Wilmington College football coach Bryan Moore understands what Heidelberg is going through as the two teams prepare to meet Saturday afternoon in Tiffin.
“Heidelberg had three big wins to start the year and then ran into the buzz-saw of Mount Union,” Moore said. “It doesn’t look as though they have completely recovered from that.”
The Student Princes lost to the Purple Raiders 63-7 on Oct. 7. The Quakers lost to Mount Union 66-7 last Saturday.
“Mount Union can certainly deliver a huge blow to the ego and self-confidence,” Moore said. “We have spent a great deal of time recently trying to re-focus our kids both mentally and emotionally. Our program has made some nice progress this season, but a loss like last weekend can easily send our culture into a tail-spin if the correct leadership isn’t in place.”
Wilmington will play at Heidelberg 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the seventh Ohio Athletic Conference game of the year.
“It is their homecoming this weekend and they will be anxious to get back on track,” Moore said.
The first-year WC coach admits this is a big game for his Quakers, not necessarily from a win-loss standpoint but in terms of personal and program growth.
“It is definitely gut-check time for us,” he said.
The Student Princes feature a pass-happy offense that ranks first in the OAC with 2,373 passing yards. WC, on the other hand, has passed for 1,553 yards. But while Heidelberg throws the ball 59 percent of the time compared to Wilmington’s 39 percent, Wilmington has thrown 19 touchdown passes compared to 16 for Heidelberg.
By contract, Heidelberg has 14 rushing touchdowns compared to Wilmington’s eight.
“Heidelberg has some of the best skill players in the OAC,” Moore said. “They throw the ball more than any other team, so it will be a tremendous test against our young secondary.”
One of the big differences between Wilmington and Heidelberg is in the defensive takeaway category. The Quakers have one interception and four fumble recoveries while the Student Princes have 13 interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Heidelberg also has an OAC-best 19 sacks while WC has a league low eight.
“When they are playing well, the tackles for loss, sacks and interceptions start piling up,” Moore said. “Austin Crow is the most dominating interior lineman we have seen this year.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports