WABASH COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Not the same Bishops?
Wabash takes on Ohio Wesleyan today
Friday, September 17, 2010 8:01 PM
After watching gamefilm for more than half a week, Erik Raeburn still can't figure out Ohio Wesleyan's offensive attack.
The Paper file photo by Lori Poteet
Wabash College junior wide receiver Brady Young caught one pass for seven yards last weekend.
WHAT: Wabash College (1-0, 1-0 NCAC)
at Ohio Wesleyan (0-2, 0-1 NCAC)
WHEN: 1 p.m.
WHERE: Delaware, Ohio
NOTES: Wabash has won 11 of the last 13 meetings between the two teams . . . Wabash will play Ohio Wesleyan for the first time since 2007, when the Little Giants shut out the Battling Bishops 15-0 . . .Ohio Wesleyan has scored just six total points in two games this season, coming on two field goals (20 and 22 yards) by Nick Chilkov . . . Wabash has won 11 straight North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) road games and hasn't lost a conference away game since a 19-17 defeat at Wittenberg on Oct. 14, 2006 . . . Wabash moved up a spot to 22nd in this week's D3football.com poll.
Wabash College's head football coach has noticed they've diverted from their usual Wing-T formation. And now, they're starting to go to the air.
The Little Giants haven't played the Battling Bishops in three years and today will mark Raeburn's first game against them. It could be an interesting one.
"We're not really sure what to expect from Ohio Wesleyan," Raeburn said. "We've practiced going against the Wing-T out of the shotgun. They passed more against Wittenberg last week then we would've expected in the past. I don't know if they're transitioning away from the Wing-T or if that was their plan to attack Wittenberg. We haven't played Ohio Wesleyan the last three years, so it's hard to know how they might decide to attack us."
Wabash (1-0, 1-0 NCAC) will take on conference foe Ohio Wesleyan (0-2, 0-1 NCAC) at 1 p.m. today in Delaware, Ohio.
Wabash is currently in a three-way tie for first-place in the conference standings with Wittenberg (2-0, 1-0 NCAC) and Hiram (1-1, 1-0 NCAC) while Ohio Wesleyan is in a three-way tie for seventh in the nine-team league.
Wabash has won 11 straight conference road games and hasn't lost a conference away game since 2006.
This week, though, they have an interesting test.
Ohio Wesleyan hasn't been as run-heavy as it has in the past. Through two games, the Battling Bishops have totaled just 62 rushing yards - an average of 31 per game.
Instead, they've opted to go more through the air.
Ohio Wesleyan has thrown for 263 yards in its first two games, which is more than what the Battling Bishops averaged per game last season, Raeburn said.
Freshman quarterback Mason Espinosa (29-of-255, 248 yards, three interceptions) is the Battling Bishops' top quarterback, but they've also used sophomore Kerry Collins (2-of-11, 13 yards) and freshman David Walendar (1-of-4, two yards) in that position.
Despite the change, the Battling Bishops have just scored six points in their first two games suffering losses to conference foes Denison (21-6) and Wittenberg (52-0).
Even though Wabash's defense has no idea what it could be in for, sophomore defensive back Sam Smith remains confident.
Smith totaled a career-high 13 tackles (eight solo, five assisted) in last week's 21-17 win over The College of Wooster. He also had an interception and recovered a fumble.
Smith transferred to Wabash from Harding University in Searcy, Ark., this past spring semester. So far, he's made quite the impact.
He hopes to do the same against Espinosa today.
"On film, they used to be a really run-oriented team. They have a really unique offense," Smith said. Their past two games against Wooster and Denison, they've spread out the field more and are passing with a freshman quarterback. We're trying to prepare for anything, really. They could throw anything at us. We're ready for anything they could possibly throw at us."
Wabash will also have to adjust to having both its senior starting wide receivers out for the rest of the season.
Wes Chamblee suffered a torn ACL in last week's season-opening win over Wooster, while Kody LeMond suffered one in the team's Aug. 28 scrimmage against Wheaton College.
Junior wide receiver Jonathan Horn (eight catches, 108 yards, one touchdown) and freshman James Kraus (four catches, 42 yards) will take their places in the starting line-up.
They'll also have junior tight end Devin Kelley (one catch, eight yards) wide receiver Brady Young (one catch, seven yards) and junior wide receiver Geoff Wright help fill in, too.
Smith and Kraus each had career highs in last weekend's season opener.
After receiving his first action last weekend, Kraus acknowledged college football moves a lot faster than in high school. But once he got in a few plays, he adjusted just fine.
Now, he said he's got to step up and make more plays to help the Little Giants out.
"I've just got to make big plays when I can," Kraus said. "When it's my turn to get other receivers open, I need to get them open."