Coverage: WOO 91 UStream Channel (www.ustream.tv/channel/wooster-sports )
The College of Wooster’s football team played valiantly, but was simply outmatched in its first game against Washington & Jefferson College on Sept. 7. But nothing cures a losing streak like playing Oberlin College in the NCAC opener, right? Wrong. The Yeomen are now a force to be reckoned with after their shocking 19-2 victory over the Spartans of Case Western Reserve University on Sunday. The staunch Yeomen defense held the Case offense scoreless, and the Oberlin offense racked up over 240 yards rushing. Case, who had beaten Oberlin 28 straight times prior to Saturday’s game, could not establish their running game, and their offensive line had serious protection issues. Oberlin’s defense capitalized as they sacked Spartan quarterbacks Billy Beecher and Erik Olson five times and they forced two CWRU turnovers. The Oberlin defense held Wooster to only 14 points last year, and Yeomen offense now has new life. Thus, the Scots will need to bring their best game on Saturday to get their first win of the season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Oberlin – QB Lucas Poggiali: The Sandusky product rushed for 91 yards, threw for 100 yards and scored two touchdowns in the Yeomen victory on Sunday. He’ll need to be mobile against the Scots defensive line, led by junior Ian Crawford.
Wooster – LT Nick Flannery ’16 & RT Michael McCants ’15: Flannery and McCants will need to be able to give ample time for Richard Barnes ’14 to conduct the offense. Last week, Oberlin’s defense sacked Case Western Quarterbacks Billy Beecher and Erik Olson five times. The Scots’ o-ine, especially the tackles, will need to protect Barnes – or Oberlin will be starting its season at 2-0.
HOW OBERLIN WINS: First, zone out the home crowd at the Papp. The Yeomen only played in front of 1,200 fans at home last week, and they’ll play in front of a near capacity crowd of around 4,000 on Saturday. Second, continue to mix up the rushing attack and establish their ground game in the first half.
HOW WOOSTER WINS: First, shore up the rush defense. At the end of the first quarter two weeks ago, W&J halfback Dion Wiegand already had three touchdowns. Second, Wooster will also need to stay disciplined at the linebacker position in order to prevent big plays from Poggiali and senior halfback Oscar Richardson.
PREDICTION: Although Oberlin will be coming off of a historic victory, the Scots have had two weeks to prepare for the Yeomen. On Sept. 7, the Scots played one of the best teams in Division III, and will be better prepared for this one. This will be an exciting Homecoming contest, with the Scots winning 21-14 and going to 1-1 on the year -— and 1-0 in the NCAC — on a late touchdown run by Sean Hackel ’15.