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Gorillas to Host Bearcats in NCAA Quarterfinals Saturday

December 02, 2011 12:00AM


Complete Notes in PDF Format

Game Notes
[Live Statistics | Live Audio | Live Web Cast]

PITTSBURG —  The Pittsburg State University football team will make its ninth all-time appearance in the NCAA Division II national quarterfinals Saturday (Dec. 3) when the Gorillas host MIAA rival Northwest Missouri State University at Brandenburg Field/Carnie Smith Stadium.

Pittsburg State, the winningest all-time NCAA Division II program, claimed a 31-22 victory over MIAA rival and No. 15 ranked Washburn University in the second round of the NCAA-II playoffs last Saturday (Nov. 26) in Pittsburg.

The Gorillas, ranked No. 7 in the final regular season AFCA/Division II Top 25 poll, earned a bye in the first-round of the 24-team playoffs after finishing the regular season with a 9-1 record and capturing the 2011 MIAA Championship.

NW Missouri State posted a dramatic 38-31 overtime victory over No. 2 Midwestern State in the second round of the playoffs at Wichita Falls, Texas, last Saturday (Nov. 26).  The Bearcats, ranked No. 10 in the AFCA/Division II Top 25 poll, improved to 11-2 on the season with the win over the Lone Star Conference champion Mustangs.  Northwest opened post-season play with a 35-29 come-from-behind win over Missouri Western on Nov. 19.

Kickoff for Saturday's game is set for 1 p.m. (CST).

Tickets for Saturday's game are $10 for adults, $5 for children and PSU Students (with I.D.) and $12 for PSU sky box holders.  All tickets on game day will be $12.

The PSU Ticket Office is open until the close of business Friday (Dec. 2).  Online ticket sales are available at

For additional ticket information, please call (620) 235-4796.

Live Web Cast
Fans who can't make it to Carnie Smith Stadium Saturday can watch the NCAA quarterfinal battle between the Gorillas and Bearcats via a free web cast at

The Coaches
Second-year head coach Tim Beck brings a 16-7 record into Saturday's action against NW Missouri State.
Beck assumed the helm of his alma mater (PSU, '88) after serving for 23 seasons as an assistant coach for the Gorillas, including 16 years as the team's offensive coordinator from 1994-2009.

He was named the school's 14th all-time head football coach on Dec. 9, 2009.  Beck previously served as Assistant Head Coach for two years, after being named to that role on the Pitt State staff on December 13, 2007.

During his 16 seasons as offensive coordinator, the Gorilla offense was consistently ranked among the finest units in NCAA Division II.

In 2008, Beck was selected the inaugural NCAA Division II Coordinator of the Year by, following a vote of his coaching peers.

In 2004, Beck's offensive unit established itself as the most prolific squad in the history of NCAA football.  PSU shattered a 118-year-old scoring record, scoring an amazing 837 points (55.8 ppg).  His squad also set the NCAA all division records for rushing (5,320 yards) and total offense (8,976 yards).

Beck's teams led Division II in scoring in two of the last six years (2004, 2006) and ranked in the top two nationally in total offense three times in the last six seasons (2004, 2005, 2006).  His squads ranked among the national rushing leaders every season, leading Division II in 1995 (318.8 ypg) and 2004 (354.7 ypg).

Beck's "multiple choice" option attack also compiled 16,483 passing yards (216.9 ypg) and 143 aerial touchdowns during his last six years as OC.

Pitt State averaged a staggering 38.8 points and 442.5 yards of total offense per game during his tenure as offensive coordinator.

Prior to assuming the offensive coordinator's role, Beck served two years as Pitt State's defensive coordinator (1992-93).  He became a full-time assistant on the Pitt State staff in 1989, after serving first as a student assistant (1987) and then as a graduate assistant (1988).

Beck is 1-1 vs. NW Missouri State.

Adam Dorrel is in his first season as head coach of his alma mater, after serving for seven seasons as an assistant coach on the Bearcats staff.

Dorrel was named the Bearcats' head coach on June 23, following the tragic passing of Northwest head coach Scott Bostwick earlier that month.  Bostwick, a long-time Bearcat assistant, had succeeded legendary Northwest head coach Mel Tjeerdsma, who retired after leading the Bearcats to three NCAA-II National Championships (1998-99, 2009) and 183 victories in 17 seasons.

Dorrel, who has an 11-2 record leading the Bearcats, served the past four seasons as offensive coordinator at Northwest, directing one of the top offenses in Division II.  He is 0-1 in his short tenure vs. Pitt State.

The Pitt State-Northwest Series
This will be the 45th meeting between the Gorillas and the Bearcats in a series that dates all the way back to the 1932 season.

The competitive series is tied 22-22-0.  The Gorillas are 12-7-0 vs. the Bearcats in Pittsburg, while the Bearcats hold an 8-7-0 edge in games played at Maryville and a 7-3-0 advantage at neutral sites all-time.

The two teams also are tied 2-2 in post-season match-ups, with Pitt State holding a 2-1 edge in games played in Pittsburg.

Pitt State snapped a seven-game losing streak in the series with a 38-35 victory in The Fall Classic at Arrowhead X on Oct. 1.

Pitt State-Northwest in the NCAA-II Playoffs
Pitt State is making its 17th appearance in the NCAA Division II playoffs since joining the NCAA ranks 23 years ago, prior to the 1989 season.

The Gorillas have compiled a 21-15 (.583) mark in the NCAA-II playoffs, including a 15-5 (.750)record at Carnie Smith Stadium in NCAA-II post-season play.

Pitt State captured the 1991 NCAA Division II National Championship and the Gorillas have made four appearances in the National Championship Game (1991-92, '95, 2004).

Pitt State has fashioned a 5-2 record against MIAA opponents in the NCAA-II playoffs with six of seven games being played in Pittsburg.  The Gorillas are 5-1 in those games.

Northwest is making its 16th appearance in the NCAA Division II playoffs.  The Bearcats have compiled a 34-12 (.739) record in post-season play, including a 12-5 (.706) road record.

Northwest, which captured NCAA-II National Championships in 1998, 1999 and 2009, will play its third straight playoff road game this season.  The Bearcats are 9-1 in their last 10 NCAA-II road playoff games.

Northwest is making its seventh straight appearance in the NCAA-II quarterfinals, having won the last six contests.

Previous Meeting:  PSU 38, NWMSU 35 (Oct. 1, 2011)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Chase McCoy booted a 26-yard field goal as time expired to help lift No. 15 Pittsburg State University to a 38-35 victory over No. 1 NW Missouri State University in The Fall Classic X at Arrowhead Stadium Saturday (Oct. 1).

McCoy's third field goal of the game helped the unbeaten Gorillas (5-0, 4-0 MIAA) halt the Bearcats (4-1, 3-1 MIAA) record streak of 49 consecutive MIAA regular season victories.

Pitt State became the first conference team to defeat Northwest in the regular season since the Gorillas handed the Bearcats a 56-35 defeat in The Fall Classic V on Oct. 29, 2005. Pitt State also halted a painful seven-game losing streak in the series with Northwest.

The Gorillas had to rally from deficits of 21-0 and 28-6 to come from behind in the game played before 15,106 fans at Arrowhead Stadium.

Zac Dickey completed 14 of 21 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown and he rushed the ball 19 times for 102 yards and a score to lead the Pitt State offense. [for complete recap, see page 18]
Gorillas in "the Pitt"
The Gorillas have compiled a 327-118-12 (.729) record at Brandenburg Field/Carnie Smith Stadium since the facility opened in 1924.

The Gorillas are 159-18-1 (.896) at home during the past 27 seasons (1985-2011). Pitt State is 139-12-1 (.918) in 152 regular season home games and 20-6 (.769) in 26  post-season home games during that span.

Pitt State in the AFCA Top 25 Poll
Pitt State has been ranked in Division II's top 10 88 times in the last 164 polls and the Gorillas have been ranked in the top 25 poll in 140 of 164 weeks overall (dating back to the 1999 season).

Pitt State snapped an uncharacteristic streak of 22 weeks outside the top 25 when the Gorillas debuted at No. 25 in the first regular season poll of the 2011 season.  PSU climbed two spots to No. 7 in the final regular season poll of the 2011 season. [for complete poll, see page 6]

The Gorillas had been ranked among the top 25 teams in the AFCA Top 25 Poll for 106 consecutive weeks, including preseason and final polls, before falling from the national list for the first time on Nov. 6, 2007. Pitt State was the only Division II program to be ranked in all 106 polls since the AFCA began administering the Top 25 poll in 1999.

Pitt State started the 2011 season among "others receiving votes" in the preseason poll, before climbing as high as No. 2 in mid-season.

The Gorillas will meet their fourth nationally-ranked opponent Saturday when they face the Bearcats.  Pitt State is 2-1 againsts nationally-ranked foes this year and 51-35-0 (.593) all-time against top 25 Division II squads.

The Gorillas are 33-13 (.717) at home against nationally-ranked teams.

Ground Game PSU's Bread and Butter...
Pitt State's success can be directly linked to its ability to rush the football.

Since the 1986 season, PSU has rushed for 200-plus yards in 271 of 318 overall games.  The Gorillas have posted a 240-30-1 (.887) record when they eclipse 200 yards rushing.  Pitt State is an even more impressive 134-6-0 (.957) when it eclipses 300 yards rushing.

By contrast, PSU is just 18-28-1 (.394) in the handful of games when it has been held below 200 yards rushing.  The Bearcats did limit the Gorillas to 45 carries for 193 yards (4.3 ypc) in the previous match-up on Oct. 1, but Pitt State.

Since 1986, PSU has rushed the ball for the highest yardage total among all NCAA Division II programs, with 92,542 yards (including postseason competition) for an average of 291.0 yards per game.

... But Don't Overlook PSU Passing Attack
While it's no secret Pitt State's offensive success has been predicated on running the football, the Gorillas have unleashed a potent passing attack to compliment their stalwart running game.

Since the start of the 2004 season, the Gorillas have passed for 17,421 yards and 147 TDs, averaging 195.7 passing yards and 1.7 touchdown passes per game in the last 89 outings.

Quick Strike Offense
The Pitt State offense has exhibited a penchant for being a "quick strike" unit.

During the last seven seasons (2005-11), the Pitt State offense has generated 460 scoring drives (399 TDs, 61 FGs) and averaged just 2:55 of elapsed time per drive. [Overtime scoring drives not included in elapsed time figures.]

2005    97 scoring drives (86 TDs, 11 FGs)   2:40 elapsed time   
2006    79 scoring drives (72 TDs, 7 FGs)    2:14 elapsed time   
2007    64 scoring drives (55 TDs, 9 FGs)    3:02 elapsed time   
2008    69 scoring drives (61 TDs, 8 FGs)    3:23 elapsed time
2009    49 scoring drives (44 TDs, 5 FGs)    3:21 elapsed time
2010    41 scoring drives (34 TDs, 7 FGs)    3:04 elapsed time
2011    61 scoring drives (47 TDs, 14 FGs)   3:02 elapsed time

The Gorillas have been highly successful when they are quick out of the gates.  Pitt State has scored on its opening drive 41 times (34 TDs, 7 FGs) in the last 84 games, posting a 39-2 (.951) record in those games. By contrast, Pitt State is 21-22 (.488) in games it doesn't score on its opening drive during the same span.

While Pitt State has remained a quick strike offensive unit in 2011 - with 18 touchdown drives of 90 seconds or less of elapsed time - the Gorillas also have compiled seven scoring drives of six or more minutes of elapsed time on the year, including an 11:12 drive last week.

For the season, the Gorillas rank second in the MIAA in time of possession at 33:09.

Pitt State Displays Prolific Offense
The Pitt State offense has asserted itself as one of the top units in NCAA Division II the past eight seasons (2004-11). Pitt State's high octane "multiple choice" offense ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 nationally in both scoring and total offense in three of the last seven seasons.

In 2004, PSU staked its claim as the most prolific offense in the history of NCAA football, leading Division II in scoring (55.8 ppg), rushing (354.7 ypg) and total offense (598.4 ypg).

Pitt State broke the NCAA's 118-year-old all-time all division scoring record with 837 points, besting the old mark of 765 points set by Harvard in 1886.  The Gorillas also broke the all-time NCAA all division records for rushing (5,320 yards) and total offense (8,976 yards) in 2004.

Oklahoma set the previous rushing record (5,196 yards) in 1971, and Texas Tech held the previous total offense mark (7,576 yards) in 2003.

In 2005, Pitt State ranked second nationally in scoring and total offense, averaging 46.8 points and 536.0 total yards per game.  The Gorillas also ranked seventh nationally in rushing, averaging 295.2 yards a game.

In 2006, Pitt State led NCAA Division II in scoring and ranked No. 2 nationally in total offense, averaging 44.8 points and 454.8 total yards per game in 2006. In 2007, the Gorillas ranked 21st nationally in scoring and 19th nationally in total offense, averaging 37.4 points and 454.2 total yards per game. In 2008, Pitt State ranked 18th nationally in scoring (35.5 ppg) and 21st in the nation in total offense (432.6 ypg). In 2009, the Pitt State offense averaged 29.4 points and 434.4 total yards per game, while the Gorillas averaged 22.8 points and 357.7 total yards per game last year.

The Gorillas are averaging 39.8 points, 447.7 total yards and 265.3 rushing yards per game on the season, ranking sixth nationally in rushing, eighth in scoring and 21st in total offense.

Pitt State All-Time Winningest Division II Program
Pittsburg State is the all-time winningest NCAA Division II football program.  The Gorillas, who are in their 104th season of intercollegiate competition, have compiled a 653-326-48 overall record, winning 65.9 percent of their 1,027 all-time games.

Pittsburg State is one of just 15 NCAA Division II institutions to have recorded 500 all-time victories and the Gorillas are just one of two schools to have reached the 600-win plateau.  Tuskegee is second on the all-time list with 630 victories, followed by Hillsdale (594), Central Oklahoma (590) and Texas A&M-Kingsville (580).

      Team                  Wins
  1.  Pittsburg State        653
  2.  Tuskegee               630
  3.  Hillsdale              594
  4.  Central Oklahoma       590
  5.  Texas A&M-Kingsville   580

(Includes games as NAIA members)

Dickey Leads Pitt State Offense
Senior quarterback Zac Dickey has rushed the ball 161 times for 895 yards (5.6 ypc) and 10 touchdowns on the season, while completing 115 of 185 passes (.622) for 1,666 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Dickey, who earned second-team All-MIAA honors, ranks fifth in the MIAA in rushing (81.4 ypg), third in the conference in passing efficiency (148.8 rating) and fourth in the league in total offense (232.8 ypg).

For his career, the Pittsburg native has rushed the ball 306 times for 1,795 yards (5.9 ypc) and 17 touchdowns, and he's completed 206 of 373 passes (.552) for 2,658 yards and 17 TDs with 12 interceptions.  He's compiled 4,453 yards of total offense.

Dickey climbed into eighth place on Pitt State's single season total offense list following Saturday's game.  He needs 157 yards to climb as high as fourth on the chart.

Dickey also reached eighth on Pitt State's single season passing chart and with 160 more yards he can climb as high as third.  His 115 completions also ranks third on Pitt State's single-season chart.

Dickey also needs 105 rushing yards to become just the fifth Pitt State quarterback to eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark in a season.

Brown an All-Purpose Performer
Sophomore wide receiver John Brown continues to impact the Pitt State offense and special teams units.
The Homestead, Fla., native has caught a team-leading 46 passes for 863 yards (18.7 ypc, 78.5 ypg) and eight touchdowns.  He was a second-team All-MIAA selection at wide receiver.

Brown (5-11, 170) also has carried the ball 13times for 81 yards (6.2 ypc) and three TDs.

He earned MIAA Offensive Player of the Week honors in the regular season finale against MSSU on Nov. 12, catching five passes for 146 yards and two TDs and rushing four times for 34 yards and three scores.

Brown also has compiled a team-leading 1,718 all purpose yards (156.2 ypg).  He leads the MIAA in punt returns, kickoff returns and all-purpose yards, ranking 10th in Division II in punt returns (15.0 ypr), 11th in kickoff returns (28.8 ypr) and 17th in all-purpose yards (156.2 ypg).

Brown, who earned first-team All-MIAA honors as a return specialist, needs just 147 receiving yards to become just the fifth player in school history to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards in a season.

Pitt State Defense Stingy
The Pitt State defense has been a stingy unit on points and yardage allowed on the season.

The Gorillas lead the MIAA in total yards allowed (299.4 ypg), passing yards allowed (189.2 ypg), rushing yards allowed (110.2 ypg) and point allowed (20.2 ppg).

The Gorillas also lead the MIAA in pass efficiency defense (97.3 rating) and opponent first downs (15.5 pg).
Pitt State also ranks second in the MIAA in opponent third-down conversions (.329, 52 of 158).

The Gorillas have allowed just nine passing touchdowns in 11 games, while gathering in 18 interceptions.  Pitt State is +4 (+0.4 pg) in turnover margin.

Dreiling MIAA Player of the Year
Sophomore linebacker Nate Dreiling garnered MIAA Defensive Player of the Year honors for his play during the 2011 regular season.

Dreiling (6-4, 228) has made a team-leading 98 tackles (40 solo) with 11.5 tackles-for-loss, 2.0 QB sacks, five interceptions and five pass breakups.

The Hutchinson, Kan., native ranks third in the MIAA in tackles (8.9 pg), fifth in the league in interceptions (0.45 pg) and passes defended (0.9 pg) and 10th in the conference in TFLs (1.1 pg).

Dreiling has compiled 258 career tackles in 23 games (11.2 pg).  He needs to make just 18 more tackles to crack Pitt State's top 10 list for career tackles.

Toca, Worthington Enjoy All-MIAA seasons
Junior defensive end Gus Toca and senior defensive end Spencer Worthington have enjoyed All-MIAA campaigns for the Gorillas.

Toca (6-3, 257) earned first-team All-MIAA honors after recording 34 tackles with a team-best 13.0 TFLs, 10.0 QB sacks, four pass breakups and four forced fumbles.

The Blue Springs, Mo., native ranks second in the MIAA in QB sacks (0.9 pg) and eighth in the conference in TFLs (1.2 pg).   He also leads the MIAA and ranks in a tie for eighth place nationally in forced fumbles (0.4 pg).

Worthington (6-2, 220) also earned second-team All-MIAA honors.  The Carlisle, Iowa, native has registered 33 tackles (16 solo) with 9.5 TFLs and 6.5 QB sacks.  He ranks seventh in the MIAA in QB sacks.  Worthington, a three-time All-MIAA performer, has made 162 career stops with 26.0 TFLs and 15.5 QB sacks.

Odds & Ends
Senior wide receiver Jon Thomas also has 31 receptions for 486 yards (15.7 ypc) and two TDs on the season.  The Raytown, Mo., native has 83 career catches for 1,197 yards (14.4 ypc) and four scores. Thomas, who earned honorable mention All-MIAA honors, needs 17 receiving yards to pass Tim Austin (2001-04) for 10th place on Pitt State's career receiving chart.

The Pitt State offensive line has allowed just seven QB sacks on the season in 222 pass attempts, allowing one sack in every 31.7 pass attempts.  The Gorillas rank third in Division II in QB sacks allowed (0.6 pg).

Scouting the Bearcats
Northwest enters Saturday's action averaging 510.3 total yards (233.0 rushing, 277.3 passing) and 51.2 points per game to date.  The Bearcats lead NCAA Division II in scoring, rank third nationally in total offense and 14th in the country in rushing.

Sophomore quarterback Trevor Adams has started seven of 13 games under center for the Bearcats, including the last four games.  He has a 6-1 record as Northwest's starter. 

Adams (6-1, 210) has completed 147 of 232 passes (.634) for 2,144 yards (164.9 ypg) and 21 touchdowns with 11 interceptions.  He also has rushed 56 times for 184 yards (3.3 ypc) and two scores.

Last week against No. 2 Midwestern State, Adams completed 15 of 25 passes for 131 yards and three touchdowns in blustery conditions at Wichita Falls, Texas.  He tossed all three TD passes to senior tight end Kyle Kilgore (6-5, 240), who has 22 catches for 43 yards and eight scores on the year.

Junior Jordan Simmons and sophomore James Franklin have an effective one-two punch to the Northwest rushing game.

Simmons (5-9, 195) has rushed the ball 122 times for 860 yards (7.0 ypc) and 14 touchdowns on the season, while Franklin (5-9, 185) has carried the ball a team-leading 193 times for 1,289 yards (6.7 ypc) and 23 scores.

As a team, the Bearcats have averaged 233.6 yards per game rushing on the season with 50 rushing touchdowns to date.  Northwest has averaged 261.7 rushing yards per game in its last three outings.

Junior Tyler Shaw and senior Jake Soy have combined to catch 70 passes for 1,454 yards (20.8 ypc) and 14 touchdowns to date.

Shaw (6-0, 180) has 35 grabs for a team-best 815 yards (23.3 ypc) and nine scores, while Soy (6-3, 215) has added 35 catches for 639 yards (18.3 ypc) and five TDs despite missing two games due to injury.

For his career, Soy has 220 receptions for 3,649 yards (16.6 ypc) and 45 touchdowns.  The Durant, Iowa, native ranks third all-time on the MIAA career receiving yards chart, behind only a pair of former Bearcats - Jamaica Rector (4,497 yards) and Tony Miles (3,890 yards).

Senior linebacker Chad Kilgore continues to lead the Northwest defensive unit, after posting an All-America junior season for the Bearcats in 2010.

Kilgore (6-1, 230) has made a team-leading 116 tackles (55 solo) with 11.0 TFLs, 2.5 QB sacks, one interception and three PBUs.

Redshirt freshman safety Bryce Enyard (6-0, 180) has registered a team-leading six interceptions to date, while redshirt freshman linebacker D.J. Gnader (6-2, 225) has made 93 tackles (49 solo) with five PBUs.  Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Matt Lonacre (6-3, 240) has made a team-leading 4.5 QB sacks on the year.

Junior Todd Adolf has converted 10 of 13 field goal attempts (.769) on the year as well as 87 of 89 (.978) PAT tries, while freshman Kyle Goodburn has punted 38 times for a 37.2-yard average with eight kicks inside the opponent 20 yard line.

Simmons has returned 14 punts for an 11.9-yard average with one touchdown, and he's returned 15 kickoffs for a 33.7-yard average with a pair of scores.

©2011 Pittsburg State University