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College football preview: Saint Francis vs. Taylor

When: Noon Saturday

Where: Bishop D’Arcy Stadium (3,000/turf)

Radio: 1450 AM

Records: No. 6 Saint Francis 6-2, 3-1 MSFA MEL; Taylor 3-5, 1-3

Series: Saint Francis leads, 9-2

On the Web: For a video preview of Saturday’s game, go to the Saint Francis page at www.journalgazette.net

Saint Francis

Offense statistics

Points per game: 37.1 (13th in NAIA)

Yards per game: 429.3 (15th)

Passing yards per game: 246.5 (16th)

Rushing yards per game: 182.8 (27th)

Defense statistics

Points per game: 18.9 (18th)

Yards per game: 305.4 (19th)

Passing yards per game: 165.4 (20th)

Rushing yards per game: 140.0 (31st)

Keys

Top 3 offensive players: RB Antoin Campbell, 110.6 yards per game, 9 TDs; QB Josh Miller, 106.3 ypg., 6 TDs; WR Austin Coleman 68.9 ypg., 7 TDs

Top 3 defensive players: DB Taylor Brown, 65 tackles, 5 passes broken up; LB Justin Juarez, 56 tackles, 4 tackles for loss; LB Brody Kalbaugh, 55, 1 tackle for loss

Keys to victory: The return of quarterback Josh Miller from an ankle injury didn’t slow down the Cougars in their 31-7 victory over Siena Heights last week. Because Taylor has a respectable defense against the run, Miller can’t go to the air as the sole offense and force passes, which results in turnovers. The fewer mistakes Saint Francis makes, the better chance it has to win Saturday.

Injury: No injuries reported

Taylor

Offense statistics

Points per game: 26.8 (T-40th)

Yards per game: 370.8 (37th)

Passing yards per game: 234.5 (24th)

Rushing yards per game: 136.3 (52nd)

Defense statistics

Points per game: 25.6 (T-38th)

Yards per game: 353.3 (38th)

Passing yards per game: 225.5 (63rd)

Rushing yards per game: 127.8 (21st)

Keys

Top 3 offensive players: RB Taylor Johnson 58.4 ypg., 2 TDs; QB Nick Freeman, 176.1 ypg., 16 TDs; WR Darvon Blackmon, 88.3 ypg., 10 TDs

Top 3 defensive players: DB Isaac McGaughey, 68 tackles, 4 interceptions; LB Bryan Onuselogu, 49 tackles, 10 tackles for loss; LB Adam Middleswor, 40 tackles, 1 interception

Keys to victory: Taylor is coming off a bye week, so it should have some new wrinkles to its offense and defense. The fact that it scored 31 points against Saint Xavier two weeks ago gives hope to the offense, although Saint Xavier also scored 55. Trojans quarterback Nick Freeman and wide receiver Darvon Blackmon are a dangerous combination. Blackmon has 10 touchdown receptions, more than anyone on the Saint Francis roster.

Injury: No injuries reported

stwarden@jg.net

– Steve Warden, The Journal Gazette

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