Hawks hope to get back on track against Slippery Rock
Published: Friday, September 23, 2011
Updated: Friday, September 23, 2011 11:09
The Crimson Hawks open PSAC West play on the road when they visit Slippery Rock at 7 p.m. Saturday at Slippery Rock's Milhalik-Thompson Stadium.
This will be another chapter in the storied rivalry between these two programs as they have met more than 80 times.
The two teams have traded victories the last two seasons.
In 2010, the Hawks shut down Slippery Rock's one-dimensional offense, holding it to 143 yards of total offense, and shut out The Rock at home, 17-0.
The last time these two teams played at Slippery Rock in 2009, neither offense got going as both sides failed to get into the endzone.
Slippery Rock defeated IUP 7-3 behind an interception return for a touchdown.
As for this season, the Hawks are coming off a 20-16 loss to Bloomsburg Sept. 15.
The Hawks not only lost the game, but they also lost starting wide receiver Matt Plautz, who tore his ACL and is done for the season. Stepping into Plautz's place will more than likely be Pat Brewer.
Other than Plautz, the rest of the team is "getting better" in the health department, according to IUP Head Coach Curt Cignetti and should be close to 100 percent for the game.
After the loss, the Hawks' focus now turns to Slippery Rock, who is coming off their first loss of the year, a Sept. 17 loss to West Chester, 20-13.
"I think that they're focused on the next opponent," said Cignetti about his team. "I think that they have a good look in their eye this week, they seem focused."
The Hawks' focus is going to have to be on Slippery Rock's offense. In two of its first three games this season the Rock put up 50 points.
In its first game of the season, they put up 51 points against Seton Hill University and another 54 points against Cheyney in week two.
The Rock defeated Seton Hill and Cheyney by a combined 105-14.
Cheyney and Seton Hill are not considered adequate competition, and Slippery Rock proved that. But when The Rock faced some adequate competition in West Chester a week ago, its numbers were less than impressive.
Starting running back Akeem Satterfield, who rushed for more than 1,300 yards in 2010, has recorded 297 yards rushing and five touchdowns in the first three games, but was held to 42 yards and only one score against West Chester.
Slippery Rock's quarterback Cody Endres, a transfer from the University of Connecticut, has passed for 596 yards and two touchdowns in the first three games, but threw three interceptions against West Chester and has five on the season.
One person that wasn't slowed down last week was H-back Devin Goda, who caught 11 passes for 103 yards.
With that effort, he moved into the top 10 in Slippery Rock history in career pass receptions.
As for the Crimson Hawks they're going to need Harvie Tuck and the rest of the running backs to continue what they have started in the first two games. Tuck has ran for 267 yards and two touchdowns so far this season.
The Crimson Hawks also need quarterback Pat Smith and receiver Terrill Barnes to get back on track after having a rough game against Bloomsburg.
Smith was 19-38 for 169 yards and added an interception in last week's game and Barnes caught only three passes for 20 yards.
If both players can improve on those numbers then the Hawks can become a more of a balanced offense.
However, Smith is going to have to be careful with the football when facing the Slippery Rock defense.
The Rock has seven takeaways on the season.