The College of Wooster football team (2-3, 1-3 North Coast Athletic Conference) opens the second half of its season with a 1 p.m. game at Oberlin College (1-4, 1-3 NCAC) on Saturday, Oct. 13. Wooster was idle last week and is coming off a 48-20 loss at Wabash College in a game that took place on Sept. 29. Oberlin dropped a tightly-contested game against DePauw University 28-26 last Saturday. The Yeomen had a chance to tie the game with under a minute remaining, but couldn't convert on a two-point try.
All-Time Series: Saturday marks the 95th all-time meeting in series history, and Wooster leads 69-23-2 all-time in a series that dates back to 1903. Wooster's played Oberlin more times than any other opponent in program history with Denison University (86 meetings) and Kenyon College (78 meetings) rounding out the top three. The last three Wooster-Oberlin games have featured down-to-the-wire outcomes as the games were decided on by five (2015), four (2016), and 10 (2017) points. Wooster has won the last five contests at Oberlin and is 14-1 on the road in the series since 1986. Wooster won 16 straight games in the series from 1986-2002.
Last Meeting: Alumnus Gary Muntean accounted for 439 yards of total offense and four scores, and Wooster's defense came away with three takeaways - one of which was a 43-yard interception return for a touchdown by sophomore Cam Pollard (Cleveland, Ohio/John Hay) - as the Fighting Scots picked up their fourth win of the season with a 38-28 victory at John P. Papp Stadium. Wooster gave up a 79-yard touchdown pass from Zach Taylor to Ryan Gleeson with 3:32 remaining in the first quarter, but the Scots' defense more than made up for it on the next two possessions, starting with Pollard's pick-six that put Wooster up 14-7 with 13:21 left in the second quarter. For the game, Muntean completed 32-of-41 passes for 363 yards and two touchdowns. The 363 yards gave Muntean a game with 362 (Ohio Wesleyan University), 363 (Oberlin), 364 (Allegheny College), and 365 (DePauw) yards passing on the year.
Offense Notes: Junior Nick Strausbaugh (Fredericksburg, Ohio/Waynedale) enters the week 20th in Div. III with 587 receiving yards, and he's one of four wideouts in the NCAC averaging over 100 yards per game. Strausbaugh enters the week with 1,902 career yards, and should he reach 2,000, it'll mark just the fourth time in program history that's happened and he'll be the first to do so since Chris Cabot (1998-01) recorded 2,302 yards receiving. Wooster's started two quarterbacks this year in sophomore Caden Croft (Coshocton, Ohio/Riverview) and freshman Mateo Renteria (Houston, Texas/Cypress Creek), and while Renteria enters the week as the projected starter, both have near-identical completion percentages and passing efficiency points. Croft's completed 66.7 percent of his throws (49-of-69 for 586 yards) and has 143.66 efficiency points. Renteria's completed 65.7 percent of his pass attempts (71-for-108 for 786 yards) and has 143.36 efficiency points. As a team, Wooster ranks 20th nationally in completion percentage.
Defense Notes: Wooster enters the week 19th nationally in sacks at 3.8 per game. In fact, the Scots have just as many sacks at the midpoint of this season (19) than it did all of last year. Senior Marcus Bowers (Roseville, Mich./Fraser) is tied for fourth in the conference with 4.5 sacks, while junior D'Andre Brown (Atlanta, Ga./Benjamin E. Mays) rounds out the Scots in the top-10 league-wide in sacks at 3.0. Senior Cornelius Gyamfi (Atlanta, Ga./Chamblee) enters the week ninth in the NCAC with 6.0 tackles for loss. Wooster is one of 53 teams nationally allowing less than 100 yards per game on the ground, and just one of two teams in the NCAC. The Scots' 11 takeaways ranks in the top third of Div. III, and it's just eight behind the national leaders.
Special Teams Notes: Freshmen Angelo Petracci (Youngstown, Ohio/Canfield), Cole Hissong (Shreve, Ohio/Triway), and Eric Kraus (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) are three of the four Scots with at least four special teams tackles this year. Sophomore Henry Whyte (North Huntginton, Pa./Norwin) is averaging 54.2 yards per kickoff through five games this year.
This and That: Wooster is one of the most disciplined teams in the NCAC this season as the Scots have only been flagged for 5.4 penalties per game, a total tied for the third-lowest in the NCAC and in the top-50 nationally. Wooster's 38-28 win over Oberlin last year snapped a six-year run during which the Scots dropped their first October contest.