Saturday's Tech-Findlay Clash Features Two 2-0 Teams
Saturday, September 22, 2012 • 1:00 p.m. (EDT)
Michigan Tech (2-0, 2-0 GLIAC) hosts Findlay (2-0, 2-0 GLIAC)
It's just two games into the season, but Tech's defense has been good enough to lead the GLIAC in scoring defense (allowing just 11.0 points per game) and total defense (allowing just 210.5 yards per game). Michigan Tech led the league in both categories a year ago with a veteran unit featuring 10 seniors.
RUNNING BACK BY COMMITTEE
For the second straight week, Charlie Leffingwell paced a host of Tech rushers in yards. He tallied a game-high 65 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. The sophomore was one of three tailbacks used by the Huskies. Akeem Cason posted 57 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries while starter Cedrick Barber netted 50 yards on 17 attempts. Tech is averaging 206 yards per game on the ground—the fifth-best mark in the GLIAC.
BJORN TURNS IN KEY PLAY VS. WALSH
Leading by just three points in the third quarter at Walsh, free safety Emmett Bjorn turned in the play of the game. The junior stepped in front of a Walsh pass and returned it 36 yards, setting up a Tech touchdown two plays later. The Huskies went on to outscore the Cavaliers 20-0 in the second half. Bjorn posted a team-high-tying six tackles to go with his second career interception.
TECH NATIONALLY RANKED IN SEVERAL STAT CATEGORIES
After week one, Michigan Tech is ranked among the nation's top 10 in five different statistical categories: third in rushing defense (31.5 yards allowed per game), fifth in total defense (210.5 yards allowed per game), sixth in kickoff returns (29.7 yards per return), seventh in scoring defense (11.0) and tied for seventh in sacks (4.0 per game).
SCARLETT RATES WELL IN PASS EFFICIENCY
Despite being under his completion percentage from a year (62.5 compared to 66.1), Tyler Scarlett ranks among the nation's leaders in pass efficiency rating at 161.2. The sophomore quarterback has thrown for 407 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions in two games this season. Scarlett set Tech school records for completion percentage (66.1), passing yards (2,406) and completions (199) in 2011.
WEAPON AT TIGHT END
Senior Bryan LaChapelle leads Michigan Tech in receiving so far in 2012 with 10 receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns. The tight end had six catches for 73 yards and a score at Walsh last Saturday. For his career, he owns 732 yards and 12 touchdowns.
WINNING THE TURNOVER BATTLE
Through the first two games, Michigan Tech has five takeaways and one giveaway for a plus-four turnover margin—tied for the best mark in the GLIAC at plus-2.0 per game. Tech recovered three Tiffin fumbles in week one and intercepted two Walsh passes last Saturday.
Michigan Tech head coach Tom Kearly is in his seventh season as head coach and 13th overall with the Huskies program. The skipper owns a 39-26 record (.600 winning percentage) and has coached Tech to two of the eight eight-win seasons in school history. Kearly, a Hancock native and 1979 Winona State graduate, coached at Central Michigan for 19 seasons before returning to the Copper Country in 2000. He was the GLIAC Coach of the Year in 2010.
NEW GLIAC AND REGIONAL ALIGNMENTS
With the addition of Walsh and Malone as members of the GLIAC, the league has revised its divisional groupings from a year ago. Changes to the North Division are the loss of Indianapolis (to the Great Lakes Valley Conference) and the addition of Hillsdale and Wayne State (both in the South Division a year ago). The South Division will add Notre Dame College as an associate member for 2012. The GLIAC has moved from NCAA Super Region 3 to NCAA Super Region 4. Super Region 4 will include the GLIAC, the Great Lakes Valley Conference, the Lone Star Conference and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Still only six teams from each region will be selected to the NCAA Playoffs.
Michigan Tech has an all-time football record of 342-331-17 (.508 winning percentage) in 91 seasons of intercollegiate football. The Huskies are 59-36 over the last 10 seasons (.621 winning percentage).
SERIES VS. FINDLAY
Michigan Tech and Findlay have met eight times in the series, but not since 2009. The Oilers defeated the Huskies 14-5 in a heavy snow Oct. 10, 2009 in the last meeting. Tech owns a 5-3 all-time record against UF including a 2-2 slate at home.
Michigan Tech's team captains for the 2012 season are senior linebacker Justin Armstrong, senior defensive tackle Jake Clark, senior tight end Bryan LaChapelle and senior offensive lineman Chris Mullen.
Michigan Tech leaves the Upper Peninsula just once in its first six games of the 2012 season. That once was last Saturday at Walsh. Of the other five games in that stretch, four are at home and the other is at Northern Michigan … Tech is 6-0 in its last six games played outside the state of Michigan (includes games at Walsh (Ohio), Winona State (Minn.), Ohio Dominican, Lake Erie (Ohio), Indianapolis and Tiffin (Ohio)). That streak dates back to Oct. 31, 2009 … Both Michigan Tech and Findlay received votes in this week's AFCA Top 25 Coaches Poll.
SUPERIOR PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Superior National Bank sponsors the Superior Player of the Game. Following each football game, a player is chosen. A list of the 2012 Superior Players of the Game is below.
Sept. 8 vs. Tiffin Dan Perrault (9 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
Sept. 15 vs Walsh Bryan LaChapelle (7 rec., 63 yds, 1 TD) &
Emmett Bjorn (six tackles, 1 interception)