GREENCASTLE -- Making his second career start at DePauw, quarterback Michael Engle passed for a school-record six touchdowns and 300 yards in a 45-16 season-opening victory over Rose-Hulman Saturday.
Engle, a senior from Terre Haute South High, completed 26-of-36 passes with one interception. He sat out the fourth quarter, which the Tigers led entering 45-3.
"He (Engle) played great," DePauw coach Robby Long said. "You never know exactly how things went until you watch the film, but he had command of the offense. He was making the right checks, he was doing the right things. We knew we were going to face a lot of pressure, we knew where the holes were going to be and his job was to get the ball to the receivers. He did that."
The Engineers (0-1) kept trying to blitz the Tigers and Engle made them pay for it with a combination of good protection, quick reads and precision throws.
"They (Rose-Hulman) tried to heat us up a lot, bring a lot of pressure," Engle said. "I was comfortable back in the pocket the whole day and that makes my job a lot easier. It (six touchdowns) is really just a testament to the guys around me. The receivers made a lot of great plays, the offensive line and running backs blocked very well, the running and the running game was great. It was just an all-around good effort."
Engle had plenty of targets. All-America wide receiver Alex Koors caught nine passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Starting wide receiver Brayden Dahlstrom, a senior from North Putnam, had five catches for 55 yards, Nathan Evans had four catches for 46 yards and two touchdowns.
The Tigers had nine players catch passes.
"We have a lot of great receivers and depth is one of the most important things," Engle said. "Alex is a great player, definitely lives up to his all-American title. To have him out there and know you can put the ball up and nine out of 10 times, he's going to go get it, that's a great weapon to have.
"It's not only Alex. Brayden and Nate and Taylor and Colin made some great plays. We can get out in those five wide receiver sets and be really confident because we have a lot of great receivers out there."
Koors, a swift 6-foot-2, 172-pound senior from Indianapolis Cathedral High, wasn't surprised at Engle's performance.
"We knew he could do that," Koors said. "He shows up to practice every week ready to go. He really gets into the playbook, he knows where he needs to attack and he did a great job today."
DePauw was ready defensively, too. The Tigers had limited the Engineers to 84 yards in total offense when Long pulled his starters at the end of the third quarter.
DePauw's first touchdown was set up by Ryan Preuss' interception of Mitch Snyder, returning it 15 yards to the Rose-Hulman 24.
On fourth-down-and-5, Engle connected with Wagner for a 10-yard gain to the 9. Two plays later, Koors made a finger-tip catch on the back line of the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown. Eric Malm's first of six straight PAT kicks through the uprights put DePauw on top, 7-0.
Wagner's 24-yard punt return put the Tigers at the Rose-Hulman 38 early in the second quarter.
Rose-Hulman was penalized 15 yards for pass interference to move the Tigers to the 23. From there, Engle completed passes to Anthony Meek for 11 yards, Wagner for 8 and to the wide-open Evans for 9 and a touchdown with 9:58 left in the quarter.
After Steve Valdiserri's interception of Snyder, DePauw took over at the Engineers' 31. Engel's 13-yard completion to Koors on 2-and-13 moved the Tigers to the 8 and Engel hit the 6-foot-4, 173-pound Evans for a 5-yard touchdown two plays later.
DePauw put together a 72-yard, nine-play touchdown march in the closing minutes of the first half, scoring on Ellis' 12-yard pass from Engle for a 28-3 lead.
Malm had a 35-yard field goal to extend DePauw's lead to 31-3 in the third quarter.
Engle added touchdown passes of 1-yard to Bobby Coburn and 12-yards to Koors for a 45-3 advantage.
Engle's only previous start at DePauw was replacing the injured Dick against Sewanee, a 3-0 victory for the Tigers last season in which he completed 6-of-15 passes for 135 yards. Dick was hurt in the previous game against Centre and Engle had come off the bench to complete 14-of-24 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns in the final 14 minutes in a 34-24 loss. Before those two games, Engle had played sparingly in four games, completing 6-of-11 for 128 yards.
Engle's situation Saturday was different. He's the starting quarterback and it's his team to lead.
"It's definitely a different experience, the change in leadership and to feel that weight on me," Engle said. "I know I have to be a leader out there, keep the guys up, keep our offense going because our tempo is the most important thing for us."
Engle tied the school record set by Dick, his mentor, last season against Rhodes. Engle didn't mind the three-year wait to get his chance.
"It was well worth it," Engle said. "It's been a great experience. I was able to learn form one of the best if not the best quarterback in DePauw history in Spud Dick. The first three years, I learned a lot, but I did get some great game experience and I think that all helped coming in today.
"I felt very comfortable back in the pocket and I think learning from Spud had a lot to do with that."
DePauw 45, Rose-Hulman 16
Rose-Hulman 0 3 0 13 -- 16
DePauw 7 21 17 0 -- 45
D -- Koors 7 pass from Engle (Malm kick) at 7:10
D -- Evans 9 pass from Engle (Malm kick) at 9:58
D -- Evans 5 pass from Engle (Malm kick) at 4:01
RH -- FG Schneider 35 at 1:55
D -- Ellis 12 pass from Engle (Malm kick) at 0:13.7.
D -- FG Malm 35 at 9:07
D -- Coburn 1 pass from Engle (Malm kick) at 3:42
D -- Koors 12 pass form Engle (Malm kick) at 0:44.5
RH -- Kovach 4 run (kick failed) at 5:27
RH -- Hall 11 pass from Snyder (Schneider kick) at 1:10