The College of Wooster football team (2-2, 1-2 North Coast Athletic Conference) travels to Crawfordsville, Ind. this week to take on Wabash College (3-0, 2-0 NCAC). Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. Wooster is coming off a 24-21 win over DePauw, a game in which the Scots recorded five takeaways. Wabash was idle last week, and most recently topped Kenyon College 47-14 back on Sept. 15.
Live Coverage: Wabash Live will carry this week's game online at https://www.wabash.edu/live/. WKVX 960 AM will not be traveling to this week's contest.
All-Time Series: Wabash leads the all-time series 20-2, and the Little Giants have won the last 13 meetings. Wabash, 10-1 all-time at Crawfordsville, won 34-24 in the last meeting at Hollett Little Giant Stadium. While the final score hasn't gone Wooster's way the last two years, the Scots have played well against the Little Giants, with last year's contest being decided by five points. Wooster's two wins in the series came during the 2003-04 seasons. In both wins, the Scots returned an interception for a touchdown - a 68-yarder by Nick Hajjar in 2003 and a 20-yard one by Chris Craig in 2004.
Last Meeting: Wooster carried a 28-27 lead into the fourth quarter, and junior Christian Santos' (Yeadon, Pa./Penn Wood Senior) interception gave the Scots the ball back with 2:23 remaining trailing by five, but Wooster's final drive never materialized as 25th-ranked Wabash held on for a 33-28 win. Alumnus Gary Muntean set the tone right away by sending Wabash's defense scrambling after junior Nick Strausbaugh (Fredericksburg, Ohio/Waynedale) on the game's first offensive play that resulted in a spectacular in-stride 72-yard touchdown strike. The duo had another lengthy touchdown pass - this time from 56 yards out on a nice play fake by Muntean - that resulted in Strausbaugh sprinting free from Wabash's defense to pull Wooster within three (24-21) at the 6:19 mark of the second quarter.
Offense Notes: First-year Mateo Renteria (Houston, Texas/Cypress Creek) impressed in his first collegiate start by completing 29-of-45 throws for 388 yards - the eighth-most in a single game in program history. Wooster's now had two different signal-callers throw for 300 yards this season, as sophomore Caden Croft (Coshocton, Ohio/Riverview) went 21-for-34 for 376 yards against Allegheny College. Wooster's now had 15 300-yard passing games over its last 27 contests after only having 16 over the first 1,010 games in program history. Last Saturday, Strausbaugh became the fifth Scot to record 20 receiving touchdowns, and the milestone came on an impressive 73-yard catch-and-run in the second quarter. In 14 career games, all Strausbaugh's done is turn 83 receptions into 1,788 yards and the 20 scores. He's already fourth all-time in receiving yards in program history.
Defense Notes: Wooster's defense continued to make waves on Saturday with four takeaways and four sacks, in addition to also holding DePauw to 19 yards rushing. With the four sacks, Wooster's already matched its 2017 season total (19) in the first four games of the season, and the Scots enter the week seventh in Div. III with 4.75 sacks per game. Wooster's rushing defense is holding the opposition to 44.0 yards per game, a total 11th in Div. III entering the week. The Scots' defense is responsible for 10 of the team's 11 takeaways, and the Scots are 12th nationally in takeaways entering the week. Additionally, Wooster is three takeaways behind the national leaders. Sophomore Beau Greenwood (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) - the NCAC Defensive Player-of-the-Week - accounted for two of the takeaways on Saturday. Greenwood logged an interception in the end zone on the game's opening drive and helped secure the win with a fourth-quarter pick just past midfield.
Special Teams Notes: Wooster had a fifth takeaway during last Saturday's win, and that came on special teams. DePauw's punter dropped a snap and scooped up the pigskin only to have first-year Chase Flanagan (Dellroy, Ohio/Carrollton) force a fumble. Senior Derrick Florence (Jacksonville, Fla./Paxon School) scooped up the pigskin and scored from three yards out for the Scots' second fumble return touchdown of the year.
This and That: Florence's touchdown on Saturday marked his second career one on special teams. Florence previously ran a kickoff back to the house from 89 yards out against Kenyon College in 2015. Wooster's win over DePauw snapped the Tigers' four-game series winning streak.