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College football preview: Baker at Saint Francis

When: Noon Saturday

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

Radio: 1450 AM

Records: No. 6 Saint Francis (8-2); No. 11 Baker (8-2)

Series: First meeting

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

Saint Francis

Offensive statistics

Points per game: 36.2 (13th in NAIA)

Yards per game: 408.7 (23rd)

Passing yards per game: 228.9 (23rd)

Rushing yards per game: 179.8 (28th)

Defensive statistics

Points per game: 15.8 (11th)

Yards per game: 289.3 (15th)

Passing yards per game: 162.4 (17th)

Rushing yards per game: 126.9 (22nd)

Keys

Top 3 offensive players: RB Antoin Campbell, 110.9 yards per game, 11 TDs; QB Josh Miller, 103.2 ypg, 6 TDs; WR Austin Coleman, 62.0 ypg, 7 TDs

Top 3 defensive players: DB Taylor Brown, 84 tackles, 6 passes broken up; LB Brody Kalbaugh, 75 tackles, 1 tackle for loss; LB Devon Rush, 60 tackles, 5 TFL

Keys to victory: Saint Francis’ offensive line will be called upon to keep Baker’s aggressive defense out of the backfield. The visiting Wildcats have 71 tackles for losses in 10 games. The ringleader is Andre Jolly, a quick, 6-foot-1, 245-pound defensive end who has muscled his way for 16 sacks and 21 tackles for losses. The Cougars can adequately throw the ball but can’t afford a steady diet of second-and-long and third-and-long situations.

Injuries: DE Kevin Bush (knee) questionable

Baker

Offensive statistics

Points per game: 31.9 (26th)

Yards per game: 380.9 (30th)

Passing yards per game: 190.7 (43rd)

Rushing yards per game: 190.2 (24th)

Defensive statistics

Points per game: 20.1 (22nd)

Yards per game: 323.5 (29th)

Passing yards per game: 173.1 (23rd)

Rushing yards per game: 150.4 (37th)

Keys

Top 3 offensive players: RB Dillon Baxter, 82.5 ypg, 6 TDs; QB Jake Morse, 146.3 ypg, 10 TDs; WR Jake Green, 33.5 ypg, 7 TDs

Top 3 defensive players: DB Preston Schenck, 60 tackles, 4 interceptions; DE Andre Jolly, 57 tackles, 16 sacks; LB Ryder Werts, 56 tackles, 3.5 TFL

Keys to victory: Baker surely has to be the most balanced offense in the NAIA since it averages 190.7 yards passing and 190.2 rushing. It’s that kind of balance that has to be maintained if the Wildcats can upset Saint Francis. The Cougars have allowed only 14 points in their last three games, including a shutout over Taylor. Baker’s Preston Schenck, who has four interceptions, cannot let Saint Francis’ speedy Austin Coleman get behind the secondary.

Injuries: None reported

stwarden@jg.net

– Steve Warden, The Journal Gazette

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