The College of Wooster football team (3-3, 2-3 North Coast Athletic Conference) plays three of its last four regular-season games on the road, and that stretch starts this week at Kenyon College (3-3, 2-3 NCAC). Kickoff from the 1,750 seat McBride Field is set for noon. Wooster is looking to get back on track after falling to Denison University 38-21 on Black and Gold Weekend, while Kenyon was shut out for the second time this season last Saturday when Allegheny College held serve at home 49-0.
On The Air: Kenyon will provide a live stream of this week's contest online at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/kenyon. WKVX 960 AM will carry this week's contest live and online at https://wqkt.com.
All-Time Series: Wooster leads the all-time series 53-23-3, and the Scots have won the last six games. Wooster's 53 wins over Kenyon are the second-most versus any opponent in program history, and that trails the 71 wins the Scots have over Oberlin College. The teams first met in 1890 in the fifth-ever varsity football game at Wooster. Wooster downed Kenyon 30-0 as part of a 5-0 season, and as part of a 7-0 run spanning the 1889-90 seasons before a campus ban of intercollegiate sports. Wooster resumed intercollegiate football competition in 1901, with the next game versus Kenyon taking place in 1903. The Lords won that one 11-10. The Scots have won 18 of the 20 meetings since 1995.
Last Meeting: Alumnus Antonio Bailey did the heavy lifting in the scoring column, while then-freshman Dexter Lewis' interception preserved Wooster's 41-0 shutout over visiting Kenyon on October 27, 2018. The shutout marked Wooster's first since blanking Hiram College 62-0 on October 30, 2010. Bailey rushed for 126 yards on 19 carries, three of which went for touchdowns.
Kenyon ran two plays inside Wooster's 10-yard line with just over three minutes remaining in the game. Lewis picked off the Lords' Thomas Merkle in the end zone with 3:08 remaining. The Scots held Merkle to 26-of-42 passing for 208 yards, and picked him off twice. In his two prior starts versus Wooster, Merkle completed 74-of-113 passes for 739 yards and six touchdowns.
Offense Notes: Nick Strausbaugh (Fredericksburg, Ohio/Waynedale) is coming off his best game of the season, as the senior hauled in nine receptions for 153 yards and two touchdowns versus Denison. The three-year standout now has 2,756 yards for his career, and he upped the touchdown ledger to 28 last week. Brandon Good (1995-98) still has the marks to beat in both categories with 2,838 yards receiving and 30 touchdown receptions. Strausbaugh logged his 14th 100-yard game against Denison, and his best game ever game at Kenyon two years ago, when he turned eight receptions into 212 yards and four scores. Sophomore Mateo Renteria (Houston, Texas/Cypress Creek) continues to lead the NCAC in total offense with 270.8 yards per game, a total that's 44th nationally.
Defense Notes: Freshman Brandon Holt (Atlanta, Ga./Banneker) certainly doesn't rank among the team leaders in tackles this year. However, when the rookie does make a tackle, it's usually a really big play. That's because the defensive end is tied for second on the team with three sacks, and those sacks have gone for a loss of 21 yards. Holt, who has eight tackles on the year, has four tackles for loss. Wooster now has three players with at least three sacks on the season, as senior Robert Alvarez (Fort Washington, Md./Riverdale Baptist School) and Holt both logged their third on Saturday. Junior Kea'Shaun Phillips (Toledo, Ohio/Toledo Central Catholic) continues to lead the team in tackles with 44, and his nine stops marked the game-high versus Denison.
Special Teams Notes: Wooster logged its first special teams takeaway of the season on Saturday when freshman Justin Jones (Austell, Ga./Westminster Schools) recovered a fumble at the Big Red's three-yard line. The Scots also had their first blocked kick of the year when junior Kobe Matesic (Buffalo, N.Y./West Seneca West) blocked a 43-yard field goal in the third quarter. Wooster's averaging 24.32 yards per kick return, a total 22nd in Div. III and tops in the NCAC. Individually, freshman Matt Ulishney (Greensburg, Pa./Serra District Catholic) is averaging 24.8 yards per runback, a mark that's 39th nationally and tops in the conference.
This and That: Wooster had three penalties for 18 yards in Saturday's game, and it's the fourth time this season only three penalties have been accepted by the opposition. The Scots had five penalties in each of their other two games. In all, only 175 yards have been marked off on Wooster's penalties this year, with Wilmington College (158) and Hope College (164) ranking as the only Div. III teams with fewer penalty yards this year.