The Truman Football team will face one of the league's top quarterbacks in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and a stout rushing defense in the regular season finale on Saturday when the Bulldogs travel to Rolla, Missouri to face Missouri S&T.
The silver medal will be on the line in the GLVC as both the Miners and Bulldogs enter the tilt with 5-1 league records. Both suffered home loses to the 2018 conference champion Indianapolis this season. The Miners fell by a 24-17 score back on October 6 while Truman lost 31-7 this past Saturday.
The Bulldogs came out swinging against the defending league champ and scored on their opening possession to take a 7-0 lead. The defense got a quick stop but a fumble on a punt return resulted in a field goal for UINDY. Truman then marched down the field again and had first and goal but a penalty pushed the ball back and the Bulldogs missed a 41-yard field goal. From there, the floodgates opened and the Greyhounds scored touchdowns on their next three possessions and led 24-7 at the half.
Indianapolis added one more score in the third quarter and compounded with four turnovers and the fewest total yards overall (216) this season, the Bulldogs lost 31-7.
S&T comes in riding a four-game winning streak after that UINDY defeat. The Miners blasted William Jewell 59-21, squeaked past Quincy 20-13 then boat raced Lincoln 45-7 and most recently McKendree 49-20.
The Miners exploded for 28-second quarter points and quarterback Tyler Swart completed 24-of-29 passes for 226 yards and four touchdowns in the victory. S&T added 273 yards on the ground with Paxton McAlister rushing for 133 yards.
The Bulldogs and Miners are the "oldest" rivals in the GLVC in terms of games played against one another. This will be the 81stmeeting all-time with Truman holding a 52-24-4 advantage.
Last year at Stokes Stadium, the teams endured a lengthy lightning delay at the start. Kickoff was nearly three hours after the scheduled start time and after a slow start, S&T took a 13-0 lead in the second quarter. They held a 20-3 lead entering the fourth quarter and won 27-11.
The Miners racked up 421 yards of total offense while Truman managed 236 yards. Deshawn Jones rand for 152 yards on 28 attempts and Swart tossed two touchdowns and threw for 216 yards. Dan Zeigler started for Truman and threw for 84 yards and Jaden Barr came in relief and threw for 89 yards. Jordan Salima was held to 54 yards on 15 carries.
What's At Stake:
A win would give Truman second place in the GLVC, which would be the 16th time the Bulldogs, had finished second in the conference race. They have 27 conference championships between the MIAA and GLVC with their last coming in 2016.
A win would also be number seven on the season, which would be the 36thtime out of 111 seasons of Truman Football in which the team won seven or more games. It will be the fourth time since 2000 and the third time in six years it has occurred (2001, 2013, 2016).
The Bulldogs 2,169 yards rushing is the most since the 1996 season and just outside the top 10 of Truman single-season history. They need 204 yards to enter the single-season top 10 and would pass the 1992 total of 2,372 yards.
Truman has averaged 5.12 yards per rush this season, which is currently the eighth best in a season. The team averaged 5.64 per run in 1964 (record) and 5.61 in 1992.
Jaden Barr is 88 yards rushing shy of 1,000 for the season. He would be the first Bulldog quarterback to run for 1,000 yards after already passing Phil Davis' 833 rushing yards in 2010. It would be the first back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons by a Truman running back since they reeled off seven straight seasons from 1991-1997. Jordan Salima ran for 1,111 yards last year for the Bulldogs.
The 1,266 passing yards are the fewest by a Truman team since the 1978 season of 872. The Bulldogs haven't been below 1,500 passing yards since the 1979 season of 1,378. Last year, Truman threw for 1,735 yards.
Lawrence Woods leads Division II in kick return average at 48.6 yards per return. He has 12 returns to currently meet the NCAA minimum of 1.2/per game. In order to stay among the national leaders, Woods needs to return three kicks on Saturday.
The team's return average of 29.1 yards is the current season record. Second place is 26.06 yards per return set in 2002.
Josh Scheiderer's 14 made field goals are one off the Truman single-season record of 15 set in 2011 and in 1990.
Brock Rohler's 40.4 season punting average is currently the sixth best in a Truman season. His 37.9 career yards per punt is also seventh on the career charts. He will finish second in career punt attempts and career punt yards (201 attempts and 7,627 yards entering the game.)
Sam Reeves has 30.5 career sacks and is 1.5 shy of tying the career record held by Ernie Myerson.
Courtesy Truman State University