Susquehanna hits the road for the first time in 2017 with a challenging matchup against John Hopkins in the first Centennial Conference game for each team. The Blue Jays enter the game ranked #16 in the latest D3football.com poll.
The River Hawks opened the 2017 season with a defensive battle and a 7-6 win over Lycoming College in Selinsgrove last Saturday while the Blue Jays opened the season on Friday night and needed to come from behind to post a 32-29 overtime win over Washing ton & Lee.
The matchup with Johns Hopkins dates back to 1941 when Susquehanna opened the series with an 8-7 victory. The Orange and Maroon three times in the first seven meetings (3-3-1) with the last win coming in 1977 in a 20-12 Susquehanna win at home. Since then, the series has been all Hopkins as the Blue Jays have posted victories in each of the last eight meetings. The overall series record stands at 3-11-1. The lone road win for Susquehanna in the series was the 8-7 victory in the first matchup.
The River Hawks defense was stingy against Lycoming in the opener allowing just a pair of field goals and just six points. Susquehanna is tied for 14th in the country in scoring defense as 11 teams posted season-opening shutouts, Baldwin Wallace allowed only two points and Millikin surrendered just a field goal. Five other teams are tied with Susquehanna with six points allowed.
Under 10 First and 10
The Susquehanna defense allowed just nine first downs in the win over Lycoming. Only 14 teams had a better defensive effort against the first down in week one and four other teams are tied with the River Hawks with the nine first downs allowed. The last time a Susquehanna team allowed fewer than 10 first downs in a game was in 2011 when Franklin & Marshall managed just nine first downs in the Oct. 29th snow storm game and a 40-14 win for Susquehanna. The game time temperature was reported as 30 degrees and the official attendance was listed as 122.
Off and Running
Senior running back Cameron Ott was impressive in the season opener racking up 129 yards rushing on 14 carries. His 129 yards ranks 37th in the country and his impressive 9.21 yards per carry is 15th best in the country. Ott has rushed for at least 100 yards in four of the last six games and has more than 100 yards of All-Purpose yardage (rush-receive-return) in six of the last eight ball games.
Interception Streak Extended
Ryan Ganard picked off a pass in the third quarter against Lycoming and the Susquehanna defense has now recorded at least one interception in six of the last seven games and eight of the last 10. For Ganard personally, it was his third consecutive game with an interception.
More Interception Streaks
Quarterback Nick Crusco had an interception streak of his own going into the Lycoming game. The senior signal caller had thrown 96 straight passes without an interception heading into the season. The streak came to an end on the first Susquehanna drive of 2017 when a tipped and kicked ball ended up in the hands of a Lycoming defensive back. Prior to the interception, Crusco had thrown three passes and had two completions. The final streak numbers were 64-for-99 for 962 yards between interceptions for Crusco.