COLLEGE GAMEDAY: DePauw vs. Central (Iowa)

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Game time: 1 p.m. at Blackstock Stadium.

History: DePauw and Central are meeting for the first time on the gridiron.

Scouting Central: Central is coming off a 49-3 win over Northwestern (Minn.) last Saturday. The Dutch scored touchdowns on five of their first seven drives and held a 35-3 halftime lead. Central held a 426-251 edge in total yards including 300-28 on the ground.

Nathan Fitzgerald led the rushing attack with 89 yards on 18 carries with two touchdowns, while Blaine Hawkins completed 14 of 21 passes for 130 yards and one score. Erik Knaack and Caleb Schlatter each caught four passes in the win. Cade Humphries paced the defense with eight tackles, while Jordy Bowman recorded three interceptions on the day.

DePauw notes: The Tigers are coming off a third consecutive 8-2 season and have won four straight home openers and four straight season openers.

DePauw returns 40 lettermen including 14 starters from last year’s squad that tied for second in the North Coast Athletic Conference standings. Nine starters return to a defense that ranked sixth in Division III last season in rushing defense by holding opponents to just 63.9 ground yards per game.

All three defensive line starters return including ends Matt Mitsch and Nate Orrison as well as tackle Ashaun Miller. Miller earned first team all-NCAC honors a year ago and Orrison was a second team choice after recording a team-high 7.5 sacks.

Likewise, all four linebackers are back including Harry Bell, Zach Williams, Matt Crupi and Chandler Nicholson. Crupi was DePauw’s leading tackler last year with 85 as well as 8.5 for loss, while Nicholson led with four interceptions. Both were named second team all-NCAC last year.

Two of four secondary players return in safety Hunter Sego and cornerback Brooks Hepp who had a team-high 11 passes defended last year.

The Tigers’ offense returns just three players who started a majority of the games in 2017. Left tackle Nick LaChapelle is the lone player returning to the offensive line, while tailback Ramon Lopez and wide receiver Andy Hunt are back at their respective positions. In addition to being a second team all-NCAC receiver, Hunt was named a first team all- NCAC return specialist in 2017.

Matt Labus started four games at quarterback and led the Tigers to a 4-0 record and a top 10 Division III scoring average at the time of 44.5 points per game before sustaining a season-ending injury.