3 things to watch in Week 5 of district college football |
District College

3 things to watch in Week 5 of district college football

Cal (Pa.) running back Nelson Brown ranks third in the PSAC with 401 yards.

In Week 5, conference races will start to come to the forefront, and some key game are on the schedule. A look at three to watch:

King Coal

This week’s annual meeting between No. 2 IUP (4-0, 1-0 PSAC) and Cal (Pa.) (2-2, 1-0) marks the 10th renewal of the Coal Bowl. The host Vulcans are 6-3 in the previous nine Coal Bowls and have won all four at home. IUP, however, has won three of the past five.

Both offenses are high scoring, with IUP averaging 38.8 points and Cal 37.8. The key will be if the Vulcans can keep the Crimson Hawks’ pass rush (18 sacks) away from quarterback Noah Mitchell (1,369 yards, nine TDs). Cal running back Nelson Brown, third in the conference with 401 yards, will need a big game to keep the IUP defense honest.

Lake (Erie) effect

Rivals Gannon (0-4, 0-1) and Edinboro (3-1, 0-1 PSAC) square off Saturday afternoon with more than local bragging rights on the line. Both teams lost their conference opener, so the loser will have little to no hope of contending for the PSAC title.

Both teams feature standout running backs: Marcus Jones for the Golden Knights and Walter Fletcher for the Scots. But teams are clamping down on Jones (315 yards, two TDs), giving the 2017 Harlon Hill finalist little room to run. Fletcher, meanwhile, has 425 yards and eight TDs.

Gannon QB Jimmy Keefe is completing only 45.9 percent of his passes and needs to become more effective to loosen up the Edinboro defense for Jones.

Stating their Case

Since Scott Benzel took over as coach at Westminster, the Titans have been one of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference’s better teams. But if the Titans want to get to the next level, they need to knock off the PAC heavyweights, and they get their first shot Saturday night at home against Case Western Reserve (3-0, 2-0 PAC).

It’s the classic matchup of the irresistible force (the CWRU offense) and the immovable object (Westminster defense). The Spartans, behind freshman quarterback Drew Saxton (South Fayette), are averaging 50 points, but Westminster (3-1, 3-0) is giving up only 15.8 a game and a PAC-leading 222.8 yards.

The Titans must move the ball against the CWRU defense, stout in its own right (265.7 yards per game).

Chuck Curti is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at [email protected]

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.