PREVIEW: Huskies travel to Wayne State Saturday – michigantechhuskies.com

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PREVIEW: Huskies travel to Wayne State Saturday

HOUGHTON, Mich. – Michigan Tech football (2-2, 1-0) travels to Detroit to face Wayne State (0-5, 0-1) Saturday, October 9 at 6 p.m. EST at Tom Adams Stadium for Warrior homecoming. It will be the first road game of the fall for the Huskies and the only evening affair of the regular season. Wayne State won the last matchup between the two teams in Detroit on November 9, 2019 by a score of 35-14.

LAST TIME OUT

– With four forced fumbles, a pair of interceptions, and a blocked field goal, Michigan Tech football rolled to a convincing 31-7 homecoming victory over Davenport University Saturday afternoon at Kearly Stadium. William Marano led the ground game with 90 yards and one touchdown and the Huskies ended their four-game homestand with an even 2-2 record. Tech also picked up its first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win as the Panthers fell to 1-4 (0-1 GLIAC). 

– Quarterback Will Ark finished 8-20 for 113 yards and a pair of touchdowns (one rushing). Marano posted 21 rush attempts for 90 yards and one touchdown (17 long). Darius Willis made three catches for 57 yards and one touchdown. Hunter Richards made two catches for 37 yards and one score. Ark was also effective punting with one 62 yard punt for an average of 42.8 yards. Mark Sippel led the team in tackles (10 total, two unassisted). Marvin Wright (nine tackles) and John Paramski (eight tackles) were also highly visible.

SCOUTING THE WARRIORS

– Wayne State went 7-1 in GLIAC play in 2019, but was roughed up in non-conference action to start this fall. Out of the 120 players listed on the pre-season roster, 55 were true freshmen or redshirt freshmen. Head coach Paul Winters was voted GLIAC Coach of the Year following the 2019 campaign for the third time. Winters is in his 18th season at the helm with 33 returning letterwinners and nine starters.

– Last weekend, the Warriors allowed Northern Michigan to post 26 unanswered points in the second half to lose 26-19 at the Superior Dome. NMU held the edge in total offense 314-307 yards. WSU led in rushing yards 188-149 and time of possession 30:11 to 29:49.

– Myren Harris rushed for a career-high 126 total yards on 26 attempts and two touchdowns. Quarterback Chase Churchill (Richmond, Mich.) completed 11 of 22 passes for 119 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions. Harris had a team-high three catches, while Cameron Ford (Novi, Mich.) led with 28 receiving yards.

– The Warriors host the Huskies for homecoming this week.

TEAM COMPARISON

MICHIGAN TECH

CATEGORY

WAYNE STATE

252.3 (8th)

Yards Per Game

360.0 (3rd)

159.0 (6th)

Passing Yards Per Game

199.0 (3rd)

93.3 (8th)

Rushing Yards Per Game

161.0 (3rd)

31% (6th)

Third Down Conversions

44% (3rd)

17.2 (2nd)

Average Return Yardage

33.3 (1st)

23 (1st)

Sacks

6 (8th)

32.8 (1st)

Penalty Yards Per Game

37.2 (2nd)

ALL-TIME SERIES AGAINST WAYNE STATE

Michigan Tech and Wayne State meet for the 31st time on Saturday at Tom Adams Field in Detroit. The Warriors lead the all-time series 19-11 but the Huskies have won seven of the last 10 showdowns. Wayne State won 10 games in a row at the beginning of the series, with the first game being playing in 1967. Tech has beaten the Warriors in Detroit just four times.

HUSKIES OVERVIEW

– Michigan Tech ranks No. 1 in all of NCAA Division II in sacks per game (5.75). Tech has recorded 23.0 total sacks for 132 yards lost. The Huskies have three players inside the GLIAC top-five for total sacks. Austin Schlicht ranks second at 4.5, followed by Josh Cribben (3rd, 4.0 sacks), and All-American Nate Lajoie (3rd, 4.0 sacks).

– Quarterback Will Ark ranks fourth in the GLIAC with 157.8 passing yards per game as the Husky offensive production has improved markedly over the course of the last two games. Ark has thrown one interception and completed 40-percent of his passes last Saturday, the only game he failed to convert more than 50-percent of throws. Ark also had four punts (42.8 avg.) for 171 yards against Davenport. 

– The Huskies continue to rank at the bottom of the league in rushing yards, though William Marano had a strong game Saturday with 93 yards on the ground and one touchdown. Special teams has been a bright spot for Michigan Tech with one blocked extra point, one blocked field goal, and four turnovers created. Tech has received notable contributions from a pair of freshmen including Austin Schlicht and Jacob Newman.

– Newman (South Lyon, Michigan) posted 4.0 tackles against the Panthers and blocked a third quarter field goal. Schlicht led the team with a career-high 2.5 sacks for 10 yards lost on the defensive line. He also forced quarterback Deondre Ford to fumble the ball on a sack, recovered by the Huskies. After the turnover, Tech scored a touchdown on a 28-yard drive.

– Wide Receiver Jordan Janssen did not have a catch Saturday, but leads the team with 22 receptions, 236 yards, and two touchdowns. Hunter Richards (11-148-2), Justin Davis (9-95-0), and Darius Willis (8-93-1) are frequent contributors for Ark on the outside.

– Linebacker Marvin Wright leads the team and is tied for ninth in the GLIAC with 33.0 total tackles (six solo). Fellow linebacker Braxton Blackwell ranks 12th in the conference with 30.0 tackles (12 solo). 

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

– The Huskies have two GLIAC Championships (2004, 2012) and two NCAA Tournament appearances (2004, 2014) in their 98-year history. Michigan Tech has also won the Miner’s Cup 10 seasons in a row, awarded in the Michigan Tech/Northern Michigan rivalry. The Wildcats came tantalizingly close to getting their moment in the sun at Kearly Stadium in 2019, but the Huskies snatched a 24-20 win.

ON THE RADIO

– Mix 93.5 FM WKMJ will broadcast all 10 football games again this season. Josh Ylitalo will call all the action and travel with the squad.

WATCH THE GAMES

– Visit MichiganTechHuskies.com to watch the 2021 home matches live and on-demand via Stretch Internet Portal.

-Fan can watch all six 2021 fall home football games for $75.

PRESEASON GLIAC POLL

-Michigan Tech was picked to finish 5th (24 points) in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Pre-season Coaches’ Poll, announced by the conference office. 

– Ferris State and Grand Valley State are at the top of the rankings at No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. The Bulldogs edged the Lakers for the top spot by six points with 49. Ferris State also gathered seven first-place votes while Grand Valley State had one. Wayne State checked in at No. 3 with 36 points with Saginaw Valley State at No. 4 with 25 points.