DE Eric Bakhtiari
Oct. 11, 2006
GAME #6: The USD Toreros (2-0 PFL; 5-0), the top ranked I-AA mid-major program in the nation, will put their I-AA best 13-game winning streak on the line this Saturday when they host the Valparaiso Crusaders (1-2; 2-4) at 7:00 pm at Torero Stadium. USD has also won 16 straight home games.
TOREROS MOVE UP IN NATIONAL POLLS: For the second straight week the San Diego Torero football team appear's in The Sports Network 2006 I-AA Top 25 Poll, moving up to No. 21. Winners of 13 straight, and 21 of their last 22 games, the 5-0 Toreros also rank No. 19 in this week's College Sporting News (CSN) Coaches Poll, and No. 17 in Don Hansen's Football Weekly Gazette Top-40 Poll. USD moved up to 79th in the Sagarin Power Ratings for all I-A and I-AA programs, including up to 11th for all I-AA programs. "Hopefully we just keep playing, keep winning, keep opening eyes and keep getting better," stated head coach Jim Harbaugh. "We intend to do that." For the 7th time this season and 13th poll in a row overall, the Toreros claim the No. 1 spot in the Sports Network I-AA Mid-Major Top 10. The Toreros picked up a possible 24 first-place votes and 249 total points to stay at No. 1 in the I-AA Mid-Major poll after their 56-3 home win over Butler. 2006 Sports Network I-AA Mid-Major Poll (as of 10-8-06) - 1. USD (24), 2. Central Connecticut State (1), 3. Drake, 4. Monmouth, 5. Robert Morris, 6. Albany, 7. Duquesne, 8. Dayton, 9. Wagner, 10. Stony Brook. (1st place votes).
SERIES RECORD: This is the 14th meeting between USD and Valparaiso with the Toreros holding an 8-5 ad- vantage... USD has won two straight including last year's 63-21 road win on October 29th... Josh Johnson threw for 7 first half touchdowns in the rout.
GAME TO AIR ON XX SPORTS RADIO 1090 AM: Due to a program opportunity, this Saturday's game will air on XX Sports Radio 1090 AM. Jack Murray (play-by-play) and Ted Tollner (color) call all the action with the pre-game set for 6:45 pm. USD will move back to 1700 AM for their next game at Drake on October 21st... Murray returns for his 7th year of calling play-by-play; ...Tollner, with over 30 years of coaching experience at the college and NFL levels, joins Murray for all USD's home games to provide analysis... No stranger to San Diego, Tollner was head coach at SDSU (1994-2001), and was Offensive Coordinator for the Chargers (1989-91)... The games are also available via the internet at www.usdtoreros.com.
JOHNSON ADDED TO PAYTON WATCH LIST: DueJunior QB Josh Johnson (Oakland, CA), USD's outstanding junior quarterback, has been added to the 2006 Walter Payton Award Watch List by The Sports Network (see page 4 for more on Josh)... The award, which is named after the former great Chicago Bears running back, is given to the top I-AA offensive player of the year at the Sports Network end-of-the-season awards ceremony. This past week Johnson was selected the Pioneer Football League Offensive Player of the Week for the fourth time in six weeks this season. In the team's 56-3 win over Butler he accounted for 296 yards of total offense, despite sitting out most of the fourth period. For the game he completed 19-of-29 passes for 235 yards and 3 touchdowns, and added 61 yards rushing on 9 carries with a 4-yard TD sprint. Johnson ranks nationally in six I-AA statistical categories - 1st in points responsible for (26.0 ppg), 2nd in total offense (330.8 ypg), 4th in total passing yards (1,321), 5th in passing yards per game (264.20), tie-5th in passing (21 completions per game), and 6th in passing efficiency (168.7 rating). Go to www.sportsnetwork.com for more info.
HEAD COACH Jim Harbaugh: Harbaugh is his 3rd season with a career record of 23-5. Last season he guided the Toreros to a program-best 11-1 record, the PFL North Division title, the PFL Championship, and to the Sports Network Cup crown as the No. 1 ranked I-AA Mid-Major program. He was named the PFL North Division Coach of the Year, in addition to being a candidate for the I-AA Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year. With this season's 5-0 start, he has guided USD to 21 wins in its last 22 contests, and to a No. 21 national ranking for all I-AA schools. Prior to being named USD's 11th head coach, he spent two seasons in the NFL as an offensive assistant with the Oakland Raiders. He spent 15 years in the NFL with five different teams - Chicago (1987-1993), Indianapolis (1994-97), Baltimore (1998), San Diego (1999-00) and Carolina (2001). A 1987 first round draft pick by the Chicago Bears, Jim played in 177 NFL games with 140 starts. For his career he completed 2,305 of 3,918 passes for 26,288 yards with 129 touchdowns. In 1995 he led Indianapolis to the AFC Championship game; was voted to the Pro Bowl; was named the 1995 Comeback Player of the Year and the AFC Player of the Year; and was runner-up in the NFL MVP voting. A 1986 graduate of Michigan, Jim was a 3-year starter for legendary coach Bo Schembechler. In his senior year in '86, Jim guided Michigan to a No. 2 national ranking while earning Big Ten Player of the Year honors and finishing 3rd in the Heisman race. Jim, who resides in Coronado, is the father of three kids - Jay, James, and Grace.
TOREROS TIDBITS: With their 5-0 start, the USD Toreros have now won 13 straight games, and 21 of its last 22 contests... during this amazing run USD's lone loss is last year's 3-point loss at Princeton (20-17) on Sept. 24th, 2005... the 13 straight wins is a new USD all-time mark, breaking the 12 wins from 1980-81... in fact there is only one other school at the I-A or I-AA level that can match USD's 13 straight wins - Ohio State... USD's current 16-game home winning streak among I-AA programs ranks 2nd only to Appalachian State (W21)... During this 13-game win streak, USD has outscored its opponents 613 to 213 , an average of 47.15 ppg to 16.38 ppg (+30.77 scoring margin)...Torero players that rank in the Top-25 among I-AA stats include Josh Johnson: 1st in points responsible for (26.0), 2nd in total offense (330.80 ypg), 4th in total passing yards (1,321), 5th in passing (21.0 completions per game), 5th in passing yards per game (264.20), and 6th in passing efficiency (170.5); Wes Doyle: 21st in receiving yards per game (82.75 ppg); JT Rogan: 25th in scoring (8.40); and Patrick O'Neill: #25th in passes defended (1.2 per game).
TOREROS RANK NATIONALLY IN TEAM STATISTICS: Through five games this season the Toreros find themselves ranked as a team in 20 I-AA Top-25 statistical categories, but more importantly, in the Top-10 in fifteen statistical departments: 1st in total offense (498.40 yards); 1st in scoring defense (9.6); 1st in 3rd down efficiency (67.7%); 1st in punt return yardage defense (0.0); 2nd in total defense (199.60 ypg); 2nd in pass efficiency defense (79.23 rating); 3rd in scoring offense (43.40 ppg); 4th in passing offense (282.2 ypg); 4th in pass defense (117.8 ypg); 5th in rushing defense (81.8 ypg); 6th in turnovers lost (4); 6th in passing efficiency (167.31 rating); 7th in tackles for loss allowed (3.4 per game); 10th in turnover margin (+1.2) and passes had intercepted (2).
TORERO DEFENSE PACE WIN OVER BUTLER (10-7-06): The USD defense kept the Butler Bulldogs locked up all night as the visitors totaled just 170 yards of offense (17 coming on the ground)... Jarred Forrester led the way with 6 tackles, while Josh Brisco, Gabe Derricks and Kyson Hawkins each chipped in with 5 stops... Mike Crawford returned an interception 58 yards for a TD... Offensively JT Rogan rushed for 85 yards and the game's first two TDs... QB Josh Johnson earned his 4th PFL Player of the Week honor after totaling 296 yards of offense... He completed 19-of-29 yards for 235 yards and 3 touchdowns, and added 61 yards rushing on 9 attempts with a 4-yard TD rush... WR Ben Hannula caught 5 balls for 57 yards and reached the endzone twice (22 & 4 yards)... Brendan Feliczak tallied his first rushing TD as a Torero... USD totaled 516 yards of offense (231 rushing, 285 passing), its second best output this season.
SCOUTING THE VALPARAISO CRUSADERS: Valparaiso, under the direction of 2nd-year head coach Stacy Adams, come to town with a 1-2 PFL mark and 2-4 overall record... They are coming off a 43-14 road loss to St. Joseph's (Ind.) and have dropped three straight contests... On the season QB Ryan Doerffler has passed for 1,259 yards and 9 TDs... His main target has been WR Steve Ogden with 32 receptions for 652 yards and 6 scores... Defensively Ryan Koepke leads the squad with 41 tackles (21 solo).
TOREROS ALL-ACCESS: Torero fans that sign up for Toreros All-Access, USD's new audio & video streaming package, via the internet at www.usdtoreros.com, will be able to listen to all 11 football games with Jack Murray calling the play-by-play (Ted Tollner provides color for home games); listen in on weekly interviews every Friday's with coach Jim Harbaugh as he recaps USD's most recent game, and previews the upcoming contest; and watch highlights of USD's games ... The cost of this new feature is either $6.95 monthly, or a flat yearly fee of $49.95.
TEAM CAPTAINS ANNOUNCED: At the completion of camp the USD players picked their 2006 team captains... Senior running back Jon Polk (Compton, CA) was tabbed the offensive team captain, while senior corner back Josh Brisco (Tucson, AZ) was named the defensive team captain.
PIONEER FOOTBALL LEAGUE: The 2006 season marks the 14th year for the Pioneer Football League, which returns to a non-divisional format for the first time since the 2000 season. After five seasons playing a North-South divisional format, the league saw its numbers reduced to eight after the 2005 season (Austin Peay leaving the conference to return to scholarship football) and those remaining members voted to adopt a full-round robin scheduling format for 2006. Additionally, the PFL champion will participate in the Gridiron Classic versus the champion of the Northeast Conference. The NEC champion will host the inaugural Gridiron Classic on November 18th. PFL Standings (as of 10-8-06): San Diego (2-0 PFL; 5-0), Drake (2-0; 5-1), Jacksonville (2-1; 2-3), Davidson (1-1; 2-3), Valparaiso (1-2; 2-4), Butler (1-2; 2-4), Morehead State (1-2; 1-5), Dayton (0-2, 3-2). PFL Schedule (for 10-14-06): Butler at Drake (1 pm), Davidson at Morehead State (1 pm), Dayton at Jacksonville (12:30 pm), Valparaiso at San Diego (7 pm).
UP NEXT: USD heads to the midwest for a key PFL contest against the Drake Bulldogs (2-0; 5-1) on Saturday, Oct. 21st. Game time is set for 6:00 p.m. (CT).