W&J Football Game Notes -- Week 1 at Wooster
NCAA Division III Football
Washington & Jefferson College (0-0) at College of Wooster (0-0)
2013 Season Opener -- Saturday, September 7 -- Wooster, Ohio
Time: 7:00 pm
Site: John P. Papp Stadium (4,500)
Live Stats: http://livestats.prestosports.com/wooster/
Audio: 95.3-FM WJPA; http://www.msasports.net/broadcasts/washington-and-jefferson-mens-footba...
Series Streak: W&J +2
Last Meeting: W&J 40 - Wooster 6 -- 11/9/85
First Meeting: W&J 4 - Wooster 0 -- 11/29/1890
Last W&J Win: W&J 40 - Wooster 6 -- 11/9/85
Last WOO Win: Wooster 20, W&J 0 -- 11/20/37
Last W&J Win at WOO: W&J 33, Wooster 6 -- 11/14/36
Last WOO Win at WOO: Wooster 20, W&J 0 -- 11/20/37
THE SERIES: Washington & Jefferson and Wooster are meeting for the ninth time, but for the first occasion since 1985. The Presidents lead the all-time series 6-1-1 and Saturday marks the first meeting between the two schools in the state of Ohio since 1937.
THE HEAD COACHES: Mike Sirianni (Mount Union ’94) owns a 93-21 (.825) record at W&J entering his 10th season as the head coach. The three-time PAC Coach of the Year and 2004 South Region Coach of the Year is fifth among all active NCAA head coaches in winning percentage (minimum five years of experience). Frank Colaprete (John Carroll '96) will coach his first game at Wooster on Saturday. He was hired as the Fighting Scots' 22nd head coach in January after five seasons as the defensive coordinator at Johns Hopkins.
W&J vs. NORTH COAST: W&J owns a 57-39-7 (.587) all-time record against current members of the North Coast Athletic Conference. The Presidents have not faced a NCAC opponent since defeating Oberlin 35-9 in the 2009 season opener. From 1998 - 2009, W&J played at least one NCAC team every year, most notably Allegheny. The W&J-Allegheny series has not been resumed since 2006.
Ohio Wesleyan (2-3)
SCOUTING WOOSTER: The Frank Colaprete era begins Saturday night for the Fighting Scots. Colaprete has hired a brand-new coaching staff and has installed new offensive and defensive schemes in hopes of rebuilding the program that has averaged four victories a year since 2009. Colaprete inherits 30 letter winners and 12 starters from last year's 2-8 squad. He will most likely rely heavily on three-year starting quarterback Richard Barnes, the 2010 NCAC Newcomer of the Year. A dual threat, Barnes has accumulated 4,433 yards (3,883 passing, 550 rushing) and 35 touchdowns (26 passing, 9 rushing) during his career. Three starters return from a defense that limited opponents to three touchdowns or less five times last season. The squad's leading rusher in 2012, senior John Battaglia, has moved to the other side of the ball as a starting linebacker. Junior Sean Hackel takes over as starting running back.
2012 IN REVIEW: W&J wrapped up its 22nd PAC football championship with a 31-14 victory over Waynesburg in the regular-season finale. The Presidents earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs, but lost at Johns Hopkins 42-10 in the program's 22nd playoff appearance. Wooster posted a 2-8 record a year ago with its lone victories coming against Saint Vincent (27-21) and Hiram (45-14); however, six of the eight losses were by eight points or less.
HITTING THE ROAD: W&J opens its season on the road for the fourth consecutive year. Last season, the Presidents traveled 490 miles to Fayetteville, North Carolina and came away with a 23-6 victory over Methodist. W&J begins its season away from home for the 43rd time in history and the program owns a 21-20-1 record. Overall, the Presidents have collected an 86-33-2 record in season openers.
PRESEASON FAVORITE: W&J was selected as the favorite in the PAC preseason poll after receiving 16 of a possible 32 first-place votes. The Thomas More Saints, who had their four-year run as league champs ended by W&J last season, earned 10 first-place votes and was second, while six pollsters chose Waynesburg as the favorite. The Yellow Jackets placed third overall in the poll.
THIRTY SOMETHING: W&J hopes to increase its streak of consecutive winning seasons to 30 this fall. The Presidents' 29-year streak currently ranks fifth among NCAA schools of all divisions behind Linfield (57), Florida State (36), Mount Union (34) and Florida (33). The current streak is tied for the 21st-longest stretch in NCAA football history.
1) OHIO STATE, 2) W&J: Head Coach Mike Sirianni enters the 2013 season ranked among the top coaching names in NCAA history. Sirianni owns a 93-21 record for an .816 winning percentage, the best among all current NCAA Division III coaches with at least 10 years of experience. Wittenberg’s Joe Fincham (154-35, .815), Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Pete Fredenburg (146-34, .811), Wartburg’s Rick Willis (119-31, .793) and North Central’s John Thorne (97-27, .782) are the top four active coaches behind Sirianni. Among active coaches in all divisions, only Ohio State’s Urban Meyer (116-23, .835) has won more consistently than W&J’s Sirianni (minimum 10 years of experience). In the history of college football, Sirianni ranks 21st among NCAA coaches who spent at least 10 years on the sidelines. Recently retired Larry Kehres of Mount Union (332-24-3, .929) is the career win percentage leader, while Knute Rockne (105-12-5, .881) and Frank Leahy (107-13-0, .864) are second and third, respectively.
HISTORY LESSON: Washington & Jefferson has won 689 games heading into its 122nd varsity season (689-380-40) which is third behind Wittenberg (717) and Mount Union (714) among NCAA Division III schools. Widener (662) and Wabash (633) round out the top five. Among all NCAA divisions, Michigan leads with 903 victories and W&J is 25th.
IN THE BRIGHT LIGHTS: W&J is proud to be the alma mater of 1981 graduate Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the National Football League. The Presidents' football program gained a new team to root for last year when 1984 graduate Joe Philbin was named the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Philbin played tight end for the Presidents during his freshman year before becoming a student assistant coach. One of Philbin's early hires was 2001 W&J graduate Chris Mosley as the assistant offensive line coach. Mosley transferred to W&J from SE Missouri St.
OH BROTHER: Two of the Presidents' five starting offensive linemen grew up in the same household, senior right tackle Zach Wildey and junior left guard Ty Wildey. Both are graduates of Connellsville High School.
MIKE'S MARK: Including Mosley, who also spent time as an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, five former assistant coaches under Sirianni have gone on to work at the Division I level or the NFL. Matt Caponi and Mike DiAngelo are on the Rich Rodriguez staff at the University of Arizona, while former Ohio State cornerback Richard McNutt is the NC State cornerbacks coach following stints with the Cleveland Browns and Northern Illinois. 2000 W&J graduate Eugene Crosby worked as an assistant offensive line coach during Sirianni's first season in 2003 and has moved on to stints on the staffs at Oregon State and Youngstown State.
ALEX THE GREAT: Preseason All-America senior Alex Baroffio is on pace to become the all-time leading receiver in school history. With 178 catches, Baroffio currently ranks fifth on the career reception list behind Aaron Krepps (181), Craig Besong (184), Todd Fry (186) and school record holder David Ravida (192). Baroffio's 78 receptions last fall ranked fifth on the single-season list. If Baroffio matches his total from a year ago, he would finish tied for 25th in NCAA Division III history for career receptions. In addition, Baroffio has racked up 2,153 receiving yards which leaves him 1,002 yards shy of W&J Hall of Famer Ryan Silvis' school record.
ACCURATE ERIC: Senior placekicker/punter Eric Eberle arguably had the greatest season by a specialist in W&J history last season. He became the first kicker in school history to earn All-America honors (2nd Team Beyond Sports Network) and received preseason accolades from the same organization in August. Eberle made 11-of-14 field goals (tied for 21st nationally) and 31-of-32 extra points to lead the team with 64 points. He made at least one field goal in each of the last five games and his 44-yarder versus Thiel was the longest by a President since 1995. He also averaged 37.0 yards on 61 punts. Over 36 percent of his punts landed inside the opponents' 20-yard line and only three ended in touchbacks. For his career, Eberle has made 20-of-35 field goal attempts and averaged 35.9 yards on 104 punts.
RARE RETURN: W&J opponents punted 68 times last year, but the Presidents only attempted a return 17 times. Despite the few number of returns, Washington & Jefferson ranked 28th in NCAA Division III with an average of 12.8 yards per return. Alex Baroffio was responsible for 11 of those returns for an average of 13.4 yards. If he had enough returns to be eligible for NCAA ranking, Baroffio would have been 13th in the country. Baroffio has returned 48 career punts for 492 yards (10.3 ypr).
VETERAN QB: Senior Matt Bliss returns for his third season as the Presidents' starting quarterback. The left-handed and fleet-footed signal caller has thrown for 4,127 yards and 28 touchdowns, while rushing for 554 yards and nine scores. A high school teammate of Baroffio, Bliss will pass Bob Strope '93 for fifth place on the W&J passing yardage list with 804 more. He will also pass Gino Rometo '11 and Pat Aigner '89 for fifth place in career touchdown passes with 12 more.
WIN OR LOSE: The first meeting between W&J and Wooster, which occurred on Nov. 29, 1890, ended in controversial fashion. Depending on which school tells the story, the final score was one of three possibilities: W&J 4, Wooster 0; Wooster 6, W&J 4; Wooster 1, W&J 0 (a forfeit). At this stage of the sport, touchdowns counted for four points and conversions for two. W&J led the game 4-0 against the Fighting Scots, recognized as the champions of Ohio after defeating Ohio State (64-0), Western Reserve (50-0) and Denison (58-0) earlier that season. W&J Head Coach R. Leblanc Lynch believed the referee continued to ignore the 90-minute game time limit and finally withdrew his players from the field triumphantly. As W&J walked off the field, the ball was put in play and Wooster scored and recorded the conversion for what it believed as the winning two points.
ON DEFENSE: Senior safety B.J. Monacelli returns as the Presidents' most experienced defender. He enters the year two tackles shy of 100 for his career and produced three interceptions in both 2011 and 2012. Senior defensive end Jon Lowery finished 65th in the nation in sacks last season (7.5) and is expected to continue to apply quarterback pressure this fall. Senior defensive end Evan Fuentes and senior cornerback Sam Comly both added 34 stops a year ago.
FROM ALL POINTS: For the second-straight year, the W&J roster features players from 10 different states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Massachusetts and Florida.
W&J PROBABLE STARTERS:
QB 6 Matt Bliss, Sr.
RB 32 Dion Wiegand, Sr.
WR 10 Max Creighan, Sr.
WR 15 Alex Baroffio, Sr.
WR 18 Steven Licht, Sr.
WR 4 Dan Lucas, Sr.
LT 58 Zach Crossey, So.
LG 72 Ty Wildey, Jr.
C 57 John Wanner, Jr.
RG 52 Andrew Pingitore, Sr.
RT 70 Zach Wildey, Sr.
PK 43 Eric Eberle, Sr.
KR 32 Dion Wiegand, Sr.
DE 33 Evan Fuentes, Sr.
DT 54 Chris Heim, Sr.
DT 94 Jon Turner, So.
DE 20 Jon Lowery, Sr.
LB 7 Shane Smith, So
LB 35 Jared Pratt, Jr.
CB 2 Alec Schram, Jr.
SS 27 Bryce Merrill, So.
FS 25 B.J. Monacelli, Sr.
WS 22 Dan Graziano, So.
CB 9 Sam Comly, Sr.
P 43 Eric Eberle, Sr.
PR 15 Alex Baroffio, Sr.