October 20th, 2023 12:00pm
Week Eight in the PSAC is coming up and two teams from the PSAC remain ranked in the D2Football.com Top 25 poll. #8 Slippery Rock (7-0, 4-0 PSAC West) won last week and moved up two spots into the single digit realm. #19 Shepherd (6-1, 3-1 PSAC East) won last week and moved up one spot. My PSAC Game of Week for Week Eight is a match-up between the only two teams in the West who are both still undefeated in the division. California (PA) (5-1, 4-0 PSAC West) is at #8 Slippery Rock. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 noon. As of now, #8 Slippery Rock and California (PA) in the West and Kutztown (4-2, 3-0 PSAC East) in the East control their own destinies in the quest to represent their division in the PSAC Championship Game to be played on November 11, 2023. The formula for these three teams is simple, win the rest of their divisional games and they are in the PSAC Championship Game. For my PSAC Power Ranking heading into Week Eight I have reduced the number from ten teams to five teams. No doubt, the PSAC Champion will come from this list of five and this group represents the PSAC teams who still can have realistic expectation of securing a spot on the Super Region One playoff bracket after the regular season is over. Every other team in the PSAC has three or more losses meaning they have four more games left in this 2023 season. Here is my PSAC Power Ranking heading into Week Eight:
Last week I was correct in predicting the winners in seven out of the eight Divisional Games played. For the season, I have predicted the winners in 49 out of 63 (78%) of the games. The last two weeks, I have only predicted one game wrong. Both of those games involved Clarion (1-6, 0-4 PSAC West). Below is my preview for each game this week and my prediction for who will win each contest.
West Chester (4-3, 2-2 PSAC East) at #19 Shepherd (6-1, 3-1 PSAC East) – 12 Noon
West Chester lost 28-24 to East Stroudsburg last week. Linebacker Connor Noble leads the PSAC in tackles with an 11.4 per game average.
#19 Shepherd beat Millersville 33-17 last week. Quarterback Seth Morgan is third in the PSAC averaging 255 passing yards per game. He has 13 touchdown passes on the season. Running back Malaki Brown is fifth in the PSAC in rushing averaging 81.7 yards per game. He has three rushing touchdowns. Wide receiver Cameron Dorner is fourth in the PSAC with an average of 81.4 yards per game receiving. He has four touchdowns on the season. Remaining Divisional Schedule: 10/28 Bloomsburg (Away) and 11/4 East Stroudsburg (Home).
My Prediction: #19 Shepherd – The Rams beat the Golden Rams at home.
Kutztown (5-2, 4-0 PSAC East) at Lock Haven (4-3, 2-2 PSAC East) - 1:00 PM
Kutztown beat Shippensburg 9-6 in overtime last week. The Golden Bears have the number one defense in the PSAC averaging only giving up 16.4 points per game. Remaining Divisional Schedule: 10/28 Millersville (Home) and 11/4 West Chester (Away).
Lock Haven beat Bloomsburg 21-13 last week. Running back Chris Collier is the leading rusher in the PSAC averaging 113.7 yards per game and is first in rushing touchdowns with nine. Lock Haven’s offense is fourth in the PSAC averaging scoring 28.3 points per game.
My Prediction: Kutztown – The Golden Bears remain undefeated in PSAC East divisional play.
Millersville (3-4, 1-3 PSAC East) at Shippensburg (1-6, 1-3 PSAC East) – 1:00 PM
Millersville lost 33-17 to Kutztown last week. Running back Jaheim Morris is third in the PSAC averaging 92.2 yards rushing per game. Linebacker Garrett Cox is arguably the best defensive player in the PSAC. He is second in tackles averaging 10.3 a game, first in tackles for loss averaging 2.14 a game, and tied for the most sacks in the league with 6.5 so far this season.
Shippensburg lost 9-6 to Kutztown in overtime last week. Shippensburg is averaging scoring 15.9 points per game while averaging giving up 24 points per game.
My Prediction: Millersville – The Marauders get back in the win column this week.
Bloomsburg (1-6, 0-4 PSAC East) at East Stroudsburg (6-1, 3-1 PSAC East) – 1:05 PM
Bloomsburg lost 21-13 to Lock Haven last week. Running back Kaleb Monaco is the second best running back in the PSAC averaging 97 yards rushing per game. The offense is ranked last in the PSAC averaging scoring 14.4 points per game, but their defense is ranked fifth averaging only giving up 20.2 points per game.
East Stroudsburg beat West Chester 28-14 last week. The Warriors have the number two offense in the PSAC averaging scoring 36.9 points per game. Running back Tyriq Lewis is fourth in the PSAC averaging 81.9 yards rushing per game. He has seven touchdowns on the season. The Warriors also have the number two ranked defense in the PSAC averaging only giving up 18.3 points per game. Linebacker Sergei Felizor is fifth in the PSAC averaging 8.1 tackles per game. Remaining Divisional Schedule: 10/28 Shippensburg (Home) and 11/4 Shepherd (Away).
My Prediction: East Stroudsburg – The Warriors keep rolling at home.
Clarion (1-6, 0-4 PSAC West) at Edinboro (2-5, 1-3 PSAC West) – 12 Noon
Clarion lost 36-35 to Mercyhurst last week. The Golden Eagles are 12th in the PSAC on offense and 11th on defense.
Edinboro lost 20-10 to IUP last week. CJ Welder is third in the PSAC in tackles averaging 9.4 per game.
My Prediction: Edinboro – The Scots get the win at home.
*PSAC GAME OF THE WEEK*
California (PA) (5-1, 4-0 PSAC West) at #8 Slippery Rock (7-0, 4-0 PSAC West) – 1:00 PM
#8 Slippery Rock beat Gannon 49-24 last week. The Rock has the number one ranked offense in the PSAC averaging 45.7 points per game. Their defense is ranked sixth averaging giving up 21.7 points per game. Brayden Long is the second ranked quarterback in the PSAC averaging 259.6 passing yards per game. He is first in touchdown passes with 22. Wide receiver Kyle Sheets is second in the PSAC in receiving yards averaging 105.3 per game and leads the PSAC, and all of NCAA Division I and NCAA Division II, in touchdown receptions with 11 on the season. On defense, Josh Stokes has three interceptions on the season and Ben Lane has three recovered fumbles. Remaining Divisional Schedule: 10/28 Clarion (Home) and 11/4 Edinboro (Away).
California (PA) beat Seton Hill 41-14 last week. The Vulcans have the number three scoring offense in the PSAC averaging 34 points per game. Quarterback Davis Black leads the PSAC in passing yards averaging 279.2 per game. He has 14 touchdown passes on the season. Wide receiver Eric Willis III leads the PSAC averaging 114.5 receiving yards per game. He has six touchdown receptions on the season. On defense, Ibrahim Sanogo is tied for the lead in sacks in the PSAC with 6.5 and is second in the PSAC in tackles for loss averaging 1.83 per game. Remaining Divisional Schedule: 10/28 Mercyhurst (Home) and 11/4 Gannon (Away).
My Prediction: #8 Slippery Rock – This will be a battle with everything on the line to see who’s in the driver’s seat in the PSAC West. I predict the Rock prevails in this heavyweight showdown.
Gannon (3-4, 3-1 PSAC West) at Mercyhurst (2-5, 1-3 PSAC West) -3:00 PM
Gannon lost 49-24 to Slippery Rock last week. Donnell Mason is third in the PSAC in receiving averaging 82.3 yards per game. He has four touchdowns on the season. On defense, Obi Ezeigbo is fourth in the PSAC with 5.5 sacks and Kam Snell leads the PSAC with 10 passes defended and five interceptions.
Mercyhurst beat Clarion 36-35 last week. Mercyhurst’s defense is ranked last in the PSAC averaging giving up 44.3 points per game.
My Prediction: Gannon – The Golden Knights get back in the win column this week.
IUP (4-3, 2-2 PSAC West) at Seton Hill (2-5, 1-3 PSAC West) – 3:00 PM
IUP beat Edinboro 20-10 last week. The Crimson Hawks have the fourth ranked defense in the PSAC averaging only giving up 19.9 points per game. Linebacker Drew Dinuzio-Biss is fourth in the PSAC in tackles averaging 8.4 stops per game.
Seton Hill lost 41-14 to California (PA) last week. Ben Weaver is third in the PSAC averaging 1.5 tackles for loss per game and is also third in the PSAC in sacks with six.
My Prediction: IUP – The Crimson Hawks get the win on the road.