The Setup: Denison and Wabash will meet for the 25th time on Saturday at 3 p.m. inside Deeds Field-Piper Stadium. Wabash holds a 19-4-1 advantage in the series. Denison is looking for its first win over the Little Giants since a 27-25 victory in 1990.
How to Watch: Tickets for Saturday's game will be available at the gate starting 90 minutes prior to kickoff (1:30 p.m.). Prices are $5 for adults and $3 for students/senior citizens. Current Denison and Wabash students are admitted free with a valid ID. The game can also be watched live on the Denison Sports Network beginning at 2:45 p.m. Joey Semel (play-by-play) and Patrick Mullinger (color commentary) will bring you the action.
The Rankings: Wabash enters the game ranked 22nd in the AFCA Division III Top-25 Coaches Poll. They are also listed in the "others receiving votes" column of the D3football.com Top-25 poll. Denison in unranked in both polls.
King of the Hill: Denison quarterback Canaan Gebele needs only 197 yards passing to become the program's career leader He is currently third with 6,349 yards. He needs 92 yards to pass Greg Neuendorf for second place and 197 yards to pass Max Paulus as the all-time passing leader. He is also only four touchdown passes away from passing Paulus as the career leader in that category.
A tradition of Grit: In the vein of Big Red legends Chris Spriggs and Clay Sampson, Gebele's ability to not only pass but run has been a calling card of his impressive four-year career. Gebele surpassed 2,000 career rushing yards against Wittenberg. At 2,090 yards he currently ranks 14th in Denison history and is the only quarterback to achieve this milestone.
Wittenberg Reset: Last Saturday's 4OT thriller against No. 11 Wittenberg won't be forgotten anytime soon. Denison's seven rushing touchdowns were the second-most in history. The single-game record is 10 set against Ohio Northern in 1957. The 66 points are the most scored by a Denison football team in the modern era. The single-game record for points is 94 versus Marshall in 1917. The 25-point halftime deficit marks the largest Denison comeback on record. Gebele broke Denison's single-game record for rushing touchdowns with five. That record stood since 1966.
Wabash at a Glance: Wabash is coming off a 48-20 win over the College of Wooster last Saturday in Crawfordsville. Isaac Avant rushed for 131 yards on 20 carries and Austin Hoover gained 92 yards on 20 touches. The Little Giants scored 27-straight points from midway through the second quarter through late in the third. Wabash is 4-0 with convincing wins over Hiram (41-17), Kenyon (47-14) and Wooster (48-20). In week two they outlasted Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 16-13. In that game, Wabash lost junior running back and first-team All-NCAC performer Ike James to an injury. The duo of Hoover and Avant have filled in nicely in James' absence.
Rising to the occasion: Sophomore linebacker Tristan Knoer led the way with 11 tackles in his first career start against Wittenberg. Nine of the 11 were solo tackles.
Big Game Dave: Denison wide receiver David Weimar has had some of his biggest games against the Big Red's toughest opponents. He had six catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns against the Tigers on Saturday. It marked his third career game of over 150 yards receiving and all three have come against Wabash (176 yards in 2016) and Wittenberg (154 yards in 2016 and 150 yards in 2018). Weimar has eight, 100-yard receiving games in his career and currently ranks sixth in career receiving yards with1,788. He needs 240 yards to pass Ryan Hite '03 to move into fifth place.
In the trenches: Despite losing two starters to injuries, the Big Red O-line paved the way for 330 yards rushing and Gebele was sacked only once in 31 drop-backs against Wittenberg. For their efforts, they were named to the D3football.com National Team of the Week. Frank Zoltan, Josh Blaz at left guard, Andrew Zellers at center, Jeremy Woelfer at right guard and George Carson at right tackle. Midway through the third quarter, Woelfer left the game with an injury and was replaced by senior Nick Morton who played the rest of regulation and all four overtime periods. In the fourth quarter, Blaz went down and was replaced by junior Preston Ott who also finished the game. Wittenberg entered the game with the nation's 36th ranked rushing defense, allowing just 80.7 yards per game.