Toreros face Harvard for first time ever
Sept. 11, 2012
GAME #3: The USD Toreros (1-1), coming off a come-from-behind 34-27 win over Western New Mexico, head to Cambridge, Massachusetts to face the Harvard Crimson (0-0) this coming Saturday, September 15th. Kickoff is slated for 9:30 a.m. (PT) at Harvard Stadium (30,323 capacity). This is the first of five roundtrip flights that will total more than 21,000 miles for USD by the end of the season.
SERIES RECORD: This is the first meeting between USD and Harvard. This will be the 9th time that USD has played against an Ivy League opponent. USD is 2-6 overall against the Ancient Eight. The Toreros are 2-2 in its series with Yale; 0-1 vs. Brown; 0-1 vs. Penn; and 0-2 vs. Princeton. Results vs. Yale (1999, lost 17-6; 2002, lost 49-14; 2005, won 17-14; 2006, won 43-17), vs. Brown (2000, lost 36-20), vs. Penn (2004, lost 61-18); vs. Princeton (2004, lost 24-17; 2005, lost 20-17). Years highlighted in bold denote games played in San Diego.
WEBCAST: Saturday's contest will be webcast live with Jack Cronin calling the action. His pre-game call begins at 9:20 am (PST).
A LOOK AHEAD: San Diego returns to Walter J. Zable Field at Torero Stadium on Saturday, September 22nd, for a 1:00 p.m. contest against the Valparaiso Crusaders. This will be both teams Pioneer Football League opener.
PFL STANDINGS & SCHEDULE FOR SEPT. 15TH: Butler (1-1), Campbell (1-1), Drake (1-1), Jacksonville (1-1), Marist (1-1), Morehead State (1-1), San Diego (1-1), Davidson (0-2), Dayton (0-2), Valparaiso (0-2). PFL GAMES THIS WEEK: Marist at Columbia, Robert Morris at Dayton, Webber International at Jacksonville, St. Francis (PA) at Morehead State, Duquesne at Valparaiso, Campbell at Old Dominion, Butler at Dartmouth, Drake at Indiana State, San Diego at Harvard. Davidson has a bye.
MILLS EARNS PFL HONORS: Junior quarterback Mason Mills (Coronado, CA) was named the PFL Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Toreros to a 34-27 come from behind win over Western New Mexico. Mills connected with Reggie Bell for a 29-yard touchdown pass with a just a minute remaining to seal the first victory of the season for the Toreros. On the day Mills completed 27-for-37 for 303 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. With the game tied at 27-27 and just 3:32 remaining in the game, Mills led the Toreros on a nine-play 84-yard drive going 6-8 for 65 yards and connecting with four different receivers. It was the third time Mills has been honored as the PFL Offensive Player of the Week in his career.
COLLINS AND HARRIS HONORED BY CFPA: College Football Performance Awards recognized two Toreros for their performances this past Saturday. The two Toreros were joined by five other players from the Pioneer Football League. Senior kicker-punter Ernie Collins (San Ramon, CA) was recognized as the CFPA National place kicker of the week while senior safety Drew Harris (Whittier, CA) was tabbed the PFL defensive back of the week. Collins had a superb day as he converted both of his field goal attempts, including a 51-yarder in the 3rd period. The 51-yard FG ranks second all-time in the USD record books (tied Mark Kelegian, 1980 vs. Redlands). The all-time Torero mark is 53 yards by Dave Bergmann (vs. Whittier, 1989). He opened the game with a 37-yarder to go with his 6-for-6 PAT performance, and 41.4 average for 5 punts. Harris tallied two interceptions against the WNMU Mustangs, including his final one coming on the last play of the game near the Torero end zone.
TORERO TIDBITS: USD's come-from-behind win over Western New Mexico extended their home field winning streak to eight straight games... USD's last loss on Walter J. Zable Field came on October 9, 2010 to Dayton by the score of 21-20... Mason Mills reached the 300+ yard peformance for the 5th time in his career, and his 4 touchdown game marked the third time he tossed at least 4 touchdowns... His personal career bests include 5 touchdown passes (at Morehead State, 2011), 402 yards passing (vs. Azusa Pacific, 2011) and 28 completions (vs. Valparaiso, 2010)... The 512 yards the Torero defense gave up to WNMU is the most since the 2010 campaign when the Toreros surrendered 522 yards (195 rush; 327 pass) at Jacksonville on October 2nd... Senior kicker Ernie Collins became just the third Torero to kick a field goal 50+ yards... His 51-yarder against the Mustangs tied Mark Kelegian (vs. Redlands, 1980) and was 2 yards shy of the record set by Dave Bergmann (vs. Whittier, 1989)... Torero leaders through 2 games include Mason Mills (42-64 for 441 yards, 4 TDs), WR Brandon White (12-143 yards, 2 TDs), WR Sam Hoekstra (12-93), RB Joe Ferguson (85 yards), Safety Joey York (20 tackles) and Safety Drew Harris (2 interceptions).
2012 TEAM CAPTAINS: By vote of the players, four Toreros have been selected team captains for the 2012 campaign. USD's two offensive captains are senior OL Matt Peleti (Laguna Niguel, CA) and junior QB Mason Mills (Coronado, CA). The two defensive captains include senior DT Dustin Geyer (Oak Park, CA) and senior safety Joey York (Pleasant Hill, CA).
GAME #2 (SEPT. 8TH) - TOREROS HOLD OFF WNMU 34-27: The Toreros rallied for a 34-27 victory against the visiting Western New Mexico Mustangs who are an NCAA Division II scholarship program and member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference... USD held a 17-7 intermission lead as Ernie Collins opened the game with a 37-yard field goal, and Mason Mills completed TD passes of 47 yards (Joe Ferguson) and 31 yards (Brandon White)... In the third period WNMU received touchdown runs of 57 yards (Donald Byrd) and 21 yards (John De La Rosa) to take a 21-17 lead, but Ernie Collins boomed a 51-yard field goal with 4:13 to go to pull the Toreros to within 1 point to close out the third period... With 11:22 to go WNMU QB Mitch Glasmann connected with senior WR Marquis Sumpter (Oceanside, CA) for the second time for a score, this time from 8 yards out to extend their lead to 27-20... With 5:19 left Mills hit White for his second TD, this time from 12-yards out, and then found Reggie Bell open down the field for the game-winning 29-yard touchdown score... Offensively Mills completed 27-37 for 303 yards and 4 TDs... His favorite targets were White (8-96 yards, 2 TDs) and Sam Hoekstra (7-53)... The running game was paced by newcomers Joe Ferguson (11 carries for 42 yards) and Darrion Hancock (12 carries for 38 yards)... The defense was paced by a quartet of Toreros with 6 tackles - CB Jamil Wade, DT Brandon Pulealii, LB Zach Devaney and safety Joey York... Senior safety Drew Harris pulled down two interceptions.
SCOUTING THE HARVARD CRIMSON: This is the season opener for the Harvard Crimson... Head Coach Tim Murphy (19th season; 120-59 record) returns 47 letterwinners and 17 starters (8 offense, 7 defense, 2 specialists) from last year's 9-1 team that won the Ivy League with a 7-0 mark... They finished ranked 14th in the final The Sports Network Poll, and 16th in the final FCS Coaches Poll... This season's club has been tabbed by local and national media as the odds-on favorite to claim a second straight Ivy League title... Look for this year's offense to be directed by senior QB Colton Chapple... Last year in a back-up role to starter Collier Winters, Chapple threw 12 touchdowns against just 2 interceptions while completing 65-of-105 passes... A couple of his main targets will be tight ends Kyl Juszczyk and Cam Brate... Juszczyk, a preseason All-American in every national publication, caught 37 passes for 512 yards and seven TDs a year ago while Brate added 25 receptions for 386 yards and seven scores... Harvard returns all-league tailback and former rookie of the year Treavor Scales who last year chipped in with 816 yards on 170 carries (4.8 ave.) and 8 TDs... Although the defense will be without the services of league defensive player of the year Josue Ortiz, the front line could be one of the team's deepest in recent years... Senior captain Bobby Schneider (40 tackles) is joined by MLB Josh Boyd (64 tackles) and Alexander Norman (40 tackles)... With the Special Teams unit, Jacob Dombrowski is a three-year starter at punter who averaged 40.2 yards a year ago, and placekicer David Mothander was 6-of-8 in field goals and 48-of-50 on PAT kicks... Harvard media relations contact is Kurt Svoboda (firstname.lastname@example.org).
TOREROS PFL FAVORITE IN PRESEASON COACHES POLL: USD and Drake University, the defending PFL co-champions, were picked to finish first and second, respectively, in the league's preseason coaches' poll. The upcoming 2012 season marks the 20th year for the Pioneer Football League - the nation's only non-scholarship, football-only NCAA Football Championship Subdivision conference. USD received eight of a possible nine first place votes and 79 of 81 possible points as coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team in the poll. Drake received one first place vote and 71 possible points. Both the Toreros and Bulldogs finished the 2011 campaign with identical 7-1 records, San Diego winning the regular-season meeting between the two teams. The two teams will meet again in 2012 with Drake hosting San Diego in an Oct. 6 contest. Jacksonville was picked to finish third with 65 points. Dayton picked up the remaining first-place vote and 56 total points to finish fourth in the preseason poll. Campbell rounded out the poll's top half with 45 points for fifth place. Marist (6th, 42 points), Butler (7th, 34), Morehead State (8th, 27), Davidson (9th, 20) and Valparaiso (10th, 11) rounded out the PFL Preseason Poll.
TOREROS TEN YEAR RUN: Over the past 10 seasons the Toreros have combined for an overall record of 71-32 (68.9 winning %)... Last year's 9-2 mark was Coach Caragher's third 9-2 record in five seasons... His 7-1 PFL record earned him his second PFL title (also won it in 2007)... Over the past 10 years the Toreros own an overall Pioneer Football League record of 47-15.