Inside D2Football - Todd Cooley

October 8th, 2023 12:00pm

Inside D2Football - Todd Cooley


YouTube Auto-Generated Transcript:

well happy Sunday everybody and welcome to inside D2 football along with Chuck

bner Justin pizzy Chris Ferguson Tony Nicollet and Matt with Wiki I am Brandon Meisner again thank you very much for

joining us got a great show a lot to talk about tonight lots of fun stuff uh

one of the games we're going to talk about a top 25 matchup between Emporia State and Pittsburgh state how would

Emporia respond after falling and being upset last week at Missouri Western we'll also talk about the Harland Hill

Race we're about halfway a little over halfway through the season and we'll talk about the leading candidates for

that award we'll also review some other top 25 course and of course do our stock

up and stock down segments and in the overtime we'll answer uh any questions your criticism your compliments whatever

it takes H but today we're gonna start with the game of the week and that game

was between Delta State and valdasta State where the Statesman uh left valdasta with a

4925 win uh really nice performance on the road Chuck yeah I wrote in my column to to

Game recap

preview this one I've been looking for this game for a couple weeks because we knew this was going to be the first really big test for both of these teams

against a similarly matched opponent and it certainly didn't disappoint we got what we were expecting to see from this

in the first quarter you know we had four touchdowns in the first four drives of the game and we're thinking oh wow

boy this is this is really going to be the shootout that we uh we thought that it might be but you know you really have to give a lot of credit to the defenses

of both teams they settled down after that started making some stops because it really was looking early on like

maybe the first team that gets two stops is going to win this game uh and both did some really good job uh really good

job of creating some turnovers as well but you know Delta state was really kind of able to get just a little bit of

Separation towards the end of the first half and vasta just missed on a couple of opportunities that really could have

made this a closer game at the half and and I think if they could have done that we really might have seen the second

half play out just a little bit differently but those turnovers uh coming up empty right at the end of that half I think they had two trips right

into the the 10 only came around came out of that with three points and and in a game like this you uh you have to get

in the end zone when you have those opportunities against a team like Delta State absolutely again the states going come out with a 4925 win we are joined

Todd Cooley interview

tonight by the head coach of Delta state that is Todd kulie and Coach congratulations on the win thanks for

joining us tonight on inside D2 football thank you all for having me really appreciate it so so coach the game started with

four touchdowns in the first four possessions and the defense your defense really settled down after that and you

only gave up one touchdown for the rest of the day what were you able to adjust after those first couple scoring drives

to really settled down your defense and get them playing at a high level I think our defensive staff just did a good job

just calming everybody down uh you know it's it's a big game um you know on the road I think valdas did a great job

keeping us off balance early you know they came out with a lot of stuff a lot of movement um quarterback's really good

they do a good job up front and they showed us a lot of things uh that we had not seen previously uh and they did a

good job executing them you know and they were going with Tempo and of course we're a Tempo team and I think we just

kind of took those punches we're kind of getting used to that Justin you know coming out people coming out firing at us a little bit which is which is you

know that's a good thing you know but our our players have we we've we've been in a few of these games here lately and

and we gotta just know that there's a flow to it there's a momentum to it and you know we just kind of took those punches like you said like Brandon was

talking about towards the and Chuck were talking about towards the end of the half you know we kind of took control and

then we got the ball to start the second half and was able to go down and we were able to go down and score again and then to their credit they came back and

scored got a two-point conversion and then we faked the punt uh up 10 um from

our own 30 and that was a big play in the game that I thought kept the momentum because I could you could kind of sense it like yeah all right they

stopped us all right you know we're gonna have to punt to him and we need to do something right here if we're going

to do it and um we we executed it man it was it was beautiful and and we went down we're able to catch that in and you

know you got to go play to win I mean at the end of the day I mean you're going into an environment we were going to play to win and so we made the call to

do that and that was a big turning point I felt like because I felt like their quarterback was getting hot again and they had a little something going over

there and so we had to keep them keep them kind of cooled off and then then that really let our defense do what they

do and and I think our defense is uh underrated I really do I think they're playing really good football and hey man

that's the first time since 2010 that we've held B AA under 30 you

know so that's a big stat for us as a program so uh they're a good good

football team they've always been a good football team well coached um and they've done a really good job with

their roster that's a whole new roster from a year ago and um yeah they're a

good football team there's no doubt and we knew that going in we knew all that so pretty impressive coach we're we're

Todd Cooley on the defense

usually ones that have those nerdy stats about the last something happen so PR pretty good that you had that about 2010

uh talk about your defense a little bit more you said you think they're a little bit a little bit underrated we felt that this was really going to be the first

big test for them against a team that has the kind of explosive talent that vasta has and a really talented

quarterback that we're really to know and and get familiar with what' you learn about your defense in this

game uh I just I mean more what I've already what we already knew um you know

when we're when we're playing uh when we're not trying to do too much I guess is is the best way to

put our football team and that goes for everybody uh sometimes we try to do too much you know just it's you got it's

great to have young men that want to make plays uh because I've coached guys that were scared to make these guys want

to make plays we got a lot of players like that on our team but you've still got to do it within the scheme of the defense you still got to do it within

the scheme of the offense and you just got to do what your coach to do and when they when they're playing that way and they're not giving up penalties you know

that's what hurt us you know we had 12 plays yesterday inside 10 or inside the 10 yard line and we had a couple

penalties that led to getting them three or four more play and they scored on us you know we had 10 stops inside the 10

some of those inside the two and you know I thought we really toughened up in those situations but when we're not

getting penalties and we're not doing you know things to hurt ourselves uh and we're making offenses earn it I think we

we can we're pretty good we missed some tackles yesterday uh which you playing good teams they're going to make you miss you know they missed some tackles

on us too um that's part of football but we were able to turn them over three times which was good you know on the

flip side of that we turned the ball over some you know Patrick our quarterback through his first interceptions of the year um we knew it

was coming at some point still didn't want to see it but um we'll learn from those situations but I was just proud of

them as a whole I like what they do I think they show up and work every day they're real competitive um they play

together there's a lot of love and uh we talk about being a family here we have a lot of that on our football team we got

a lot of young men that understand how to play the game how to practice it and they're just fun to be around man it's

it's a really good Bunch we've been on a great run the last two years and I don't ever want it to end man it's a lot of fun coming to work with these

guys well coach it is a an improved FASA State team that you faced this year yet

Todd Cooley on the offense

you finished the day with 417 rush yards also the most rushing attempts that you've had in a game so

far this season was that the game plan going in that you were going to have a ground heavy approach to it we thought

we could run it I'm not going to say we thought we could do do that you know uh Chuck just be honest with you but it

kind of started going and look man our thing has always been like we want to be a balanced offense and what that means

that doesn't mean at the end of the night we want to have 200 rush and 200 pass and I think people get that we want to be able to run the ball when we need

to run the ball and we want to be able to throw the ball when we need to throw the ball and if you can do that I think

you got always got a chance to win a lot of different types of games you know you can win shootouts if you can throw it

when you need to throw it you can win a ground control game when you need when you run it when you need to run it and

yesterday it was running we were running it and we were running it well so we just kind of stuck with it and um I

think it was good you know Patrick's healthy but you know that was a lot of talk going into the game was he gonna

play which we knew he was gonna play but still still you know we didn't if he can

sit there and hand it off 50 times and and we can still win a ball game after after that and that's great you you know

so just felt like we got really good backs um they're very unselfish we play

a lot of them and we had some guys step up yesterday offensive line tight ends

receivers were receivers didn't care they just want to win man you know they didn't care we weren't throwing it around like we normally do we just went

out there all hands on Deb we talked about burning the boats and coming back with a win and that's that's what we're

able to do and Coach you know as coaches we always talk about battling adversity and

Todd Cooley on overcoming adversity

battling through aders so you know valasa had some success early you had some over some turnovers to overcome was

it good for your team to to have some adversity particularly early in this game not and not just for this game but as you start looking now as you start

looking ahead at some some games coming up here in the Gulf South I I think so Justin I mean you know here's the thing

about us you know a year ago we we went 11- two and we did not Trail in a football game until our sixth Game of

the Year never Trail and we trailed and then we came back against nor greenw took the lead and ended up taking

control of the game so I mean we Trail at halftime I mean we Trail early against Missouri sat we go up to shaan

and I'm just gonna be honest after that trip I don't think there's hardly any adversity you can't check off the list

me we sat on a bus for seven hours waiting on a game we we taken we're down 18 to seven playing on a field where you

can't even hardly you're swimming instead of running and then the game ends in you know how it ended we all

know about that so I felt like we're kind of prepared for a lot of things after that week and that 16-hour trip

and all that stuff so um but to to the thing I like about this team is they never Flinch you know they they're down

all right we don't Flinch offense goes does their thing they come back score again all right no big deal and then you

know we F we had a we had a first and goal uh and B's credit they stoned us

yesterday defense turn around say coach don't worry about we'll get it back to you I me nobody flinches and that's what I knock on wood hopefully we keep doing

that that's that's a good characteristic for a football team just kind of stay right here because people that know me I'm kind of I'm a roller coaster you

know my players my players have really helped me get more like this and I've

learned it from them you know and and I think you know we have to we when we

when we stay like that we just stay together you know we got a chance to be a tough out for people you know I'm not

saying we're dominant or anything like that because we're not and we're far from person we're gonna make we made a

thousand mistakes yesterday we're gonna make a thousand more Saturday night against North Greenville but we do play for one another and we're very unselfish

and as long as we keep doing that we'll have a chance for sure and you know you you talked about last season you go 11 and

Todd Cooley on message to team

two this year you know things are you know you're doing well what was your message to the team after this win on

the road in a tough place to play you know again looking looking kind of what's going what the future may hold

what what is your message to the team what are you telling the guys after a win like this well I tell you what I told him yesterday I said look we made a

ton of mistakes but we're not g to talk about it till Monday because it' been since 2014 since we'd won in valasa

Georgia so we're gonna enjoy this one for the next 12 hours on this bus we

stopped at bues last night late man it was awesome you know we had a great time I got me some ice cream

and cold weather finally hit us down here you know where we're at and it was it was we just had a nice time coming

home and got in here you know like I said we pulled in about 4:15 we cleaned the buses off we put all the stuff up we

they came back for treatment we haven't seen them other than that today tomorrow we'll start in on correcting those

mistakes and getting ready for start getting ready for North Greenville but we said we're gonna enjoy you know

because what they did man that's that's it hadn't been done a lot you know and um it was it was huge it was a big deal

for us you know so like I said we drove 12 hours Friday morning at 6:00 a.m I

mean that's not get in there Val o at 6:4 their time that night it's not easy to do and then turn around and win a

football game like that so pretty proud of them you know the 24 points is the smallest margin of Victory you've had

this year uh I'm not trying to put you on the spot and try to get you to predict how far you're going to go uh

but I would like to know do you think this is the best team that you've had since you've been at Delta State oh

that's a great question I think time will tell with that I think time will tell uh you know it's like we talk about

here all the time you're only judged by your next one so we're we're going to be judged this week by what we do against a

good North Greenville team um I I don't know I mean I get texts all the time

from from people who are great you know you gotta understand this Cleveland Delta State man it's a football Community you know and they love it and

and that's why I came here you know we are the percentage wise the winningest program in the state of Mississippi all

levels of of universities right and that's why I wanted to come here you know I played against them and uh that's

why I'm honored to be the head coach here but there have been so many great teams here I've had some good teams here

uh this team is a good team but we're going to be judged pretty much what we do over the next month month and a half

if we get to play that long uh you know we we're just right now we're just trying to to get this one and then go

from there and see what happens but you know right now so far so good we've done what we're supposed to do and uh playing

complimentary football winning turnover battles playing really well on special teams scoring some points and stopping

people and that's what you got to do to win right one last question for you coach later on we're going to talk about

Patrick Xog

potential Harland Hill candidates obvious your guy is part of that discussion tell us what Patrick xog has

meant to your program man I can't I can't even tell you I couldn't even start probably

without getting emotional um this a young man that came here in 2018 and was thrust into the starting

role pretty much by the Fall because we got our starter injured we had play we had went to the playoffs in 17 and we

did not have anything coming back in 18 and and those kids played hard but he's sitting there and he gets freshman of

the year in the league on a two and eight football team and 2019 he starts out he's having

a good year you know we should have beat Grand Valley up there they did a good job coming back on us in in a war up

there next game we got Florida Tech he breaks his col bom you know misses the rest of the year Co hits he keeps our

team together comes out in 21 he's our starter gets hurt

again not playing as great comes in last year 22 following the spring of 22 he's

our third string quarterback he does not start week one he does not start week two he comes in

third series week two against McKenry and he's been our starter again ever

since and never once wavered you know he started the season in 22 as the Scout he

was running Scout team this is a guy that was a Gulf South freshman of the year in

18 four years later he is our scout team quarterback showing a look to the

defense because we're playing the option and he's out there giving a look never once griped never once

complained um he is the leader of our football team he is learned to be a

vocal leader he is extremely smart he's G South Conference top 10 I don't know if y'all know about that that's a major

deal within our league that's all student athletes that's a top 10 student athlete in the conference um I can't say enough about

him um he we got a great quarterback room he's got a lot to do with it we got a great team he's got a lot to do with

it he's like a son to me uh I don't have any kids my own if I had a daughter I'd

want him to marry her to marry P she got I can't say enough about what a good

person awesome and he never cares about what he does he just wants to win and

that's what you love about him I mean he has seven touchdowns seven touchdowns two weeks ago against shorter does not

he's not the Gul sou he's co-offensive player of the week in the league seven touchdowns

okay never even cared I'm M I'm like game you know which there's another good

game out there good players out there but I was just like I probably get upset over more that stuff than he does you

know I hope I hope he gets in there um he'll have to continue to have a great year that's a prestigious honor and

there's some guys putting up some great numbers this year we got some really good players in division two um but man

I'll take we call him rat that's his nickname we'll

boy he play so long all the officials in the league know him as rat too they're like that's wild he was the D2

National player of the week two weeks ago after the shorter game appreciate

app all right very very good coach thank you very much for joining us tonight uh

good luck the rest of the way and uh again we really thank you for coming on tonight hey and I just want to tell

y'all again thank y'all for what you do D2 football man it's is I know it's a passion of love I mean it's a love for

you guys and and it really means a lot to us that we can have something to look on every week and and and hear about not

only the golf South but everybody around the country it really means a lot to us man y'all keep doing what you're doing

thank you very much Cleveland yand all right very good that was

fabulous that was fa that was hey coach Todd coie uh from Delta State we will be

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Foundation all right great all right everybody uh it's time to look at what happened in the rest of the country in

Pitt vs ESU

the uh top 25 let's go ahead and pull up that graphic and uh we'll take a look at

those games starting of course with the one we teased earlier in the show which

was the uh Emporia State and Pittsburgh state uh game in that game uh Pittsburgh

state came away with a 33-25 win over Emporia State

yeah Brandon and and watching that game uh you know when you first see the score you know you get the initial thought hey

that was a really close game and that really wasn't this football game um pit was able to to go out and uh get get a

nice lead in this one and kind of run away and hide to some extent and uh you

know kind of furthermore as you take a look at it um you know I I'm I'm looking

at 30 to3 after three quarters uh um Emporia drives first goes ahead um looks

like they're going to play well right off the bat gets held to a field goal you know pit was able to go ahead and

play like a three-man front with eight back in cover and uh they you know every once in a while son a blitz but I I was

really impressed with how pit and uh you know tight ending Devin garrettson again

Garrison is just such a nice player for them uh he's a tough matchup he's basically a big wide out there's a

reason he's on our Elite one 100 team uh seven grabs over 100 yards two scores

and uh you know a lot of the Yards that we really saw with Emporia uh they finish with what almost 400 yards but I

mean a good portion comes in the fourth quarter when it's garbage time and I was really impressed uh with how well pit uh

put away a team that we think is a playoff caliber Squad yep right in the

Limestone vs LR

South Atlantic conference Lenor Ryan beats Limestone third 31- 28 a good win

by Lenor Ryan uh an ugly win but

uh a good win people who have read my columns over the years which I assume is

everyone uh knows that I I repeatedly say I like teams that can win ugly games and Lenor Ryan won an ugly game

yesterday they they really had to gut it out um had to get a little bit lucky but also you had to make some plays down the

stretch when it was Do or Die uh got the big special teams play that um they really swung that tide you know

limestone's in in the red zone to kick a chip shot field goal already up a touchdown if that field goes if that

field goal goes through I think the game's over because Lenor Ryan did not have two scoring drives in him at that point they block a field goal take it

all the way back now we have a tii football game and then LR wins it in overtime so really tough game for most

of it it actually looked like Limestone was the better team uh outgained LR by something like 250 total yards

so statistically it was very imbalanced U but at the end of the day uh they're the ones that stay undefeated they're

still first place in that Division and uh you know Justin you know I thought it was an ugly win but what did you think

I'll be honest with you at this point in the year a win is a win it doesn't matter how you get there you're gonna have ugly wins you're gonna have pretty

wins it doesn't matter but at the end of the day a win's a win when you look back on the season you're gonna see a w in the win column it doesn't matter right

um and so but I I do think I do think the gritty win the grittiness of that game because at one point they were down

seven looking to be down 10 if they made that field goal I mean but I think the grittiness of all three phases of the

game offense defense and special teams coming through for Leno Ryan is gonna pay dividends for them as you start

looking at the rest of the conference schedule and into the playoffs I do I do think gritty wins tough wins right now I

think benefit you as you go you know I mean you need some of these to kind of test yourself figure out what you're made out of in that type of deal I will

also say that I think for Limestone and that may be the best three loss team in the country right now I I mean they are

impressive they're very explosive offensively you know they just they just couldn't finish it off when they needed

to and but but I I can make I think I would make the argument that they're probably the best three lost team in the country right now

yeah right let's also look at uh the SI where Benedict beat miles

Miles vs Benedict

2724 well you talk about ugly games I mean this game featured both teams

turning over the ball at least four times and Miles actually turned it over five um but you know Benedict kind of

raced out um and had like a 213 lead and credit to miles to slowly claw back into

that game and actually take the lead in the fourth quarter um and and then you kind of saw Benedict sort to respond um

the way that you would expect the team as seasoned as they are a 12pl drive to

um you know eat the clock away and get to the point where they score and puts a

lot of pressure on Miles um you know credit to miles in a lot of ways they

they were certainly a team that has had a lot of growth over the past uh couple Seasons but uh you know Benedict kind of

shows you that they're they're kind of the team to beat in the conference winning teams win all right

Wayne vs Minnesota Duluth

uh let's look at the last one uh or not the last one I apologize Wayne State upsets number 21 Minnesota duth 28 to 18

although wi when we look at the results of the pick segment you did not consider this an upset well of course not but uh

two of the best quarterbacks uh running quarterbacks I should say in the northern Sun uh Kyle wall Jasper is a

handful they uh duth ran him 24 times for 126 yards and they scored a

touchdown you know had a pick but at the same time uh was not real successful

through the air when he had to be and uh I think Wayne kind of played it that way

and figured you know what he's gonna have to beat us through the air in this case he didn't uh Wayne's got a quarterback of their own to Nick Bowen

who's a pretty good runner too he didn't have to run the ball quite as much but he did score twice on the ground and uh

the big difference I thought was uh you know towards the end of the football game uh L travius Boyd had a 75 yard

score at the end of the third quarter to make it a two-score game uh just flying down the sideline he he's got some real

ability and um I I I think Wayne is kind of one of those teams that just kind of

creeping up after their early loss to mano and I think we have to keep an eye out for him right and quickly let's look

Truman vs Quincy

at a couple of scores uh Truman State gets a scare from Quincy 33-27 win

though they survive yeah they sure did get a scare Quincy was actually up 20 to nothing in that game they had a really

good opening drive then got a special teams play that basically stole possession then they got another long drive they're up 20 to nothing but

Truman stay to their credit they rebounded they collected themselves actually then scored 24 unanswered and

then Quincy actually got the lead back Truman gets a field goal with about eight seconds left you know in the final

few seconds of the game and they get that into overtime and and won it so you know we kind of felt that Quincy was

possibly gonna have a little something for Truman but we didn't really know because Quincy had won four games since

losing the opener to shadron but the schedule of the competition they play wasn't really very good so we didn't

know if they were really a good form one team or just taking advantage of a light schedule but um they really showed up

and played good ball was a it was a hard-earned wind for German very good and Morehead gives mano a scare

Morehead vs Manada

24-21 yeah kind of a wild game uh 21 all at the break and uh teams are going

score for score in the first half and people thought manada would just be able to overpower them physically in Morehead

just with their death by a th000 paper cuts passing game uh you know for for

those who haven't had a chance to see much about Morehead uh they threw the ball 66 times this game had one

handoff running play and five other times the quarterback ran with it uh

while he was being chased of course so I mean it's almost like uh Brandon that

being a running back in the Morehead offense is like being a receiver in the Harding offense sounds exactly what it's like

all right uh one last one to go over uh Virginia State beats buoy state kerg is

Virginia State vs Baylor

Virginia state worthy of being ranked I mean it's kind of hard to leave them out I

mean yeah when you just look at what they have the body of work that they have done over the first six games of

this year and and and and really that was a Revenge game from last year so Buie state with to Virginia state for

homecoming and put up 41 points and uh and I thought they were up at some point

and and and they didn't it was brutal U so uh Kudos Virginia state yeah I think

they are top 25 team I thought they have been for a couple weeks now but you know the voters got to put them in

there all right very good all right guys uh that is what we had uh for the top 25

teams this week wait till the end there's going to be an incredible group of games and I think there'll be a lot

of top 25 matchups uh this week uh again uh Matt and I are both thankful that we

don't have to try to scarf down a pizza anymore but we do want to recognize our

our friends at uh bostas pizza and chicken and thank them again for uh

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Stock Down

football all right it's time for everybody's favorite probably not

everybody's favorite not when you're on stock down but uh everybody's favorite segment stock up stock down this week uh

we're a little bit more negative than usual let's start with stock down and uh

we will start with Newberry yeah guys Newberry they've lost two games in a row uh 31 or 3421 matchup

to Carson Newman and again this weekend 3417 at Barton and it doesn't get much easier for the Wolves they have Kataba

this weekend followed up by Lenor Ryan Limestone and wingit the next couple so it doesn't get much easier for them

they've lost three of the last five um and and so the wolves have have not hit their stride here in

2023 now you know conversely the Tiff dragons having a good season and uh they

Tiff Dragons

are a stock up team this week they definitely are Brandon six and0 for the dragons and you know this is a team that

you go back to the Gary Goff era uh several years ago at the tail end of their time in the gleak and you could

start to see that they were putting some things together um you know then G left to go to uh to Val dawon and on to MCN

but uh the new staff came in and really kind of kept things going but I think this year's success um there are a

couple of key levers for I mean they're leading the country in turnover margin right now they're at plus 13 and then uh

you know grad transfer Cas Martin who was a pretty highly recruited guy out of out of the Texas High School ranks was a

D1 guy at one point in his tenure um you know he's completing uh 64% of his

passes 16 touchdowns only three interceptions uh and then Ronald Blackman you know uh not to be outd

averaging eight yards a carry on the ground so this is an offense that you know at 48.7 points per game they're

getting it done they're moving the ball well uh only a couple teams have really even played them halfway close this year

and then you look at the rest of their schedule they really don't have anybody 500 or better I think until week 11 when

they play Finley so this is a team that uh we'll be talking about for the rest of the year it certainly looks that way

Glenville State

right stock down Glenville State Pioneers yeah you know things started

off looking really good for Glenville in the early part of the year they won the open at Northwood which we expected them

to win that but they were very impressive on that day got a great win up there in Midland and then they

actually had a week off because of the Alderson brus uh cancellation and then in week three they knock off Notre Dame

first MEC loss in a while for for the Falcons that was a tremendous win for Glenville and it really looked like that

might be something that puts them on their way makes them a a real threat to possibly win the Mec or at least be in

contention for it and since then three straight losses now they lost to West Virginia state and Charleston both of

those teams are playing very well um so those are forgivable losses against good teams I think they really had a chance

to recover this past weekend against a West Liberty team that hasn't had a whole lot going for them lost that one

48- 40 um just a bad day for them overall they they had been struggling to

get some offense going the last couple games actually put up 40 in that game uh but then the defense didn't uh didn't

live up to it so you have three straight losses uh not looking good for the rest of the season but they do have winnable

games coming up so we'll see maybe in a few more weeks they can reverse this trend but definitely stock down at the

moment in Glenville team with the stuck up University of Texas permium

Permian Basin

Basin uh yeah they're the uh leading the lanar right now uh at five and one um

particularly interesting uh perum Basin kind of got the a lot of uh uh uh uh

news early on because they were scoring like over 80 points a game um and now

they've kind of settled down into the Lone Star schedule and certainly that average has come down to 50 points a game but um you know they're gritty out

they're they're getting some wins and and just gritting them out when necessary and they got past Kingsville

which is a test uh you know now you got a team that only you know gives up 18 19

points a game on defense um leads the conference and third down conversions uh they've got some tests ahead of them uh

they've got Angelo and they also got Central Washington um two teams that really going to push them uh but you

know if they get past both of them uh really team to watch out for so Prim

bason stock up very good and finally stock down Nebraska Cy where do I start


um okay so last two years they were what 10 and three eight and three now they're

two and four uh offens is scoring 20 points a game used to score over 30 a

game uh in the previous regime and uh they still have Missouri Western and

pory and Northwest Missouri State on the schedule so um they uh yeah they they're

goingon to have a reboot coming up uh next year unless things really you know change and uh you know I thought that we

we all thought that maybe there'd be a little bit of a drop but TJ Davis is there the whole time so right yeah yeah

stock down for sure very good so has not been a good season for Unk at all right

let's go ahead and transition everybody to our discussion about the Harland Hill

and let me bring that up and I'll just transition into that

um we were talking about this week about it's kind of halfway point start talking about the Harland Hill and uh we're

looking at maybe Matt did a lot of the research about what the best and who the best candidates for the award would be

and so uh the list that we kind of came up with as a group was John matoka from Colorado School of Mines Zach zosi from

Central Missouri Patrick shok who we mentioned earlier in the show uh Peewee Jarrett from West Florida Gage Porter uh

from Southern Nazarene Sheen Butler Lawson from Minnesota state Jordan Terrell from Barton and Kendall given um

from was Baptist um I'm going to start with you Chuck as a national columnist

give me your top three well my leading candidate right now would be Zach zabowski and I

actually don't think it's close right now when you look at the numbers that he has I think he's a very clear number one

in my opinion um he's just been Sensational and not only just the way

he's played but the numbers that he's put up and and really the reason I'm saying that is because we know how much

an overwhelming set of numbers from a quarterback mean in this competition um

and he's got the numbers to to Really back up the way he's played I also think because Central Missouri plays a very

difficult schedule he's just going to continue to have a lot of opportunities to put up those kind of numbers so if he

sustains that level I think for sure he's he's going to remain the leading candidate now we'll see we're only six

weeks in so he's definitely my number one um actually prior to this past week I was really leading towards Sheen

Butler Lawson because of the impact that he's had on the games that Minnesota state has been in he's just a you know

very powerful Runner um complete skill set for a running back really like what I've seen from him and then actually my

third uh is Jordan Terell and again it's because of the impact that he has on the games um and what he means to his team

uh Barton's a five in one football team they are not five in one without Jordan Terrell um obvious Omission there John

Maka love that guy basically campaigned for him last year right I mean we talked

so much about him um he is doing everything he needs to do for Colorado schooled mines and he doesn't need to

win the Harland Hill this year that doesn't mean he can or shouldn't the numbers I don't think are quite there yet um but anyway I just wanted to

mention him because we do think the world of him but that's my top three Brandon all right Whit um he gave you

Top 3

the top three zabowski Butler Lawson Jordan Terell Chuck throwing away Chu

Chuck was throwing my guy Mata to the side a little bit there you see that Brandon I did uh you know what I still

have Maka as my one um and I'm talking about I'm looking more about who I think

will win it maybe versus who I think should win it we talk about rather than it because

I think zabowski I think he makes a great point there in terms of him not just being the top passor in the country

but also in the best league in the country so without a doubt I would have him as well uh Butler Lawson to me you

know with four fumbles over the last two weeks and you know really kind of putting this team in a bad spot last

week I think the winner of the golf South will maybe be the next guy in my

mix which is either shog or Jarrett uh right there okay that's how I look at

this uh right now Brandon okay how about you Chris well you know I'm always a

contrarian when it comes to the Harland Hill and I think that um it's kind of hard to

really give some balance to this conversation without talking about Gage

porer and what he's able to do with with Southern Nazarene I mean here's a guy who you kind of even wonder you know

what southern NZ can really do um would they have three games uh won three games

at this point without this guy I mean because he's such a exactly and I I've always thought the

Harland Hill is kind of a um a a should kind of focus on the impact that you

kind of have too not just in the stats but also the impact that you have on the team and that's just coming from you

know somebody who covers one of the the leagues that doesn't get as much respect as some of the other ones if I had to

vote I I would agree with zabroski absolutely but I think the impact that

kind of like with Jordan terot I think the impact that Gage por has just cannot be overlooked okay Tony what about

you yeah yeah I I struggle with this guys especially this early in the year

um because a lot of these teams haven't played some of their most difficult games with maybe the exception of of

mines has really gotten a couple of their key ones out of the way they still got Western Colorado coming up but um

but I I always kind of like the idea of yeah who's more important to their teams especially as I've turned into an old

guy um and so yeah I mean I look at shog Porter and Terell and all three of those

guys yeah I'm I'm in the same like those teams would not be as competitive or as won as many games as they had without

those dudes and that's not to say that you know maka's got ton of people running around behind him that can that can come in and do what he does but you

know I've seen that team up close a couple of times and there's a lot a lot going on there where if they had to try

and survive without him I almost think they might have a better shot of it and that's not to take a shot at the other teams but you know those those other

guys are the ones who make them go uh I I've seen I've seen the running game for

for mines and a couple other schools and and yeah I mean it's hard for me to go

away from him just because he's the guy he won it last year but I agree that uh I think Chuck kind of nailed it too it's just his numbers haven't really been so

gudy just yet that they would uh overrule the some of the other guys um

and and this tends to be a numbers award so yeah I talk to me in four weeks and

then I might have a more more formal opinion about it all right very good and

Justin uh any disagreement anything anybody said no I I think I think Tony you kind of said everything I wanted to

say I mean I don't at this point every one of those guys on there to me are deserve to be on that

board for me those guys all deserve to be there and I think a lot of times it to me this award should go to the guy

that that means the most for his team you know what I mean the best player in division two is the guy that means the

most for his team maybe not on the most successful team but who means the most for his team and whose team isn't going

to be there if he's not on that team so I can't really give you that answer I think all these guys are these eight guys are great great people to be on

that board I I can't I can't say more than that because I think there's some big games coming up and so I I you know

ask me again in four or five weeks and I think I'll I'll be able to give you a one two and a three I just every one of

these guys you can make a case for right uh uh Matt uh I think you would agree

that there's some notable names missing from our list yeah you know if you take a look Brandon the last few years we've

had some names that we just kind of accustomed to seeing I made reference to TJ Davis earlier uh I mean he's his

stats are back a bit versus the past few years and Brandon alt has the same thing

going on at beiji uh they you know team success over personal success and more

blowouts and less time to be in the game J buyers is obviously one that really stands out but you know what if you get

dinged up and you're missing games um th this this uh award is not going to

apologize you know it's it's not going to give you any apology ol for that you're just going to fall out of the race um now one thing we haven't

mentioned is Chuck we don't any wi outs on this list and while they don't typically you know win this award

sometimes they're in the mix um you know this year we have something else though factoring into play with those wide outs

don't we well here's the thing for a wide receiver to have numbers good enough and

performance good enough to be considered for harand Hill you're probably also playing with a quarterback who is

similarly Tal ented in doing a really good job and playing very well and one of the things that we have to remember

about the Harland Hill process is that each team can only nominate one player

so you may have a standout quarterback and a standout wide receiver only one of them will be on the ballot and the team

has to pick who they're going to nominee so there's two guys that really stand out to me and that's John Giles from

West Florida and arel Smith from Central Missouri both are doing phenomenal

things this year putting up the kind of numbers that might get you into this conversation I don't expect either one

of those players will even be nominated because obviously Central Missouri is going to go with sabrowski uh if John Giles continues to

play at the level he's been at it's possible West Florida might nominate him over Peewee Jarrett but I doubt it

because quarterbacks generally stand a better chance uh in this award so that's kind of the the background there but

those are also two names from the wide receiver position that I think are really excelling this year all right

very good every everybody um we will be back right after

Thank you

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football well it's time to look at how we did and overall I see a lot of green

on the board it could be of Simply a fact of I'm picking the wrong games or

could be uh probably not that we're all Geniuses but uh we did we did really

well and Whit you look good picking the uh Wayne State upset uh that's a pretty

impressive win right there for you and it shows why you are covering the northern Sun congratulations well thank

you I wish felasa would have come through there for me I took two shots and one of them came through the other one not so much very good so this

upcoming weekend is incredible we're gon to look first at the ones to watch and I

think in any week that this ones to watch could be the pickup and if you if you look at him

it's extr extremely extremely interesting bunch of games let's start first and just talk about them Barton uh

quickly at Lenor Ryan Justin yeah you know Barton comes into this thing five and one their only blemish is that 14-

16 loss up at Mars Hill and you they come into this thing with a little bit of momentum winning at Tusc and then

against Newberry you know this is a big test for for Barton I think um going on the road to Leno Ryan a team that just

gritted that game out against Limestone so you follow that up with Wingate Kataba coming up but this is a big game

for Kataba and if they could somehow or Barton rather they could somehow find a way to win this thing this could be that staple win for them in the conference

the flip side of it you look at Lenor Ryan and they go to Limestone they win that thing in overtime 3128 they grit it

out you know it looked like they're gonna go down double digits but they find a way they come back they win the thing that's a huge win for Leno Ryan so

that's a game where you know maybe beginning of the year maybe didn't Garner as much attention but right now this is a big game for the for the Bears

if they want to continue marching out of that Conference Championship this is a game they're going to have to get at home so this is a big game with big

implications particularly here because both teams are kind of getting in that meat of the schedule okay uh Thomas

Moore is at Finley Chuck yeah and Finley's actually four and two we have a little bit of a misq on the graphic

there so both of these teams are 4-2 and that actually makes this game even more interesting to me because I had Finley

as a a championship threat in the great Midwest Athletic Conference they actually took a loss this past week at

Northwood had a field blocked on the last play of the game uh fell to the Timberwolves so that really kind of now

puts them in a in a do or die every week because you know tiffan is is at this point just pulling away from the field

in the great Midwest so to keep Pace with them I think Finley's got to win every game the rest of the way and they

actually played tiffen in the last game of the season so really really crucial for them and on the Thomas Moore side is

a team that we're still getting familiar with um they've really exceeded expectations this year just because we

didn't know what to expect and and a win over Finley would uh would really help uh you know put them on the map in the

great Midwest in any other week Southern Arkansas at Henderson State could have

been and would have been uh the game of the week in the GAC it's a it's a it's a great game Whit yeah you know what we're

taking a look obviously at this week there's a huge game in the GAC between

one and two with wat playing Harding however right now you could say this is three against four in the GAC and these

two teams if you really do a tail of the tape Brandon these two teams are almost dead even now one thing I would say that

separates them is Henderson State played Harding to the end really tough contest

when they played a top team and Southern Arkansas kind of got hammered by watch Baptist so I think when you take a look

at those two that's probably the only separator on what should be a really good contest right and in the Lone Star

Angelo State will play Texas A&M Kingsville yeah this is going to be

really interesting game to see who can sort of keep up with perum Basin that we talked about earlier um you know Angelo

you know they had that loss against Central Washington and of course mines Colorado Mines out there but you know

this is a team that still um does really well um in general a and Kingsville um

the problem with kingville right now outside of the the quarterback situation uh which they won this the last game

against West Texas I just had to throw that out there um is the fact that um Kingsville likes like low-scoring games

I mean 2821 is relatively lower scoring game and and Angelo knows how to score

and so unless Kingsville can can really slow this office down which that that's questionable um who knows um just a fun

little stat here angel has actually won the last nine games in this matchup right and finally bidi state

will play at Wayne State well Wayne State coming off of a nice win over duth

uh they're a hot team right now they're five and one they're going to be at home so they got a lot of good things going

for them but midgy state gets two weeks to prepare for this contest they were idled this last week they weren't able

to find a dance partner for week six or maybe they just like having the opening in their schedule but uh bami's got two

weeks to prepare and boy I tell you this is going to be a game that I'm really looking forward to seeing uh can beiji

rebound after the Mano loss something to watch out for all right now I told you

Week 6 Picks

guys that uh this would be an exceptional week or those would have been great games in any kind of pick

them uh instead we get to select from these goodness gracious Fort Valley at

Benedict Notre Dame at Charleston Indianapolis at Truman State washing

Baptist at Harding and FIS State at Grand Valley I mean how many are we looking at maybe

the decider for four or five conferences right here I mean it's

insane yeah let's go ahead and get that started then um let's go ahead and pick

him in in the order that you see him on the screen I'm going to start from the bottom so that Chris can uh pick last in

this one although I'm gonna screw this one up uh Tony go ahead and start

please yeah and I I realize that uh Benedict hasn't looked as awesome in

certain spots this year as maybe we would like from them but that defense is still awful good um and I think that uh

that's what's going to carry them here on this one I still like them to stay on blished okay I'm gonna pick Benedict as

well uh just a side note it's a Thursday game so we could all watch that and not interfere with any other games uh

Whit I give this one a hard look um I'm just not impressed enough with Ford Valley right now and uh I think Benedict

you know having beaten a quality opponent a week ago uh I like them to keep rolling here okay uh Chuck yeah so

first of all thanks for mentioning that Brandon this is Thursday night on ESPN 2 so we can all watch this it should be a

fabulous game so everybody make sure you watch this um I'm GNA go Benedict um I

really like that they responded when they got punched a little bit over the weekend you know chennis Barry talked about that being a really good thing for

them I think it was good for for Delta State coach Coy talked about that um I

think Benedict responds to that and and plays a really good game against Fort Valley okay Justin Benedict at home and

their defense is solid I think Fort Valley just not there offensively and so I'm gonna take Benedict at home easier

to destroy than to create kfer tell us tell us the story well the one thing

about uh for Valley to point out here is that after that loss against Tusk the start of the year um they hit the really

really soft part of the schedule um you know each of these teams that they have played since then uh which is Clark

Atlanta at Waters Kentucky State Allen which Allen's reasonably um good but

they turn over the ball a lot uh and Savannah State you know these are not necessarily Barn burners here um and

Benedict has had I think a little bit more of a challenge and succeeded on every front especially what we saw this

past weekend so um I I I agree to make it unanimous um from the D2 crew that uh

Benedict uh is is favor to win this game all right maybe Fort Valley will go out prove us all wrong on Thursday uh next

game on the schedule Notre Dame at Charleston I'm gonna pick the Chuck and I'm gonna go with Charleston Matt what

do you have man I wanted to go with Notre Dame in this one but I think Charleston

they're they're really good at running the football and and defending the run and with Notre Dame not being great

through the air right now I kind of like Charleston in this one okay

Chuck I really like the way Notre Dame has responded to some adversity here this is a tough tough game but um I am

going with the Falcons okay uh

Justin Charleston okay uh Ferg I'm I'm going with

Charleston as well okay and Tony you will be last yeah I I'm with chuck on

this one I think the one team that's actually seen some real adversity and and played anybody decent this year is

Notre Dame and the way they've responded the last couple of weeks I actually like them to go on the road and get that win

okay uh moving on to game number three fantastic game Indianapolis at Truman State uh Whit you

get to start you know I really like the way

Truman got out of the gate this year and they've been playing well but I think Indianapolis may be on a little bit

different level right now I think their offense between the ability to run and pass um I think our guy John Lewis is

coming on I like Indie in this one okay

Chuck I'm going Indie as well guys um I really like this Truman State team

they've been very gritty there's nothing flashy about them they just play good disciplined football and and win games

but I'm a little concerned that the offense just hasn't delivered quite enough in certain moments and I I think

that they're going to need to step up against Indie not that they can't do that but I like the Greyhounds okay uh

Justin well I guess we're gonna be on somebody's hype video because I'm fixing to pick

Indie somebody's video uh Ferg just a little interesting tidbit um

both of these schools have played two similar out of conference games they both have played Wayne State they both

both have played Sagar they beat them both I think that's just impressive um outside of that um I I'm probably going

a little bit against the grain because I know every time I seen to go against Truman it doesn't work out for me so

actually I actually like uh and it's at home it's a Truman home game so I think

that factors into the into things a little bit too uh I like Truman I'm going with them all right

Tony yeah I this one just smells funny to me

because I my gut tells me Indianapolis I just think they're more balanced on offense they're a little more proven I I

just wonder if Truman was maybe looking ahead and it was a bit of a trap game against Quincy just because I think they

feel like they should have beaten Indianapolis last year at the end of the season to to to punch that playoff

ticket um I I don't know I just it smells funny me but I still feel like I

got to take Indianapolis okay this is a tough one for me I grew

up in Northeast Missouri not far from Truman I really want to pick them but I

think I'm GNA have to go with uh uh Indianapolis as well uh in the GAC Wast

goodness gracious this is a great game Wast Baptist at Harding and we will start with

Chuck you know last year we kind of talked about this game almost being its own season for these two teams in the

GAC and Coach knight from from watah you really kind of agreed with that so uh very kind of curious to see what kind of

game plans both these teams come out with um man I can see this going either way but I'm gonna go with Harding um I I

just really think that they have been you know Head and Shoulders above everybody else in the GAC other than

watah um the whole state of Oklahoma is happy that the Harding is staying home in in Arkansas this week I'm going with

the Bison all right uh Justin not so fast Chuck watch it

okay all right Chris parting for

me Tony yeah I'm on I'm on Harding my as well guys I just think their physicality

until I see wasab play at that same type of level in the trenches uh I I I like

Harding you know we've talked many times about how we were probably letting the

residue of the loss last year in the playoffs affect our opinion of wah and

and I agree with that but I think Harding's been extremely impressive this year we've talked about it a lot and I'm

gonna have a hard time picking against them in this game so I'm gonna go with Harding and that leaves you Whit I agree

Brandon you know um watch to really come on and I

think really proven us wrong to some extent with how well they've played this year I didn't think I don't think they

really had a hangover from that that playoff that that ugly loss but at the same time I think it's all about Harding

I mean I just think this Harding team is really showing well this year yeah we thought that maybe they had a mildly

down year last year even though they only had a few defeats I like them at home in this one agreed all right and

one person going undefeated this week thank you all right and our final game of the

week fairis State at Grand Valley three o'clock I believe on Saturday we will

start with Justin you get to pick first golly it's gonna be a good game

um you know shoot you can make a case either way right this is gonna be a really really good game it was last year

it's gonna be another one this year I'm going to take I'm inclined my guts telling me Grand Valley at home I just I

just don't ask me why but it's gonna be Grand Valley at home doesn't the reason

does not matter it'll be a gritty one any Chris what about you uh as much as I

enjoyed my time at Grand Valley this year I don't think I'm gonna be invited anymore because I'm gonna choose

fairis I don't think that'll get you kicked out of there uh I am going to go

with Ferris on the road to beat Grand Valley Whit what about you I've been

conflicted with with both teams this year Grand Valley's defense scares me a little bit after that peblo situation

and uh you know that doesn't look like a great game on their resume right now and

uh feris State I almost wonder if they lack motivation a little bit at times having clowned the mountain twice here

in a row uh sometimes in these games I I see they're at 14 all in a game where it

looks like they should be up just rolling and this is not that game that they need to get up for they'll be ready

for this one I think Ferris is just too much I got I I got Ferris here okay

Chuck yeah we could do a whole show dissecting this one but you know no matter what these teams have don't have

no matter what they look like we know what this game means for both of these teams and it's going to be close no matter what it's just that type of

rivalry it's that type of game I think Grand Valley's announced that it's already sold out which of course we

expected it's going to be packed house that stuff's not going to bother Ferris um but it is going to be a great

atmosphere it should be a fabulous football game I'm leaning fairis state right now for a lot of the same things

that that wit said I I think we've kind of seen two different defenses a little bit from Grand Valley they've played so

well the last couple weeks but you know those are teams we expect Grand Valley to overwhelm um I think the uh the

performances against mines and and Pueblo carry a lot more weight with me and and uh I think for those reasons I

favor Ferris State all right and getting the last word is Tony Nicollet well

coming into this game last year we talked about guys how similar these teams were and in a lot of ways we're

telling the same story this year you know Ferris is at 43 points a game Grand Valley 49 uh Ferris gains about 508 uh a

game Grand Valley 494 uh Ferris defense has been a little stingier at 15 points a game Grand

Valley 21 and it's kind of skewed a little bit by the Pueblo game but that you know it all counts um they're both

positive in terms of turnover margin they're both kind of heavily penalized thus far gak's been trying to do some

extra work with calling things I think a little bit more aggressively or more

consistently depending on your Viewpoint um you know I here's where I struggle

with it guys I look at it and I think uh I think Grand Valley may have an advantage in a couple of regards special

teams for one um I think the defense is probably different than it was four

weeks ago when they weren't so good against uh against peblo and mines um

when I look at Ferris you know we talk at nauseum about how they are a run first team and I think they've really

morphed into an offense that's kind of GNA do what it needs to be done and we heard coach uh kolie talk about hey

they're going to be balancing that they can run when they need to run and when they need to pass and if you look at what they did to sagov Valley this past

week you know Malik Mitchell was highly efficient threw the ball deep uh with

accuracy um he's been mistake free I think he's been healthy this year um and then when they wanted to run the ball

Carson gulker comes in and kind of leads that charge so and I think one thing that can't be underestimated is the

impact that Xavier Wades had on this team their explosiveness was all always big and significant anyway and now he

just adds another another thing you just have to account for and and I've seen a couple of games

this year where he's been damn near unguardable so um this is it's it's a

coin flip to me guys because I think both teams are going to come in ready to go I'm I'm picking Ferris in this I I

don't know if I necessarily know why it's just a gut thing um I've I've you

know just seen these play out the a lot before I know uh the the staff at Grand Valley is doing a lot to fix those sorts

of things and I know Scout wer is really committed to that um and hey we'll see y we we see how the the new regimes uh

face each other I just Farah seems to me at this point where we we know the most about them and and that's the only

reason I think I'm I'm leaning that way all right well there you go everybody um

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