|The Coach Candeto Show, Episode 2|
|Sophomore, LB Derek Eibon|
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Capital University football team is ready to hit the road for its first Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) matchup of the 2015 season. The Crusaders (0-1, 0-0) will take on the Wilmington College Quakers (1-0, 0-0) on Townsend Field at Williams Stadium this Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. with live stats and video being provided by Wilmington.
THE LAST TIME THEY MET
... it was a good and a bad day for the Crusaders. Capital lost its quarterback, Chase Longwell, following a roughing the passer penalty call but watched current quarterback Nick Iske take over and lead the team to a 34-21 victory. The scoring began when defensive back Joe Rodriguez snagged an interception deep inside Crusaders territory and took it 93 yards the other way for a touchdown. Both teams swapped scores heading into the latter part of the second quarter. Brent Walton capped off each of the next two Crusader drives with a touchdown run, the last going for 49 yards. With three unanswered scores, Capital rolled to its second victory of the season. Walton finished with a career-high 233 yards on 25 carries while Iske finished with 82 total yards (52 passing, 30 rushing) in his relief effort. He went on to start each contest for the Crusaders for the rest of the season.
SCOUTING THE QUAKERS
The Quakers have done a lot of position shifting since last year in an attempt to make the most of its athletic roster. Most notably, last year's starting quarterback, Brandon Mitchell, takes his 6-7, 220-pound frame from under center to wide receiver. In his first game out wide, he made five catches for 108 yards and caught his first touchdown as part of the Quakers' 14-10 win over Bluffton College. Kyle Davis has emerged as Wilmington's starting running back and went off for 80 yards on 12 carries (6.7 ypc), last week. Sophomore and Wilmington native Luke Creditt will serve as the Quakers' new starting quarterback. Last week, he went 13-for-28 through the air for 158 yards and one interception. He also served as the team's punter, booting seven for a 35.1 yard average with two landing inside the 20-yard line.
The Quakers' offense was unable to mount a drive longer than 50 yards until midway through the fourth quarter when it put together back-to-back drives that went longer than 50, but one ended in an interception.
Standout Tarrell Starckey has been moved from linebacker, where he was a First Team All-OAC selection, to defensive back to maximize his speed and combination of tackling and covering ability. With Starckey in the backfield, he bolsters arguably Wilmington's strongest group. Backs Kentrell Lodge and Jay Higgins combined to pick off Bluffton three times, twice by Higgins. One of Higgins' INTs was taken back for the eventual game-winning touchdown.
The Quakers' opening day win over Bluffton College (14-10) snapped a 23-game losing streak that the program had been fielding over the last three seasons. It was also the first win for head coach Stacey Hairston while leading the Quakers.
HISTORY WITH WILMINGTON
The all-time series between these two teams favors the Crusaders, heavily. Capital holds a 19-4 overall record in 23 meetings since their first in 1923. Wilmington has not beaten a Capital team since 2000 when the Quakers downed the Crusaders, 34-27. That meeting was the first time the two teams had met in 22 years (1977). After that Quaker win in 2000, Capital has won each of the last 14 meetings.
THE CRUSADER RE'CAP'
Last week the Crusaders rested while on their bye week, to which all but two OAC teams were on as well. A week more rested, the Capital secondary will welcome back sophomore defensive back Joe Rodriguez to the lineup. Rodriguez will serve as the Crusaders starting free safety following a season in which he was second on the team in tackles and interceptions in 2014.
Using their Week 1 loss to #17 Wittenberg University (38-27) plus the bye, the Crusaders are looking mix up the defensive look at a few places. Look for a few new faces to penetrate the starting lineup, especially on the line.
Capital showed its level of fight the team brings to the table, overcoming an 35-6 deficit to make a competitive game by the fourth quarter. Sophomore quarterbacks Nick Iske and Zak Sheridan shared time to give the Wittenberg defense different looks, but overall the offense ran through B-back Brent Walton, who posted 130 yards and three touchdowns. Capital put up another 400-plus rushing yards and now rank in the top-10 nationally for rush offense.
- Per this week's national ranking summary, Capital is currently ranked the No. 6 rush offense based on team rush yards (349.0)
- Brent Walton ranks fourth in the country in scoring (18.0/game) and 18th in rushing touchdowns (3)
- Jimmy Curtis ranks seventh nationally with three passes defended per game
- J.R. Garrigo is 18th nationally in tackles per game (13.0)
- The Crusaders have won their first game immediately after the bye week in each of the last four seasons
- Capital has won the time of possession battle in each of its last eight games and in all but one game during the entire 2014 season.
- The Crusaders have now collected 300 or more yards on the ground in four straight games and five out of their last six, dating back to last season.