Sept. 5, 2007
GAME TWO: The USD Torero football team (1-0), under the direction of first year head coach Ron Caragher, will host the Marist College Red Foxes (0-1) this Saturday, September 8th in a 6:00 p.m. contest at Torero Stadium. USD will be gunning for its 20th straight home victory. The radio broadcast will air on 620 AM (pre-game with Chris Ello & Ted Tollner at 5:45 p.m.) and via the internet at www.usdtoreros.com.
TOREROS RETAIN NO. 1 SPOT IN SPORTS NETWORK MID-MAJOR POLL: Following their season-opening 42-32 road win over Azusa Pacific, the Toreros retained their No. 1 ranking in the mid-major poll with 15 of the possible 36 first place votes to edge Drake by two points, 229-227. Drake, which upset Illinois State (27-24), had the 11 other first place votes. The Sports Network Mid-Major Top-10: 1- San Diego (15), 229 points; 2- Drake (11), 227 points; 3- Albany, 146 points; 4- Dayton, 136 points; 5- Monmouth, 129 points; 6- Davidson, 95 points; 7- Central Connecticut State, 85 points; 8- Duquesne, 83 points; 9- Stony Brook, 48 points; 10- Robert Morris, 38 points.
PFL STANDINGS (as of Sept. 4th)/UPCOMING SCHEDULE: San Diego (1-0), Drake (1-0), Dayton (1-0), Davidson (1-0), Butler (1-0), Valparaiso (1-0), Morehead State (0-0), Jacksonville (0-1). Other PFL Games for Sept. 8th: Urbana at Dayton (1 pm), Morehead State at St. Francis-PA (1 pm), Butler at Hanover (1:30 pm), Davidson at Wingate (1:30 pm), Valparaiso at Trinity International (2 pm), Jacksonville at Gardner-Webb (6 pm), Waldorf at Drake (9 pm).
O'NEILL TABBED PFL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior free safety Patrick O'Neill (Mission Viejo, CA) was named the Pioneer Football League Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in USD's season opening 42-32 victory over Azusa Pacific. O'Neill got USD on the scoreboard first with a 93-yard interception return in the first quarter. For the game he finished with 6 tackles and two pass breakups. Last season O'Neill led the squad with 5 interceptions on his way to being named Second Team All-PFL. He was also named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America 2nd Team.
HOME WIN STREAK AT 19: When the Toreros line up on Walter J. Zable Field at Torero Stadium this Saturday against the Marist College Red Foxes, they will be gunning for their 20th straight home victory.... The Toreros have not lost at Torero Stadium since their 24-17 defeat to Princeton on September 25, 2004... Following that game USD went on to win their final 5 home games in 2004, all 8 games in 2005, and all 6 home tilts last season... During this current streak the Toreros have outscored their opponents by an average of 31 points (44.6 to 13.6).
JOHNSON BACK CALLING THE SIGNALS: Senior QB Josh Johnson returns to his normal starting spot this week as the team's signal caller... He sat out last week's game at Azusa serving a one-game suspension for breaking team rules... Johnson, a two-time PFL Offensive Player of the Year and Payton Watch Candidate, is 22-2 as a starter and has directed the Toreros to back-to-back mid-major national championships and Pioneer Football League titles.... Last year he led the nation in total offense (336.7 yards per game), total passing (3,320 yards), passing efficiency (169.0 rating), and points responsible for (24.33 ppg)... With 70 career touchdown passes and 6,711 passing yards, Josh enters the 2007 campaign needing just 6 touchdown passes and 777 passing yards to break the school marks currently held by Eric Rasmussen (75 TDs and 7,487 passing yards).
ROLIN LEADS TOREROS PAST AZUSA PACIFIC 42-32: Andrew Rolin made the most of his first collegiate start at quarterback by tossing four TDs and rushing for another as he directed the USD Toreros past Azusa Pacific, 42-32... For the game Rolin completed 12-of-16 passes for 177 yards with TD strikes of 18, 12, 59 & 9 yards)... He added a 1-yard score on a QB keeper in the 2nd quarter that gave the Toreros a 28-3 intermission lead... JT Rogan rushed for 118 yards and caught two of Rolin's TD passes; JT also added an 87-yard kickoff return that set up his 12-yard TD reception... John Matthews and Wes Doyle were on the receiving end of his other two touchdown strikes.... Doyle led the team with 6 catches for 65 yards... Patrick O'Neill, the PFL Defender of the Week, jump started USD's scoring with a 93-yard interception return for a TD four minutes into the game... He finished the game with 6 tackles and two pass breakups... The Torero defense received solid performances from LB Ronnie Pentz (9 tackles), DE Matt Shearer (9 tackles), DE Eric Bakhtiari (5 tackles, 1 sack, and constant pressure all night on the APU quarterback), corner Ben Hannula (8 tackles; terrific job covering WR Jon Davis), LB Tyler Evans (6 stops) and DL Chris Gianelli (5 tackles with 4 solo stops, 1 forced fumble).
JT Rogan NETS 10TH CAREER 100 YARD RUSHING DAY: Junior running back JT Rogan (Coronado, CA) opened up the 2007 campaign in fine fashion as he rambled for 118 yards rushing against the Cougars... It was JT's 10th career rushing day of 100 or more yards... It also marked the second time he netted 100+ yards against Azusa Pacific; he gained 105 during his freshman campaign in 2005... Last year JT tallied four games of 100 yards or more with a season-best of 173 yards against Drake... In 2005 he totaled 5 games with a career-best 180 yards against Dayton.
PFL PRESEASON COACHES POLL: The Pioneer Football League's Coaches tabbed the USD Toreros as the preseason favorite in the PFL Preseason Coaches' Poll, receiving five of the eight possible first-place votes. Drake was picked a close second, picking up the remaining three first-place votes, while Davidson got the third-place nod and Dayton was chosen fourth. Morehead State, Jacksonville, Butler and Valparaiso round out the bottom half of the preseason poll.
ALL TORERO GAMES ON RADIO (SAN DIEGO 1700 AM or 620 AM): For the second straight season all of USD's football games will air on the radio. Eight games will air on San Diego 1700 AM, while three games (Azusa, Marist & Drake) will air on 620 AM. Chris Ello takes over the play-by-play duties this year, and will be joined by Ted Tollner as color analyst. Now in his 13th year doing sports talk in San Diego, Ello has been with XX Sports Radio the past four years. Between 1994 and 2002 Chris hosted a show on XTRA Sports 690 called, `The World of Sports according to Chris Ello'. During his time with XTRA he began to do play-by-play where he covered the San Diego Sockers (1994-95), the San Diego Wildcards (1996), the San Diego Gulls (1996 thru 2006) where he twice was named the WCHL announcer of the year, and the San Diego Spirit (2001). The versatile announcer has also called play-by-play for Padres spring training games; CIF high school football championship games for Channel 4 the past eight years; San Diego State football and men's basketball; USD men's basketball and baseball; and arena football for both the San Diego Riptide (2002-05) and Shockwave (2007).
NCAA FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SUBDIVISION: The Toreros will now compete in the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly the NCAA I-AA. On August 3, 2006, the Division I Board of Directors took action regarding the two football subdivisions in Division I (Division I-A and I-AA), approving new labels. The university presidents approved a change in terminology to "Football Bowl Subdivision" for the former I-A classification and "NCAA Football Championship Subdivision" for the former I-AA group. The Collegiate Commissioners Association helped develop the new labels. The presidents believe the new nomenclature, which became effective in December 2006, more accurately distinguishes Division I institutions for purposes of governing football, the only sport for which such a distinction is necessary. Members felt the old nomenclature inaccurately tiered Division I institutions in all sports, not just football, and produced instances in which media outlets and other entities incorrectly cited institutions as being Division I-AA in basketball or baseball, for example.
2007 CAPTAINS ANNOUNCED: The players selected four captains for the upcoming season - the defensive captains are senior defensive end Eric Bakhtiari (Burlingame, CA) and senior linebacker Ronnie Pentz (Lake Forest, CA); the offensive captains are senior center Jordan Paopao (Oceanside, CA) and senior quarterback Josh Johnson (Oakland, CA).
A LOOK AT THE MARIST COLLEGE RED FOXES: Marist College is a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC)... Head Coach Jim Parady is in his 16th year and will bring a career record of 82-70-1 to San Diego... He returns 14 starters (6 offense, 8 defense) from last year's 3-7 club... The Red Foxes (0-1) opened up their 2007 campaign last week with a 49-10 road loss at Lafayette... Lafayette put the clamps on the Marist running attack, holding them to -14 yards rushing... Marist finished with 100 yards passing with backup QB Steve McGrath coming in and completing 8-of-9 passes for 66 yards and 1 TD... Kicker Bradley Rowe added a 38-yard field goal in the 2nd quarter... The defense was paced by CB Daniel Diaz (8 tackles) and ILB Dan Smith (8 tackles)... USD is 2-0 against Marist (42-35 in 2005; 47-0 in 2003).
COACH CARAGHER ON XX SPORTS RADIO EVERY THURSDAY: First year head coach Ron Caragher will join John Kentera on XXSportsRadio (1090 AM/105.7 FM) every Thursday at 12:35 p.m. to talk Torero football. The weekly format will give Coach Caragher a chance to recap the previous week's game, as well as take a look at the team's upcoming opponent. The interviews can also be heard live via the internet by going to the XX Sports Radio website at www.XXSportsRadio.com. The Coach John Kentera Show airs Monday through Friday from 12 noon to 3 pm.
TORERO COACHING STAFF: Coach Caragher retained five coaches from last year's staff and brought five new assistants onboard... Returners include Dave Adolph (Asst. Head Coach, Def. Coor., LB; 4th year), Ed Lamb (Special Teams Coor., Recruiting Coor., DB's; 3rd year), Jimmie Dougherty (Passing Game Coor., QBs; 4th year), Mike Rish (Senior Offensive Assistant; 24th year) and Tanner Engstrand (RB's; 3rd year). New assistants include Todd Washington (OL), Mike Babcock (TE's, FB Operations), Steve Mooshagian (WR's), Jon Sumrall (DL) and Todd Rusinkovich (Def. Asst.).
A BRIEF RECAP OF 2006: USD turned in the program's best season ever with last year's 11-1 campaign... The Toreros reached as high as 15th in the FCS (formerly I-AA) The Sports Network Top-25 Poll, finishing the year at 20th overall... USD won its second consecutive PFL title and mid-major national championship, and dealt Monmouth University a 27-7 setback in the inaugural Gridiron Classic game between the champions of the PFL and Northeast Conference... Former head coach Jim Harbaugh earned his second PFL Coach of the Year honor; Josh Johnson earned his second straight PFL Offensive Player of the Year honor; Eric Bakhtiari was tabbed the PFL co-Defensive Player of the Year; and freshman CB Gabe Derricks was named the PFL Freshman of the Year... The Toreros led the nation in scoring offense (42.83) and total offense (494.25), and second in scoring defense (12.9)... All told, the USD defense ranked in 12 top-25 NCAA team statistical areas, and the Torero team offense appeared in six, including a top-ranking in scoring, total offense, passing (293.3), passing efficiency (169.95 rating) and 3rd down conversion percentage (58.3%)... Individually, Johnson ranked first in total offense (336.7 yards per game), passing efficiency (169.0 rating) and points responsible for (24.33)... Other Toreros that ranked in the top-20 in their areas included JT Rogan (14th in scoring, 8.5 ppg; 17th in all-purpose yards, 138.5), Wes Doyle (15th in total receiving yards, 909; 17th in receiving yards per game, 82.64), Patrick O'Neill (17th in interceptions per game, 0.42) and Bakhtiari (6th in tackles for loss, 1.75 per game)... Johnson and Bakhtiari were both tabbed 3rd Team AP All-Americans, and were joined on the mid-major All-America team by Jordan Paopao, Wes Doyle, Gabe DeAnda and Josh Brisco. Doyle and O'Neill were both named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America 2nd Team.
UP NEXT: USD will host Northern Colorado, a scholarship program that competes in the Big Sky Conference... The Bears return 26 lettermen and 10 starters (5 offense, 5 defense) from last year's 1-10 club... Second year coach Scott Downing takes a 1-11 mark into their home opener this Saturday against Chadron State... In their season opener this past weekend the Bears were dealt a 63-6 loss at No. 23 Hawaii.