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Football opens IIAC play at Buena Vista on Saturday

Football opens IIAC play at Buena Vista on Saturday

The Simpson football team begins its quest for an Iowa Conference title on Saturday when it travels to Storm Lake to take on Buena Vista in a 1 p.m. kickoff.

Head coach Jim Glogowski and the Storm (3-0) seek to avenge last year's 29-27 loss, which effectively took Simpson out of the conference championship hunt. They will do so with a suffocating defense which has allowed just 5.3 points per game, the second-lowest total in Division III. Jay Anderson and the Beavers (1-2) are coming off their first win of the season and look to continue their success at home against Simpson, where they have won the last four meetings.

 

Matchup

2014 Buena Vista Beavers

2014 Simpson Storm

 

Game Information

Kickoff

  • J. Leslie Rollins Stadium, Storm Lake, Iowa – 1 p.m.

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Game Notes

Inside the series

  • Saturday marks the 69th meeting between Simpson and Buena Vista in a series that dates back to 1927. Simpson leads the all-time series 35-33 but has lost 4 of 6, including two in a row. Storm Lake hasn't been good to Simpson, historically, as the Beavers have won the last four meetings at Rollins Stadium and are 20-12 all-time in Storm Lake.

A look at the Beavers

  • Buena Vista earned its first win of the season last Saturday, 55-28 at Waldorf. Senior quarterback Bobby Brown – last week's Iowa Conference Male Athlete of the Week – threw for 396 yards and four TDs and ran for another score as Buena Vista racked up 644 yards of total offense against the Warriors. The win came after Buena Vista opened the season with back-to-back losses to top-35 opponents (63-3 vs. No. 8 Wis.-Platteville on Sept. 6; 30-9 at RV Concordia-Moorhead on Sept. 13).
  • The Beavers feature a balanced offensive attack that has run the ball 98 times and thrown it 90 times thus far in 2014. A returning Second Team all-IIAC quarterback, Brown has thrown for 239.7 yards per game with five TDs and five INTs. Dylan Barrett carries the load on the ground, rushing 58 times for 342 yards. Gunner Gilland and Ben Seitz have moved into the role of primary receivers in the absence of 2013 Second Team all-IIAC performer Jalen Henningsen. Gilland has 18 catches for 256 yards and three TDs and Seitz has 16 for 214 and two TDs.
  • Defensively the Beavers have given up 40.3 points per game and nearly 480 yards of total offense. Free safety Austin Gibbs leads the defense with 26 tackles and a pair of forced fumbles. Interior lineman Beau Van Wechel has 2.5 TFLs and 2.0 sacks to go along with his 15 tackles.

Storm defense among nation's best

  • Simpson's defense is allowing just 5.3 points per game, currently the second-lowest total in Division III. Only Trinity (Conn.) has allowed fewer (3.5).
  • A big reason for the team's defensive success has been turnovers. Simpson has caused nine turnovers on the year, good for 26th in the nation and just one shy of the team's total from all of 2013. The team's seven recovered fumbles rank second in the nation.
  • Simpson's defense has been at it's best in the red zone. In nine trips to the red zone, opponents have come away with just six points and turned the ball over four times. Wisconsin-River Falls running back Kywon Cartwright's 9-yard TD run in the first quarter on Sept. 13 is the only red zone score allowed by Simpson's defense. The 11-percent clip is ranked second in Division III.

Rushing by committee

  • Simpson's rush offense has been a group effort in 2014. Four players – three running backs and quarterback Dylan Berkey – have carried at least 30 times through three games. Bruising back Ethan Calvert leads the team with 209 yards and two TDs, scat-back Tyler Kenny has 143 yards and multi-faceted Jordan Beem – who also has nine catches on the year – has  140 yards. Berkey has 63 yards rushing and a team-high three TDs, all coming in the opener at Iowa Wesleyan on Sept. 6.

Berkey makes most of opportunity

  • It took three years, but senior quarterback Dylan Berkey finally got his opportunity to run the Simpson offense in the 2014 season opener against Iowa Wesleyan. Berkey sat behind 2013 IIAC Offensive MVP, Taylor Nelson, for the past three seasons. In his first game as a starter, Berkey completed 20 of 30 passes for 228 yards with a touchdown, rushing for three scores as Simpson beat Iowa Wesleyan 43-7 on Sept. 6.
  • This season Berkey is 52 of 85 with four TDs and four INTs. He is completing better than 61 percent of his passes and averages 221.3 yards per game.

Big-play Walker Holland sparks offense

  • Senior Walker Holland has emerged as a big-play receiver for the Simpson offense in 2014. He leads the team with 11 catches for 267 yards on the year, averaging 89 yards per game and more than 24 yards per reception.
  • Of Walker's 11 receptions, nine have been "money" catches (receptions that go for first downs or touchdowns) and five have been for 20 yards or more. Against Wisconsin-River Falls, all three of Holland's catches went for 38 yards or more, catching a 43-yard touchdown in the first quarter, a 40-yarder in the second and a 38-yard touchdown in the fourth. All three of his receptions against Illinois Wesleyan resulted in first downs, including a clutch 69-yarder on a slant in the fourth quarter that set up the game-clinching field goal in a 13-3 win.

Playing keep away

  • Few teams in the nation have been better at keeping the ball out of the hands of the opposition than Simpson. The Storm's average time of possession is 35:16, currently ranked 11th in Division III.
  • A key factor in Simpson's ability to hold on to the ball has been its proficiency on 3rd and 4th down. Simpson is 31 of 63 in such situations, converting 49.2 percent of the time. Simpson is 25 of 54 on 3rd down and leads the Iowa Conference with 6 of 9 conversions on 4th down.

Proficiency in the kicking game

  • Simpson has the rare luxury of two, game-tested placekickers in senior Logan Klein and freshman Drew Jensen. Klein earned IIAC Special Teams Player of the Week honors after week one when he made two field goals and went a perfect 4-for-4 in extra point attempts. He is 3-for-4 in field goals on the year and 5-for-7 in extra points, all of his misses coming because of blocks. Jensen got the nod as starting placekicker against Illinois Wesleyan, going 2-for-2 in field goals and connecting on his lone extra point attempt.
  • Simpson's five made field goals lead the Iowa Conference.
  • Klein has also been getting the job done in the punting game. His 44.5 average leads the league and is almost four yards more than Luther's Jon Cochrane (40.8). Klein has pinned opponents inside their own 20 four times and has three boots of 50-plus yards.

Glogowski climbs wins list

  • Seventh-year head coach Jim Glogowski improved to 33-30 during his career with Simpson's 13-3 win over Illinois Wesleyan on Sept. 20. The win moved him ahead of Jay Niemann (32-29 from 2002-07) for third on Simpson's all-time wins list. He needs one win to tie R.G. "Hap" Miller (34-47-3 from 1948-57) for second on the all-time list.
  • Glogowski has a way to go to become Simpson's all-time wins leader. Jim Williams holds the title, going 106-48-1 during his 15-year career from 1987-2001.