Franklin & Marshall at Ursinus
Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019 | 1:00 p.m.
Series Record: F&M 66-31-4
In Collegeville: F&M 27-16-2
Streak: Ursinus +1
First Meeting: Oct. 13, 1894 (F&M 76-0)
Last F&M Victory: 42-28, Nov. 4, 2017 - Collegeville, Pa.
Last Ursinus Victory: 27-24, Nov. 3, 2018 - Lancaster, Pa.
F&M does battle with one of its oldest rivals on Saturday, facing off against Ursinus for the 102nd time in school history. The Diplomats have largely dominated the all-time series, winning nearly two-thirds of the matchups (66-31-4). The series has tightened in recent years, with the last decade of play being split evenly, with both teams taking five games.
The Last Meeting
Ursinus had the upper hand in Lancaster last season, as the Bears kicked a last-second field goal to beat the Diplomats 27-24 on Senior Day. Ursinus outscored the Diplomats 27-7 in the final 32 minutes of action.
Joe Hartley-Vittoria racked up 115 yards on 33 carries with one score, while Tanner Erisman completed 17-of-28 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns. K.J. Pretty hauled in eight catches for 104 yards and one touchdown and Timothy Walter hauled in five catches for 60 yards and one touchdown.
Drew Tomlinson was 3-for-3 in extra points, hit a 26-yard field goal and had a 55.8 kickoff average on five kicks with two touchbacks.
Marlen Fenstermacher had seven tackles to pace the defense with an interception, Bobby McDevitt ended with six stops, including 2.5 for a loss and a sack, while Sebastian Silva-Muniz, Thomas Downs and Joe Granahan all ended with five stops each. Downs had two pass breakups and a pick and Stephon Smith added three pass breakups with three stops.
Franklin & Marshall's last-second field goal sailed wide right as time expired securing a 17-16 victory for Moravian in Centennial Conference (CC) football action. The Diplomats fell to 4-4, 3-4 CC, while the Greyhounds improved to 3-5, 3-4 CC.
The Diplomats led 16-10 entering the final quarter, paced by a 65-yard touchdown pass from Garrett Perschy to Mack Focht, and an 11-yard scamper from Keshon Farmer. Perschy would set up the potential game-winning field goal on the final drive, tossing a 46-yarder to Tim Walter to the Moravian 36. A 26-yard field goal attempt for the victory sailed wide right.
F&M largely dominated Moravian on the stat sheet, outpacing the Greyhounds in yardage 354-254, while owning time of possession by over six minutes.
Garrett Perschy completed 15-of-22 passes for 202 yards and one touchdown. Tim Walter was on the receiving of seven of those passes for 95 yards to lead the receiving group and Mack Focht ended with one 65-yard touchdown reception. Keshon Farmer racked up 80 yards on 20 carries with a score and Joe Hartley-Vittoria ended the day with 59 yards on 14 touches.
Seb Silva-Muniz led the defensive effort with seven tackles (6 solo), including a sack and a forced fumble. Kevin Gault was in on six stops (2s). Marlen Fenstermacher ended with five (4s) tackles and a pass breakup, while K.J. Boston had a sack to finish with five stops (4s)
Scouting the Bears
Ursinus comes into this matchup fresh off a 37-16 victory over McDaniel, a win that ended a three-game skid against Johns Hopkins, Muhlenberg, and Susquehanna. The Bears hung 479 yards on the Green Terror, gashing McDaniel through the air and ground alike using their backup quarterback and running back.
The Bears offensive attack is mostly led by the ground game, where Ursinus ranks first in the Centennial and 51st in the nation with just under 192 yards per game. Tailback Samuel Ragland, if healthy, is a dual-threat out of the backfield, leading Ursinus in both rushing (89.7 ypg) and receiving (70.5 ypg). His 160.17 all-purpose yards per game ranks second in the Conference and 20th nationally. As shown last week, Ragland's backup, Kyle Wiggins, can also pound the rock. Wiggins ran for 127 yards and a pair of touchdowns in last week's victory.
Their passing efforts are guided by senior QB Thomas Garlick, who has thrown for 1,248 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. First-year QB Jack Psenicska has shown to be no slouch in Garlick's absence, throwing for 335 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start against McDaniel.
The Bears' defense is spearheaded by senior DE Marcus Weathers, who picked up Centennial Defensive Player of the Week status after recording two sacks against McDaniel. Weathers is tied for second in the Centennial with 8.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. Both numbers rank just behind Muhlenberg's All-American DE Frankie Feaster.
One item of note - Ursinus ranks at the bottom of the conference in turnover margin (-1.71 per game) and near the bottom in turnovers (20). The Bears' tendency to cough up the football through the air (13 INT) and on the ground (7 lost fumbles) will provide a window for short field position and to dominate time of possession for the Diplomats.
Movin' On Up
With Keshon Farmer's touchdown last week, the sophomore tailback moved into a tie for fifth place in school history for rushing touchdowns. His 18 trips to the endzone tie him with Brad Ramsey (1984-87), Ken Scalet (1983-86, 88) and Andy Surtz (1993-96) in only two seasons of play. Farmer's eight touchdowns this season ranks tops in the Conference and 49th in the nation.
On The Money
Garrett Perschy has quietly put together one of the more accurate seasons for a Diplomat quarterback, connecting on 59.3 percent of his pass attempts. This ranks 12th in school history and continues a stretch where F&M quarterbacks keep rewriting the record book. Fourteen of the top 20 most accurate seasons in school history have come since 2008. Perschy's 59.2 percent career mark ranks fifth in school history.
Let's Go Bowling
A win against Ursinus would go a long way toward securing Franklin & Marshall's spot in the Centennial-MAC Bowl Series, where the top-three teams from each conference not selected to the NCAA Division III Championship do battle. Currently, nationally-ranked Muhlenberg (No. 5) and Susquehanna (T-No. 19) both have a chance for making the NCAA Playoff.
Dickinson (5-3, 4-3 CC), Johns Hopkins (5-3, 4-3 CC) and a three-way tie of F&M (4-4, 3-4 CC), Ursinus (4-4, 3-4 CC) and Moravian (3-5, 3-4 CC) all have a chance at the third and final spot.
Last season, F&M faced Lycoming College as the third seed, defeating the Warriors 21-20.