Football Preview: Oberlin at Denison - Oct. 12

Peyton Vining  |  Photo by Jace Delgado
Peyton Vining | Photo by Jace Delgado

The Setup:  Denison (3-1, 2-1 NCAC) returns to the friendly confines of Deeds Field-Piper Stadium this Saturday, Oct. 12, when they host Oberlin College (0-4, 0-3 NCAC) at 3 p.m.  The Big Red is coming off a 42-7 victory over Allegheny on Oct. 5. The Yeomen suffered a 12-7 loss to Kenyon.

The Series:  This is the 75th meeting between Denison and Oberlin in a series that dates to 1923.  The Big Red holds a commanding 54-17-3 lead in the all-time series.  Last year, Denison trailed the Yeomen 20-17 early in the third quarter.  Four touchdowns over a span of 15 minutes between the third and fourth quarter allowed the Big Red to pull away for a 52-27 win.  Canaan Gebele passed for 239 yards and four touchdowns and Alex Minton rushed for 75 yards.  Oberlin quarterback Zach Taylor passed for 341 yards and three TDs.  Denison's last loss to Oberlin in Granville took place in 2007 by a final score of 34-27.

How to Watch:  Denison University will provide a live video stream of Saturday's game through Stretch Internet. Joey Semel (play-by-play) and Jack White (color) will provide commentary. The game will be accessible on all computer, mobile and tablet devices in addition to the Denison Sports Network app available on Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire, and Android TV streaming devices.  To download the free app, just search "Denison" in the app store of your streaming device or Smart TV.  The gates to Piper Stadium will open 90 minutes prior to kickoff. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children and senior citizens.

Familiar Scenario:  This is the midpoint of the 2019 season and the Big Red find themselves in a similar scenario in the North Coast Athletic Conference standings.  Last year, Denison suffered a 68-66 overtime loss to Wittenberg in the fourth game of the season.  That was the only conference setback suffered by the Big Red last season.  They went on to defeat Wabash and the Little Giants returned the favor by defeating Wittenberg, causing a three-way tie for the conference title.  A similar scenario could play out in 2019 when Wabash and Wittenberg square off on Oct. 19.  The following week, Denison travels to Wittenberg to face off against the Tigers.

The Coaches:  Jack Hatem is in his 10th season leading the Big Red. He is searching for career-win No. 60 on Saturday. He boasts a record of 59-36 (.621) which ranks him third in career wins at Denison. He needs 17 wins to tie Walter Livingston for second-place in program history. Livingston coached Denison for 16 seasons between 1911-26.  Keith Piper is the program's leader in wins at 200-142-19 in 39 seasons.  Hatem's .621 winning percentage is fifth-best among the 20 head coaches at DU dating back to the birth of the football program in 1889.

Oberlin is led by Jay Anderson in his sixth year with the Yeomen.  He has a career record of 11-43 (.204) with a high-water mark of 4-6 in the 2017 season.  Anderson is 0-5 in his career against Denison.

These Boots:  Denison's two-headed kicking tandem of Pat Kramer and Thomas Gelorme is working beautifully for the second-straight year.  Kramer is handling the placekicking duties for the third consecutive season. He is 4-for-4 on field goal tries and is coming off a season-long 42-yard field goal last week against Allegheny. He is also 21-for-21 on PATs.  Kramer is one of 17 kickers in Division III who remain perfect on their field goal tries this season.  Gelorme handles all kickoffs and is averaging 54.7 yards per attempt with six touchbacks.  Denison special teams are allowing only 15.59 yards per kickoff which ranks them 41st in Division III.

Go Long:  Junior wide receiver Peyton Vining has been the deep threat helping keep defenses honest in 2019. He has had five catches of 30-yards or more highlighted by touchdown catches of 63, 56 and 40 yards.  Vining leads the NCAC and ranks 15th in the nation with 24.2 yards per catch.

(Mint)on Condition:  Senior running back Alex Minton is gunning for his second-straight NCAC rushing title in 2019. He is currently second in the conference with 492 yards. He trails Ike James of Wabash by 73 yards.  Minton's rushing total stands at 2,861 yards in 25 career games.  He is looking to become the fifth player to surpass 3,000 yards rushing at DU.

Looking Ahead:  Denison travels to the College of Wooster on Oct. 12 for the 25th installment of the Old Red Lantern rivalry.  Denison holds a 12-11-1 record in Old Red Lantern games dating back to 1989.