Toreros host Drake Saturday at 1pm
Nov. 13, 2013
GAME #11: The USD Toreros (6-1 PFL, 7-3), under the direction of first year head coach Dale Lindsey, control their own destiny in their pursuit for a third straight Pioneer Football League championship and the league's automatic bid into the FCS Playoffs. To claim both they'll have to knock off a very good Drake Bulldogs team (5-2 PFL, 6-4) this coming Saturday, November 16th. Game time is 1:00 p.m. at Walter J. Zable Field at Torero Stadium.
SENIOR DAY: Twenty-one Torero seniors will be suiting up for their final home game this Saturday. It is a Torero Tradition to recognize them during a pregame ceremony beginning at 12:45 pm. This year's group includes WR Sam Hoekstra, RB Montell Allen, DB Tyler Barclay LB Zach Devaney, QB Mason Mills, WR Robbie Beyer, DE Blake Oliaro, RB Kenn James, RB Joe Ferguson, Safety Robbie Beathard, FB Lawrence Larivee, DT Quintin Brown, TE Thomas Cobbs, LB Ryan Downing, LB Michael Ruffino, OL Cody Tescher, OL Bryan Amidon, TE Andrew McKiel, TE Matt Guillaume, DE Steve Gargiulo, and OL Kenden Blake.
SERIES RECORD: This is the 21st meeting between USD and Drake with the all-time series even at 10-10... The Bulldogs own a one game win streak after last year's 38-10 victory in Des Moines, Iowa on October 6th... It was USD's lone PFL loss a year ago... Drake jumped out to a 14-0 first quarter lead and the Toreros turned the ball over six times... Kenn James led USD in rushing with 98 yards and WR Logan Smith had 8 receptions for 99 yards.
WEBCAST/VIDEO STREAM: Saturday's contest will be webcast with Jack Cronin (play-by-play) and JT Rogan (color analyst) bringing you all the action. The pre-game call begins at 12:50 p.m. (PST). The live video broadcast of the game, along with a link for live stats, can be found at www.usdtoreros.com.
PFL STANDINGS/SCHEDULE FOR NOV. 16TH: San Diego, (6-1, 7-3), Butler (6-1 PFL, 8-3), Marist (6-1, 7-3), Mercer (5-1 PFL, 9-1), Drake (5-2, 6-4), Dayton (4-3, 6-4), Jacksonville (3-4, 4-6), Morehead State (3-4, 3-7), Stetson (1-5, 2-7), Campbell (1-6, 2-8), Valparaiso (1-6, 1-9), Davidson (0-7, 0-10). Other upcoming PFL Games: Butler at Morehead State (1pm), Mercer at Marist (1pm), Stetson at Jacksonville (1pm), Campbell at Old Dominion (1pm), Dayton at Valparaiso (2pm).
THREE-WAY TIE ATOP PFL STANDINGS: Five PFL teams are within one game of the PFL lead with two weeks to go... The USD Toreros sit atop the PFL standings at 6-1 with Butler and Marist... The Toreros, who own the tie-breaker scenario against these two programs, closes out their season against Drake (5-2) this Saturday... The Butler Bulldogs close out their season at Morehead State, the Marist Red Foxes finish up their regular season by hosting Mercer this weekend... The Mercer Bears, currently with a 5-1 PFL mark, follow-up their trip to Marist with a home game against Stetson on November 23rd... For the first time, the PFL regular-season champion will receive an automatic bid into the Division I Football Championship... In the event of a need to break a tie to determine the automatic qualifier (AQ) to the NCAA FCS Playoffs, the PFL policies and procedures can be found on the USD football page of www.usdtoreros.com or on the PFL website at www.pioneer-football.org.
MILLS ADDED TO PAYTON AWARD WATCH LIST: It's hard to argue against quarterback being the most important position on a football field. San Diego's Mason Mills has been so exceptional this season that he was nominated to the Walter Payton Award Watch List on Tuesday. The 27th annual award, presented by The Sports Network, honors the outstanding player in the FCS. This year's winner will stand alongside a list of Payton Award greats such as Steve McNair, John Friesz, Brian Westbrook, Tony Romo, Brian Finneran and Armanti Edwards. Mills, a 6-foot, 195-pound redshirt senior, hopes to lead the Toreros to the Pioneer Football League's first automatic bid to the FCS playoffs - something that would happen with a Toreros win on Saturday over Drake. The Toreros' all-time passing leader ranks seventh nationally with 317.6 passing yards per game, having thrown for 3,176 yards and 32 touchdowns and only five interceptions with 66.6 percent accuracy (227-of-341). A fourth-year starter, Mills has passed for 10,817 yards and 92 touchdowns in his brilliant career. Mills joins former Torero standout Josh Johnson (2006 & 2007) as a member of this prestigious watch list. The Payton Award Watch List can undergo revision during the season. Ballots will be sent to a national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries following the regular season. The top three vote-getters will be invited to The Sports Network FCS Awards Presentation to be held Dec. 16 in Philadelphia.
TORERO TIDBITS: The Toreros close out their regular season slate at Torero Stadium where they are 4-1 this season, including a 3-0 mark in PFL games... In Saturday's road win at Morehead State, redshirt junior WR Reggie Bell became the seventh Torero receiver to total more than 200 yards in a game - he finished the day with 9 receptions for 211 yards and two scores... Now with 1,032 yards in receiving he became the sixth Torero to reach the 1,000 yard milestone... Mason Mills cracked the 3,000 yards passing milestone for the second consecutive year and is now just 145 yards away from setting a new single season record... Mills currently has 3,176 yards passing with the school record 3,320 (Josh Johnson, 2006)... With his personal best 32 touchdown passes this season, Mills now has 92 for his career, second only to Josh Johnson (113, 2004-2007)... With a school record 10,812 yards passing, Mills is currently second in the PFL to Jacksonville's Josh McGregor (11,230)... As a team among PFL opponents, the Toreros rank 1st in pass efficiency (173.8 rating) and punting (36.6)... USD ranks second on total offense (506.7) and pass offense (327.6)... Individually Mills ranks 1st in passing yards per game (317.6) and pass efficiency (172.8 rating), and freshman Ryan Belden ranks first in punting (43.9)... Torero leaders for the season include RB Joe Ferguson (877 yards, 6 TDs), RB Kenn James (684 yards, 4 TDs), QB Mason Mills (227-341 for 3,176 yards and 32 touchdowns), WR Reggie Bell (58 receptions for 1,032 yards and 8 TDs), WR Sam Hoekstra (46 receptions for 757 yards and 6 TDs), WR Brandon White (41 catches for 534 yards and 11 TDs), kicker David Last (79 points, 9-11 FGs, 52-54 PATs), punter Ryan Belden (43.9 average, 13 inside opponent's 20-yard line), safety Matt Miller (83 tackles, 2 forced fumbles), LB Michael Ruffino (63 stops), LB Zach Devaney (63 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss), safety Robbie Beathard (52 tackles, 2 interceptions) and safety Troy McClelland (47 tackles, 2 interceptions, 6 breakups)... A trio of Toreros were recognized as Capital One Academic All-America District VIII - senior DE Blake Oliaro, senior safety Robbie Beathard, and junior safety Troy McClelland... All three players advance to the national ballot and will be named to the PFL All-Academic First Team.
SCOUTING THE DRAKE BULLDOGS: The Drake Bulldogs (5-2 PFL, 6-4 overall) come to town riding a 3-game winning streak... They are coming off a very impressive 36-10 victory over the Dayton Flyers, the one team that knocked USD in double overtime... In last week's win the Bulldogs defense held the Dayton Flyers to just 42 yards rushing and 256 total yards... Drake finished with 518 yards of offense (396 pass, 122 rush)... QB Andy Rice finished the day 19-for-30 for 351 yards and 2 touchdowns... Senior WR Nick Rosa had a big day hauling in 9 balls for 185 yards and a score... RB Conley Wilkins netted 107 yards rushing on 18 carries... Defensively the Bulldogs were paced by LB John Hugunin (7 tackles, 1 forced fumble) and FS Mike Ratelle (6 stops, 1 interception)... The Dayton Flyers did get to Rice in the backfield for 8 sacks... For the season Drake is being led by Andy Rice (226-355 for 2,607 yards and 19 TDs), WR Nick Rosa (49 receptions for 776 yards and 7 TDs), J-Back Eric Saubert (43 catches for 516 yards and 2 scores), RB Gary Scott (634 yards, 3 TDs), LB John Hugunin (103 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss), and a trio of players with 3 interceptions each - FS Mike Ratelle, CB Brad Duwe, Nickel Back Dustin Davis... Drake leads the PFL in total defense (325.4), rushing defense (106.9) and scoring defense (19.2)... Head Coach Chris Creighton is in his 6th season at Drake (44-21) and 17th season overall (139-45).