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AU vs. Salisbury Game Notes
10/30/13

Alfred University Saxons vs. Salisbury University Sea Gulls

Saturday, Nov. 2, 12 p.m.

Yunevich Stadium, Alfred, NY

 

Last meeting: 2012, Salisbury win, 24-21, at Salisbury

Last week: AU: W, 32-7, at Frostburg; Salisbury, W, 17-0, at Hartwick

Saxon Offense: 30.6 points per game

Saxon Defense: 21 points per game

Sea Gull Offense: 27.4 points per game

Sea Gull Defense: 14 points per game

 

Players to watch: AU — Tyler Johnson, FR, QB; Austin Dwyer, SR, TB; Josh Phillips, SR, WR; Jonathan Ruffin, SR, WR; Mike Perkins, JR, FS; Seiji Hinton, SR, DB; Zack Bacon, SO, DT; Corry Wallace, SO, MLB; Justin Collen, SR, DE.

Salisbury — Joey Jones, JR, QB; Jerome Johnson, SO, RB; Desmond Sivels, SO, RB; Brandon Norwood, JR, RB; Andre Carter, SR, CB; Calvin Ford, SR, CB; Nick Anzallo, SO, ILB;  Jeremy Keith, SR, NG, Matthew Banta, Sr, OLB.

Key matchups: Alfred’s improved run defense against Salisbury’s triple option rush offense. Salisbury comes into the game averaging 283 yards rushing per contest and only 75 yards passing. With three runners averaging 10 or more yards per carry, and junior quarterback Joey Jones (game-high nine rushing touchdowns) ranking second on the team in rushing, it’s no secret what the Sea Gulls plan to try on offense. AU has been solid against the run, holding opponents to 137 rushing yards per contest, and in its last two games has been even better, allowing an average of just over 100 …Alfred’s pass offense against a Salisbury defense that allows more than 200 yards through the air. AU passes for 217 yards per game, well above its 160 yard rush average. With Salisbury allowing 202 yards passing per game and only 79 rushing, it stands to reason Alfred’s best chance at achieving offensive success will come from passing the ball. Salisbury’s pass defense numbers are somewhat deceiving, though, as the Sea Gulls have intercepted 18 passes thus far this year. AU will need to continue a trend of avoiding turnovers – the Saxons have just one over the last two games…Alfred’s running game against Salisbury’s stingy rush defense. The Saxons want to limit Salisbury’s time of possession and the best way to do that is by running effectively. AU senior tailback Austin Dwyer (10 rushing TDs) had 101 yards rushing against Frostburg last week, and along with freshman QB Tyler Johnson, the team’s second leading rusher, will look to lead AU to success on the ground.

Game Notes: Today’s game marks the fifth meeting between Alfred and Salisbury, with Salisbury holding a 3-1 edge in the series. The last time these teams met, last season in Salisbury, the Sea Gulls edged the Saxons, 24-21. The last time they met in Alfred, Salisbury claimed a 69-0 victory. Alfred’s lone win in the series came in 1999, when the Saxons won 20-13 on the road.

About the Sea Gulls: Salisbury is in first place in the Empire 8 Conference standings with a 4-0 record (5-2 overall) after last weekend’s 17-0 win at Hartwick, the Sea Gulls’ fifth straight victory after opening the season 0-2.

Salisbury’s offense is heavily run-oriented, featuring a triple-option attack with two slotbacks and a “superback.” With quarterback Joey Jones a threat to run -- he is second on the team with 381 yards rushing -- the Sea Gulls have produced 283 yards per game on the ground.

Three slotbacks average more than 10 yards per carry: Jerome Johnson has 375 yards on 36 carries (10.4 average) and four TDs; Desmond Sivels has 264 on 25 carries (10.6) and Brandon Norwood has 217 on 16 carries (13.6) and four touchdowns. Jones has 318 yards rushing with a team-best nine TDs. The Sea Gulls average 75 yards passing, with Jones completing 25 of 53 passes for 428 yards, three TDs and three INTs. Wide receiver Isaiah Taylor leads the team with 11 catches for 230 yards and a pair of scores.

The Salisbury defense allows 279 yards per game, including only 79 per game rushing. While the Sea Gulls allow 202 yards passing, they have 18 interceptions as a team, including five by cornerback Andre Carter (23 tackles, four pass breakups). Linebacker Nick Anzallo has three interceptions and linebacker Matthew Banta (34 tackles, six for loss) has one. Nose guard Jeremy Keith has 19 tackles (team-high 10 for loss) and has a team-high 6 ½ sacks.

Taylor averages 11.8 yards on punt returns and Johnson 27.3 yards on kickoff returns. Jack Molloy has made three of four field goal attempts and 16 of 18 PATs, while Kyle Hamby averages 41.8 yards per punt.

 About the Saxons: After last weekend’s 32-7 win at Frostburg, Alfred’s second straight, AU is 5-2 overall and a game behind Salisbury in the Empire 8 standings with a 3-1 league mark.

The Saxons have a balanced offense that produces 377 yards per game (217 passing, 150 rushing). AU has been very effective running the ball its last two games (wins over Hartwick and Frostburg), combining for 421 yards on the ground. Tailback Austin Dwyer eclipsed the 100-yard mark at Frostburg and now leads the team in rushing with 393 yards to go with 10 rushing TDs. Quarterback Tyler Johnson has 298 yards rushing (three TDs) and tailback Tyler DeRosa has 246.

Johnson has completed 90 of 155 passes for 1,076 yards, nine TDs and six interceptions. Wide receiver Josh Phillips leads the team with 34 catches for 506 yards and four touchdowns; senior wideout Jonathan Ruffin has 21 for 377 yards and a pair of scores; and tight end Isiah Young has 16 receptions for 182 yards.

Alfred’s defense is allowing 338 yards per game (201 passing, 137 rushing). The Saxons have allowed an average of just over 100 rushing yards the last two games. Middle linebacker Corry Wallace leads the team with 79 tackles (four for loss) to go with two interceptions.

Senior safety Seiji Hinton has 30 tackles (team-best 5 1/2 for loss) and end Justin Collen (24 tackles) has a team-leading five sacks. The Saxons had two defensive TDs against Frostburg: an interception return by free safety Mike Perkins (he has a team-best three picks on the year) and a fumble return by nose guard Zack Bacon (his second return for a TD this year). Strong safety Mike Berardi has 36 tackles, a forced fumble and a recovery and linebacker D.J. Welch has 45 tackles.

Cornerback Calvin Bain (two interceptions) averages 22.1 yards on kickoff returns and Ruffin 5.9 yards on punt returns. Thomas Gioia has made four of six field goal tries and 18 of 25 PATs, and Ryan McDonnell averages 38.6 yards per punt.