Bluffton vs. Centre football preview
When: Saturday, September 2, 2006 at 1:30 p.m.
Where: Danville, Kentucky - Farris Stadium
On the Radio: Listen live to Bluffton University football on WDOH 107.1 FM.
Bluffton University opens its 2006 campaign when it travels to face the Centre College Colonels who finished the 2005 season with a 7-3 mark overall, including a 3-3 record in the SCAC, the former conference of new HCAC member Rose-Hulman.
The Head Coaches
Greg Brooks enters his fourth year at the helm of the Bluffton University football team. The Beavers have accumulated a 10-20 mark during Brooks' tenure as the head coach. Brooks previously served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Bluffton, leading the Beavers to their best offensive seasons in school history.
The Colonels are led by Andy Frye who has served as the head coach for the past eight seasons. A Muskingum College graduate, Frye is entering his 17th year on the Centre staff as he served as the defensive coordinator prior to assuming his role as head coach in 1998. Centre has a 47-33 record with Frye as the mentor, including an SCAC championship in 2003.
Bluffton-Centre Series History
Bluffton holds a 3-2 advantage in the all-time series over Centre. The Beavers defeated
the Colonels in 2004 by a score of 33-24 as they resumed their series for the first
time since a three-game tilt from 1956-58.
Last Season's Contest
The Beavers fell at Centre 27-20 in the 2005 season opener. On the strength of two first quarter touchdowns scored by All-HCAC running back Ben Dodds, Bluffton jumped out to an early 13-0 lead. A Colonel touchdown and field goal trimmed the Beavers' advantage to 13-10 at the half. Another Dodds' score in the third quarter, along with a field goal by Centre left the score 20-13 in favor of Bluffton after the third quarter. The Beavers' offense struggled in the fourth quarter as Centre hit paydirt twice on its way to a 27-20 victory over the Beavers.
Senior running back Ben Dodds (West Liberty/Bellefontaine) posted all three of the Beaver's touchdowns on the day with runs of 14, 56 and 16 yards. Dodds led all Bluffton rushers in the game with 185 yards on 23 carries. He also paced the receivers with five catches for 44 yards. Senior quarterback Jared Owens (Van Wert/Crestview) completed 12-of-20 passes for 95 total yards in his first game back after missing the final nine games of the 2004 campaign. Sophomore linebacker Sam McCullough (Bluffton/Bluffton) led the defensive effort with 14 tackles (7 solo, 7 assists) and three TFL's.
Centre finished with 332 total offensive yards to Bluffton's 305. In the first significant action of his career, quarterback Jerrod Williams ended the game five-of-seven passing for 52 yards and led the Colonels to 17 points in the second half. Senior running back Adam Blandford (Middletown, Ohio) rushed for 114 yards on 14 carries. Junior running back Nick Warren (Walton, Ky.) picked up 84 yards on 13 carries. The Centre defense had 11 TFL's, including four sacks on the day. Senior linebacker Ryan Walker (Madisonville, Ky.) was in on 10 tackles, including 2.5 TFL's.
Leading the Beavers
Senior Jared Owens threw for 1,108 yards and seven touchdowns in 2005. He also picked up seven touchdowns and 294 yards on the ground. Senior tight end Jeremy Haselman (Leipsic/Leipsic) caught 21 balls for a team-high 261 yards and two touchdowns. Deep threat Anthony Bryant (Reynoldsburg/Reynoldsburg) tallied 15 receptions for 255 yards (17.0 avg.) and two touchdowns.
Junior linebacker Sam McCullough led the HCAC with 111 tackles, including 13 TFL's last season. Senior cornerback Jeremy Anderson (South Rockwood/Airport) picked up 54 tackles and six interceptions in 2005. Sophomore Kyle Rode (Delphos/Jefferson) and senior Bryan Lloyd (Elida/Bath) combined for 86 tackles and nine TFL's from the defensive line a year ago.
Next up for the Beavers and ColonelsBluffton will travel to Adrian College on Saturday, September 16, following a bye week on Sept. 9. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Centre will travel to Maryville College on September 9, with a 1:30 p.m. start.