The Game: After two home games the East Central University football team will be hitting the road for a game at Southwestern Oklahoma State, Saturday, Oct. 26. The game at Fast Lane Field in Weatherford is set to start at 6 p.m. and is the Homecoming game for the Bulldogs.
Scouting Southwestern: The Bulldogs are 4-3 on the season and like ECU have only played GAC opponents. The last outing for SWOSU was a 37-27 win at Southeastern Oklahoma State.
The Bulldogs split their offense between rushing and passing pretty evenly, with a slight advantage towards the pass. SWOSU has 1,020 yards rushing and 1,698 yards passing on the season, but there is a key difference in touchdowns scored, with 17 on the pass and five rushing. While they are close in offensive stats, they are much stronger defending against the rush this season. The Bulldogs have allowed just 855 yards rushing and 1,968 yards passing. With the difference they are close with their opponents in total yardage at 2,718 to 2,823.
SWOSU has three players with over 200 yards rushing, with D.C. Walker leading the trio with 463 yards on 124 carries and one TD. Quarterback Dustin Stenta has added 247 yards on the rush and scored twice.
Stenta has played in all seven games this season at quarterback and is 123-of-225, with seven interceptions and 16 TD’s. He has four receivers with over 200 yards, but Ryan Corbin is his favorite target. Corbin has 575 yards on 44 catches. He has been in the end zone four times and averages 82.1 yards per game. Brad Smithey is the next target on the list with 33 catches for 358 yards and three touchdowns.
Defensively, the Bulldogs are led by Ryan Feller and Cliff Nyagesiba. Feller has 64 (21-43) total tackles, 1.5 tackles-for-loss, one pass breakup and one fumble recovery. Nyagesiba adds 47(21-26) total tackles, 3.5 TFL, one sack, two quarterback hurries and three pass breakups.
The Series: Saturday’s game will be the 91st meeting between the two teams, which includes a span of 86-straight seasons (expect 1942-45 when football was not played due to World War II). The Tigers currently own a 47-41-2 advantage in the series. The teams have played each other as members of the NCAA DII on 16 of the 90 previous occasions, with the Tigers holding a 10-6 lead.
Against the Bulldogs: ECU dropped a 13-103 decision at Fast Lane Field to SWOSU in 2012.
The Tigers were trailing 13-0 late in the second quarter before earning the final 10 points of the game, but were unable to overcome the deficit as both teams stepped up on defense.
Offensive execution and penalties became keys to the game, with ECU trailing in both categories. The Bulldogs ended the game with 128 rushing yards and 208 passing yards to the Tigers’ 16 rushing and 135 passing yards. ECU was also penalized 11 times for 86 yards to SWOSU’s seven penalties (76 yards).
The Coaches: Dan Cocannouer enters his fifth season as the head coach of the Southwestern Oklahoma State University football team in 2013. He returned home to lead his alma mater in 2009 and helped the team better its won-loss record in each of his first three seasons. After finishing 1-10 in his inaugural season, SWOSU improved to 5-6 in 2011, the first season of the Great American Conference. In 2012, the Bulldogs slipped slightly in the win column, finishing 3-7 (2-6 GAC) with three losses of 10 points or less. Overall, Cocannouer is 16-34 overall at SWOSU and 2-2 against East Central.
Tim McCarty is in his fifth season of his second stint as the East Central head football coach, with a record of 29-36 to date. McCarty was the Tiger head coach in 2004 and 2005 before spending three seasons as the top assistant at Kansas State from 2006-08.
Key Offensive Performance: The Tigers had their best offensive performance of the season against Northwestern (Oct. 19), with 599 yards of total offense, 405 passing and 194 rushing. It marked the fourth-straight week that ECU was above 400 yards of total offense, dating back to the Ouachita Baptist game (423). The Tigers added 418 yards against Henderson State, and 491 against Southern Nazarene.
Getting in the Red Zone: The Tigers have been very strong in the red zone this season, scoring 22 of the 23 times they have made it past the 20-yard line. The 96% mark ranked then No. 3 in the nation in the category. ECU has scored 17 TDs (71%) and five field goals when making it into the red zone and also held their opponents to a 19-of-26 (73%) mark, with 16 touchdowns and three field goals.
Turituri Turning Up Pressure: Junior JuJu Turituri turned up the pressure on the opposition in his last outing. Turituri tallied three tackles-for-loss, doubling his season totals. He also added two sacks, which brought his season total to three.
Coaches Show: Every Monday night fans are encouraged to come to Rib Crib in Ada for the weekly Coaches Show on 105.5 the X-Factor. Each week coaches from all 13 sports will be on hand to talk about the latest news from their teams. Fans will be able to tweet in questions to @ECUTigersCoach or ask them in person. Each week will feature different coaches and food specials.
Up Next: The Tigers will return home for their final home game of the 2013 season, Nov. 2 when they host Arkansas Tech at 2 p.m. The game is Chickasaw Appreciate Day, where Chickasaw Nation members and employees receive free admission. It is also the annual Senior Day where ECU will honors its 18 seniors.