DSU football: Red Storm open GNAC play at Central Washington today

Dixie State University vs. Central Washington University, today, 2 p.m. MST, Tomlinson Stadium, Ellensburg, Wash.
Previous Meeting: Wildcats 44, Red Storm 0 (Wildcats overwhelm Storm in last game of 2013)
Overall Series Record: Wildcats lead head-to-head series 10-1
Broadcast: (Audio) ESPN SportsRadio 106.1 FM; Southern Utah Live; (Video) Wildcat Stretch Internet

dsulogoHead coach: Scott Brumfield (5th year, 10-33 overall)
Offense: Pro Set
Defense: Pro 4-3
Last Game: Lost to Colorado Mesa 44-37
Players to watch: Sophomore quarterback Hayden Gavett had a big week in the loss against Colorado Mesa. His favorite targets were wideouts Nate Stephens and Brock Johnson. Tight end Dalton Groskreutz took both of his receptions for touchdowns. Myles Burton and Colton Peterson both topped the century mark rushing and they will be joined this week by Joel Davis who sat out last week. The offensive line is led by preseason all-conference Nyles Amelita. On defense, the Red Storm are led in tackles by defensive lineman Saula Taufa. He is joined on the line by Jake Miller and K.J. Boyer, who lead the team in quarterback hurries. The linebacking crew of Garland Munns, Robert Metz and Daniel Moffett trail only Taufa in tackles. Justin Ence had a big game at safety last week and the corners are manned by Zac Christian and DeShawn Perkins.

cwuHead Coach: Ian Shoemaker (1st year, 0-1)
Offense: Multiple Single Back
Defense: Eagle Flex
Last Game: Lost to University of Montana 48-14
Players to watch: The Wildcats return several all-conference performers from last years 2nd-place team. They are quarterbacked by Jake Nelson who threw for 1282 yards and 13 TDs. All-conference RB Jordan Todd (249-1213yds, 9 TDs) returns. Nelson’s favorite target, WR Jesse Zalk also returns (47-429yds/2TDs). He also averaged 31.0 yards on 13 kick returns, ranking second in the conference. Defensively, the cornerback tandem of Isaiah Davis (6 INT/50 TKL) and Cedrique Chaney (4 INT/35 TKL) were ranked the third and fifth best cornerbacks in Division II last year. The defense also returns all conference performers linebacker JB Torsy (64 TKL), defensive lineman Tovar Sanchez (31 TKL/7 TFL) and defensive back Cole Graves (1 INT/12 TKL)

The Wildcats finished second in the GNAC last year and have been picked to finish second this year. The only unit that saw wholesale changes last year was the offensive line. Against Division I Montana last week the defense gave up 443 yards, 298 of those on the ground. Last year Dixie almost stole one from CWU in Washington, losing 27-24. Dixie led 17-3 at halftime and 24-17 with less than three minutes to play. The Wildcats kicked the game-winning field goal on the last play of the game, which seemed to encapsulate the Storm’s season. This year Dixie’s offense appears just as potent as last year. The defense stumbled down the stretch last week against Colorado Mesa, but before that recorded seven three & outs. Look for Gavett, Peterson, Burton and Davis to come up big. The CWU corners are good, but they can only cover two receivers. Gavett found 11 different targets last week. The RBs and TE Groskreutz may see plenty of looks.

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