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PREVIEW: Huskies Entertain Wayne State for Hall of Fame Weekend

PREVIEW: Huskies Entertain Wayne State for Hall of Fame Weekend

Michigan Tech Game Notes (PDF)    Wayne State Game Notes (PDF)
Sat., Oct. 13, 2018 • 1:00 p.m. (ET) • Sherman Field (3,200)
Michigan Tech (2-4, 0-4 GLIAC) vs Wayne State (1-5, 0-3 GLIAC)
Radio Broadcast: WKMJ 93.5 FM (Josh Ylitalo)
Audio Webcast:
Live Stats:

Michigan Tech outscored Ferris State 24-14 in the second half, but couldn't overcome the 28 point first half deficit in a 42-24 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference loss to third ranked Ferris State at Fifth Third Ballpark. The Huskies battled to the end though, scoring 17 of their points in the fourth quarter to close the gap. Sophomore quarterback Will Ark led the Huskies offense by completing 17 passes for a season and career high 306 yards while adding two more touchdowns to his 2018 totals. Ark has eight TD strikes and 1,312 yards passing through six games this year. Senior Jacob Wenzlick reeled in six more receptions for 148 yards and his third touchdown of the year. Defensively, junior linebacker Marvin Wright matched a season and career high with 15 tackles, with two of those stops being quarterback sacks.

Tech will welcome seven new members to the Hall of Fame Friday evening as a part of the weekend festivities. Two of this year's inductees are football alumni with Joe Berger and Jim Peters in this class. Berger donned a Michigan Tech uniform from 2001-04, racking up a number of accolades his final two seasons. He was a two-time All-American, an Academic All-American, and two-time GLIAC Offensive Lineman of the Year. Berger helped the Huskies qualify for their first-ever NCAA Playoff appearance in 2004 and played 145 career NFL games over 13 seasons for the Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings. He retired after the 2017 season, making his final NFL appearance in the NFC Championship Game.

Jim Peters was a four-year member of the football team from 1954-58 and two-time team captain. He led the Huskies in rushing and scoring in his final three seasons. Peters was named Honorable Mention All-Michigan as a senior and received the Alan Bovard Award as the team MVP as a junior.  Jim's daughter Jodi Peters (Maley) was a four-time MVP from 1979-83 on the women's basketball team and was inducted into the Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1996. The other five inductees are Steve Coates (Hockey), Dennis Hanks (Sports Information), Mike Kissman (MBK), Kip Noble (Hockey), and Kristina Owen (XC, NS, T&F).

Michigan Tech has played the toughest schedule in all of NCAA Division II college football through the first six weeks of the season. Not counting games against Tech, opponents have a combined record of 27-3 which factors out to a .900 winning percentage. Grand Valley State and Ferris State are ranked second and third respectively in the most recent AFCA NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll. In total, five of the six opponents Tech has faced are either ranked or receiving votes in the poll. Three GLIAC teams, including this week's opponent Wayne State, have schedules ranked as one of the 10 toughest in Division II football.

Freshman running back Jared Smith got his first career start this past Saturday against third ranked Ferris State. Smith carried the ball 21 times for 69 yards and found the end zone in the fourth quarter for his second rushing touchdown of the season. Smith had 11 rushes on the season with at least one in each of the first five games coming off the bench. Smith's previous season high in carries was six at Grand Valley State on September 22nd. Smith is expected to get his second start of the season this week against Wayne State.

Sophomore wide receiver/tight end Ozzy Corp reeled in his first career touchdown reception on a beautifully executed screen pass in the fourth quarter of last Saturday's game. Freshman quarterback Kyle Wood entered the game late in the fourth quarter and engineered a scoring drive that culminated in a field goal by freshman Eric Zeboor. Wood connected on 4 of 6 passes for 51 yards in his first collegiate game. Sophomore running back Tyrik Wicks had four carries in the game and freshman left tackle Louis Thom got his first start against the Bulldogs.

Wayne State has lost five games in a row coming into Saturday's showdown with the Huskies at Sherman Field. The Warriors lone win was a 31-0 decision over former GLIAC member Walsh University in the season opener on August 30. Wayne State lost at home last week to Davenport 37-14, a team that remains undefeated at 6-0. The Warriors led 14-7 in the first quarter before the Panthers reeled off 30 unanswered points. Jake AmRhein tossed a 57 yard touchdown pass to Darece Roberson and then Roberson returned a punt 69 yards for a TD to account for the Wayne State scoring.

AmRhein helps guide the Wayne State offense, completing 62 of 124 pass attempts for 821 yards, six touchdowns, and seven interceptions in five games played. Running back Demetrius Stinson leads the ground attack with a 74.6 yards per game average in five games played. DeOntay Moffett is the primary runner in the red zone, having scored five of the Warriors six rushing TD's this season. Roberson is the top target in the passing game, reeling in 12 receptions for 291 yards and five touchdowns. Wayne State is second in the GLIAC in punt returns coming into the game with an average of 15.1 yards per return. Roberson is a big reason why as he racks up 23.0 yards per return and had the return for a TD in last week's game. Linebacker Leon Eggleston leads the defense with 39 total tackles, including two sacks and nine tackles for a loss. Safety Kyle Toth and Samson Tai have interceptions for the Warriors this season.

Michigan Tech and Wayne State will meet for the 29th time on Saturday at Sherman Field for Hall of Fame Weekend. The Warriors hold a 18-10 lead in the all-time series, but the Huskies have won six of the last eight showdowns. Wayne State won 10 games in a row at the beginning of the series, with the first game being played in 1967. Tech's first win came in 1995 in a 43-3 triumph in Houghton. The Warriors were the opponent for last year's Homecoming Game, and prevailed 20-14 at Sherman Field. The Huskies pulled out to a 14-6 lead early in the second quarter, but 14 unanswered points by the Warriors proved to be the difference in the game. Running back John Williams powered the Tech offense with 76 yards on 11 carries while Wenzlick caught five passes for 51 yards. Wright powered the defense with 11 tackles.

The Huskies' last three wins over Wayne State have been by seven points or less, including the most recent win during the 2015 campaign. That day, the Huskies rolled out to a 20-2 lead through three quarters, but had to hold off the Warriors who stormed back with 13 fourth quarter points to get within striking distance. Quarterback Brandon Cowie passed for 178 yards and two touchdowns while running for an additional 64 yards and one touchdown. Ian Fischer caught six passes for 105 yards and one touchdown. The two teams did not play each other in 2016.

The Huskies continue to lead the GLIAC in blocked punts with two, ranking fourth in NCAA II. Tech is also the least penalized team in the conference in terms of yards per game (36.17) and seventh best in the nation. Through six games, senior wide receiver Jacob Wenzlick leads the GLIAC and is second in all of NCAA Division II in all-purpose yards per game at 207.83. He is also tops in the conference in total receiving yards (666, 6th nationally), receiving yards per game (111.0, 8th nationally), and receptions per game (6.7, 17th nationally). Sophomore quarterback Will Ark is third in the conference in passing yards (1,312), passing yards per game (218.7), and second in completions per game (17.0). Junior linebacker Marvin Wright is second in the GLIAC in tackles for a loss per game (1.7) and first in tackles per game average (11.2, 13th nationally).

The 1988 Football Alumni Reunion is scheduled for this weekend and features a number of great events. The Huskies will take on Wayne State at 1 p.m. on Saturday the 13th at Sherman Field. Attendees will have an opportunity to watch practice and have dinner with the team on Friday. Hockey hosts defending National Champion Minnesota Duluth Friday night and then on Saturday the football VIP Tailgate will be open before the game and afterwards a 5th quarter post game gathering will be held at the Continental Fire Company Restaurant. It's still not too late to get registered. For more information on the reunion, contact Darcy Way via email at or by phone at 715-577-0642.

The Huskies named their four captains for the upcoming 2018 season at the end of August. This year's captains, selected by a team vote, are offensive lineman Jeremy Bell, defensive lineman Cody Goldsworthy, defensive back Graham Hubbell, and wide receiver Jacob Wenzlick.

Michigan Tech Head Coach Steve Olson will embark on his second season at the reigns of the program when the Huskies kick off their season Thursday night at Truman State. Olson guided Tech to a 4-7 overall record in 2017, which included the key win in the annual Miner's Cup game against Northern Michigan. This will be Olson's eighth overall season as a coach at Tech. He served as the defensive coordinator for three seasons prior to being named the head coach for the 2017 season.

Michigan Tech had a couple of new additions to the coaching staff for the 2018 campaign. Laurence Treadaway and Mitchell Ryan both join the staff as graduate assistants. Treadaway will be working primarily with the secondary and defensive backs. Treadaway graduated from Valparaiso University where he played defensive back from 2007-12. He was a Team Captain and named the team MVP during his senior season in 2012. Ryan will be working primarily with the wide receiver's under Offensive Coordinator Dan Mettlach. Ryan played defensive back at Tech for five seasons (2013-17) and helped lead the Huskies to the 2014 NCAA Division II Playoffs. Ryan was a Team Captain in 2017 and was the recipient of the 2017 Ted Kearly Award, which goes to a player who exhibits passion, pride, and integrity on and off the field. The remainder of the staff is back and in their same roles as 2017.

The Huskies are back on the road for the next two weeks before the bye and regular season finale at home on November 10th against Northwood. Tech will head to Ohio next Saturday to face Ashland University in another GLIAC matchup. The Eagles have their bye this week after topping Saginaw Valley State 21-17 last weekend. Ashland is 3-3 overall while owning a 3-1 record against conference opponents in 2018. The Huskies will then close out the month of October in the annual Miner's Cup Game against Northern Michigan at the Superior Dome in Marquette on the 27th.