans boast the top unit in terms of scoring, holding teams to 11.3 points per game.

Saint Vincent completes its road schedule with its game against Carnegie Mellon as the Bearcats look to add to their two-game winning streak. The Bearcats’ offense has been hot over the last two weeks scoring at least 40 points in back-to-back games.

Waynesburg Attempts to Beat Westminster for First Time Since 2014

Westminster has had the upper hand in the series against Waynesburg as of late, winning six-straight contests over the Yellow Jackets.

While Waynesburg is trying to snap that streak, the Yellow Jackets are also looking to add to their current two-game win streak. Running back Justin Flack (Derry) paved the way for the Yellow Jackets last week with 151 yards and three touchdowns. 

Westminster is coming off of an important win over Grove City as the Titans now sit at 4-2 in conference play. The Titans’ defense came up big against the Wolverines as it has all year long, limiting teams to a conference-best 223.9 yards per game.

W&J Looks to Maintain Pace in Conference Standings

Coming off of its bye week, Washington and Jefferson will look to maintain pace in the PAC Standings when the Presidents take on Thiel.

W&J currently sits with a 3-2 conference record as Thiel provides an opportunity to add another game to the win column. Since 1981, Thiel has only won one game in this series. The Tomcats fell last week to Waynesburg after they were shut out for the rest of the game following an early touchdown in the first quarter.

Allegheny Welcomes Case Western Reserve for Third-Straight Home Game

For the third straight week, Allegheny will host someone at Frank B. Fuhrer Field as Case Western Reserve travels to Meadville, Pa.

Even though the Gators have played at home the last few weeks, it has not been any sort of advantage as they have allowed more than 40 points in back-to-back weeks. Case Western Reserve is looking to add to its two-game win streak after its bye week.

Geneva Returns Home After Two-Game Road Swing

Geneva looks to get back on track after a rough two-game road trip. Following a shutout against Carnegie Mellon, the Golden Tornadoes welcome Bethany to Beaver Falls.

Both teams enter the matchup 1-6, but Geneva’s lone win came in conference play. Along with that, both teams are scoring under 20 points per game as they look to find an edge on one another.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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