Football Opens Home, Conference Slate on Saturday

Football Opens Home, Conference Slate on Saturday

WHO: #13 Johns Hopkins University (1-0, 0-0) at Susquehanna University (0-1, 0-0).

WHAT: The Crusaders' home and conference opener.

WHERE: Nicholas A. Lopardo Stadium; Selinsgrove, Pa.

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 13 at 1:00 p.m.

WHY: The Crusaders open their 2014 home and conference season this afternoon against reigning Centennial Conference champion Johns Hopkins University. Susquehanna is coming off a road loss against Lycoming College one week ago while the Blue Jays defeated Randolph-Macon by a decisive 42-3 score.

WHEN THESE TEAMS LAST MET:
BALTIMORE, Md. – The score of Susquehanna's 24-7 loss at Johns Hopkins tells the story – defense was the name of the game one year ago.

SU held a team coming off a 38-point season-opening win to just 24 points. Despite the loss, the game marked the fewest points Johns Hopkins has scored against the Crusaders since 1977 when Susquehanna won a 20-12 decision.

Cody Miller had eight tackles – seven solo – with one of SU's two interceptions as well as a pass break up.

LAST TIME OUT FOR SU:
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – It was five years in the making but unfortunately the renewal of the Stagg Hat Trophy rivalry series between Susquehanna and Lycoming did not favor the Crusaders, who fell 42-13 in Williamsport on Saturday.

A 28-point second quarter by the Warriors effectively decided the game despite second and third quarter touchdowns by the Crusaders. Lycoming has now won 13 of the last 15 Stagg Hat Trophy matchups.

The Warriors had 368 yards of total offense while holding SU to 261, despite Susquehanna winning the possession battle with 33:13 minutes of total possession time.

WEALTH PROFESSIONALS/GUS WEBER PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
For the third season in a row, Wealth Professionals has partnered with Susquehanna athletics to help sponsor the Wealth Professionals/Gus Weber Player of the Week.

Each week, a player of the week will be recognized at the Quarterback Club Luncheon. The honored player will select a charity of his choice to receive a donation made courtesy of Wealth Professionals. Following the Lycoming game, freshman wide receiver and special teams player Tommy Bluj was named the Player of the Week.

ALL-AMERICA ACCOLADES:
Before the Crusaders even stepped on the practice field this summer, two players received preseason honors. Senior kicker Spencer Hotaling and senior wide receiver Denzell Walker were named Preseason All-Americans by USA College Football.
 
Hotaling, a captain, is a three-time All-Centennial Conference First-Team player and will also serve as the team's punter this season.

Walker, meanwhile, led the team in receiving last fall with 38 catches for 615 yards and five touchdowns.  

LANDMARK TROPHIES:
Fans, be sure to remain in the stands at halftime for two special halftime ceremonies.

In 2013-14, six Susquehanna teams captured Landmark Conference postseason championships: men's soccer, men's cross country, women's swimming & diving, baseball, men's lacrosse, and men's outdoor track & field. At the start of halftime, all six title teams will be honored.

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL:
In addition to the six conference championships, Susquehanna University won the 2013-14 Landmark Conference President's Trophy for the second time in three years. On Saturday, Landmark Conference Commissioner Dan Fisher and Assistant Commissioner Kirbie Britt will award the Trophy to Susquehanna at halftime.

FOLLOW THE LEADERS:
Seniors Ken Milano and Spencer Hotaling as well as junior Jim Barry will serve as team captains this fall.

GET IN THE GAME:
The Susquehanna football team hosted its Be the Match bone marrow drive on April 25 and set records in the process. The drive resulted in 360 people joining the registry, marking the most successful drive in the entire Mid-Atlantic Region.

The drive was held in honor of Malena Brown, the teenage daughter of former SU offensive coordinator and current Dallas Cowboys running backs coach Gary Brown.

GOAL POST TROPHY RIVALRY:
The 2014 season finale comes on Nov. 15 with a home game against rival Juniata in the annual Goal Post Trophy Game. The Eagles regained the trophy last year with a 17-10 home victory.

Despite last season's loss, SU still holds a 28-25-1 edge in the rivalry series and has won four of its last six games against Juniata.

FEARSOME FIVE:
Five players earned All-Centennial Conference honors following the 2013 campaign.

Junior kicker Spencer Hotaling and punter T.J. Morton were First-Team selections. Hotaling became the 39th player in Centennial Conference history to earn First-Team honors for three-straight years.

In addition, junior wide receiver Denzell Walker and linebacker Adrian Bernard earned Second-Team honors for the second-consecutive year and sophomore offensive tackle Elijah Long was named Offensive Honorable Mention.

2013 AWARD WINNERS:
On Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, the Susquehanna football program held its annual end-of-the-year banquet where several individual players were recognized with individual awards:

Offensive Scout Team Award     Malik Valentine
Defensive Scout Team Award     Peter Snarski
Dr. Neil Potter Special Teams Player of the Year    T.J. Morton
Bob Pittello Offensive Lineman of the Year     Elijah Long
Best Offensive Player     Tim Wade
Best Defensive Player     Bill Mancini
Chris Vialonga Coaches Awards     Ryan Carroll, Stephen Homan
Randy Zook Most Valuable Player     Mark Rosenbaum

BECOME PART OF THE CLUB(S):
The Susquehanna University Quarterback Club luncheons are back this season. The luncheons are held every Friday at noon throughout the football season.         

As in years past, the event will take place in the Apple Community Room of the James W. Garrett Sports Complex on the Susquehanna campus.

A yearly membership to the QB Club is $40. Every week features the Gus Weber Crusader Player of the Week.

Also, don't forget about helping support all of SU's athletic teams by donating to the Varsity Club. Information can be found online at gosusqu.com.

DID YOU NOTICE?
Susquehanna's athletics site, GoSusqU.com, got a complete makeover this past summer! Not only does the website have a fresh look, it now features a video player on the home page as well as each individual sport page. The calender and results section are also easier to read, as are the six rotating headline stories. Be sure to check it out!

KEEPING UP WITH THE CRUSADERS:
Fans can keep up-to-date on all things Crusaders in a variety of ways. Susquehanna's athletic website, GoSusqU.com, remains the place to visit for game recaps, statistics and more. In addition, fans can follow GoSusQu on twitter.com where links to releases, in-game updates and more are posted.

SU athletics is also on Facebook! Fans can search Susquehanna Crusaders on facebook.com and become a friend in order to access photos, links to recaps and stories, in-game updates and more.

Finally, Susquehanna boasts an athletics-only YouTube channel which can be found by searching "GoSusquVIDEO" at youtube.com.

SU TRADITIONS:
Here at Susquehanna, each new class is like a newly sown gingko-a bearer of hope, coming to us as seedlings ready for planting and cultivation. As a body of learners, students grow to become individual branches of the same tree, ever reaching and forever supported by the foundation of the Susquehanna experience. Rooted in shared traditions and a common mission, graduates embark on life's journey assured of their place in the Susquehanna family, a family robust and resilient like the gingko.
   
For more information, visit www.susqu.edu/traditions.