Were it not for a fourth and goal stop by Millikin University late in the fourth quarter, in the first game of the 2019 season, Hope’s record could potentially be unblemished. Since that stop they have been unbeatable, seven straight victories while performing like a well-oiled machine. Their average margin of victory during this streak is over 33 points!
But, their last 2 MIAA foes, Olivet and Alma, both eyeing a share of the top spot in the conference had come to wrest that throne away, if possible. The margin of victory in those two games…7 points! Fortunately, Hope plays a style of football that lends itself to success in tight games, they rarely turn the ball over. In only 1 game so far this season have they had a turnover…they escaped that game with a 2 point victory. In addition, they are most likely the least penalized team in the state as well, averaging 3.5 flags per game.
The College Football Wrap-Up(c)’s GAME OF THE WEEK!
November 1, 2019
By Tony Dixon, For COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)
Ypsilanti, MI —
Hope’s Flying Dutchmen have proven themselves to be determined to claim the 2019 MIAA title and have shown this determination very adeptly on the field. They are currently riding a 6 game winning streak (6 – 1, 4 – 0 MIAA) and are coming off a fine performance, in adverse weather conditions, in their victory over the former #2* team in the state as well as the MIAA, Olivet.
But when you are on top, there is always a new contender, someone that wants that top spot. Enter #4* Alma (5 – 2, 3 – 1 MIAA), the Scots had a 4 game winning streak snapped a couple of weeks ago, but have returned to the right side of the ledger with a victory last week, and look to start a new streak with another win on Saturday.
No small feat, Hope’s senior signal caller, Mason Opple is a dual threat that can carry a team, as he did last week during the cloud burst that was college football Saturday in Michigan. In Hope’s victory over previously unbeaten Olivet, Opple rushed for 217 yards, with a long of 50 yards! He also had 2 rushing TDs. Totals that earned him Player of The Week honors in the MIAA.
The two squads have played a common foe this season, Albion. The Scots defeated the Britons by a 32 – 28 score the first Saturday in October. Hope then piled on, making Albion win number 4, with a 52 – 33 victory over the Britons the following weekend.
Other Games of Interest this weekend:
Ferris State is a national powerhouse, ranked # 2 nationally and the state’s only remaining unbeaten team. Jayru Campbell the former Detroit Cass Tech. grad., is a a monster at QB. Last weekend he bucked the ground game trend and threw for a career high 347 yards and 2 TDs, while leading the team in rushing with 61 yards and 2 TDs. He won Player Of The Week honors in the GLIAC.
FSU (8 – 0, 6 – 1 GLIAC) is currently # 1 in the regional seedings for the D-2 National Championship Playoffs. Not to disparage the rest of the remaining foes this regular season, but other than their clash with Grand Valley State (7 – 1, 5 – 1 GLIAC) in the Anchor Bone Classic, which has been upgraded to a prime time national telecast on ESPN, they probably won’t be threatened until then.
Grand Valley State’s only blemish this season came in another rain soaked game, under the lights, and ESPN cameras, at the hands of Ashland…on a “Hail Mary”…as time expired, 20 – 17 was the final score. Easily the most dramatic finish to a game that I’ve seen this season.
The following games are out of state, but feature the new # 2 in the TPR(c) rankings, and nationally ranked Siena Heights. The Saints have rebounded well from their only loss, a 10 – 7 game at Concordia-AA in early October. They have won 3 straight including a strong (15.5 TPR) performance at Saint Francis (IN).
U-M is also on the road following their stunning performance against former Top Ten foe Notre Dame.
Hope Uses Strong Ground Game To Defeat # 2 Olivet And Remain #1 In Week 9 TPR(c) Rankings!
October 30, 2019
By Tony Dixon, For COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)
Ypsilanti, MI —
On what was perhaps the wettest Saturday of the college football season in Michigan, a variety of teams rode the backs of their offensive line, and the legs of their best back to survive and advance towards their collective team goals this past weekend.
In the case of the GAME OF THE WEEK, # 1* Hope rode on the shoulders of quarterback Mason Opple’s 213 yards of rushing to defeat # 2* and formerly unbeaten Olivet to seize first place in the MIAA.
Meanwhile, Siena Heights was on the road, in Indiana, pulling off the program’s first ever upset of a Top Ten nationally ranked school to vault into the vacancy at # 2* that was created by Olivet’s defeat. SHU also tied MSU for the second strongest TPR for the season at 15.5. # 1* Hope has scored two 20 point performances so far this season.
Grand Valley State also took advantage of a rainy Saturday night to move back into the Top Five* with it’s solid performance, a 27 – 7 victory over Davenport-GR.
Nationally ranked at #2, and the only remaining unbeaten team in the state, Ferris State is closing in on a Top Five TPR(c) spot at #6*. The Bulldogs rode the shoulders of their senior QB Jayru Campbell in a different manner, he threw for a career high 347 yards and 2 TDs, while leading FSU to a victory over Saginaw Valley St.
Wayne State took advantage of a visit to Northwood to add a notch in the Win column with a road victory, 31 – 10.
U-M also moved up with an unusually strong performance against a higher nationally ranked opponent in Notre Dame. The Irish had no answers for the bright lights, rain and the Wolverines smothering defense in a 45 – 14 thrashing.
Western Mich. joined U-M and WSU in the even dozen club this week, by scoring a 12 in it’s domination of Bowling Green, 49 – 10. The Broncos had 399 yards and six TDs on the ground. Senior running back LeVante Bellamy led the ground forces with 178 yards and 4 TDs.
The TEAM PERFORMANCE RATING System or TPR(c) is a simple system that rates each teams performance in it’s game against a stated set of numerical values. The numerical values are then totaled (The Points Score for the game) and then every week’s Points Score is added up and divided by the number of games played to determine the TPR(c) for the team, for the season so far.
Here are the Criteria and The Numerical Values Assigned to the Criteria:
Win The Game……………………………………………..+ 4 points
Total 150+ Net Yards Rushing…………………….+ 2 points
Total 225+ Net Yards Passing……………………..+ 2 points
No Turnovers For The Game………………………+ 2 points
Give Up Less Than 150 Net Yards Rushing.+ 2 points
Give Up Less Than 225 Net Yards Passing..+ 2 points
BONUS — Road Victory………………………………..+ 3 points
BONUS — Takeaways………………………………….+ 1 point PER Takeaway
DEDUCTIONS — Penalties…………………………..(- .50) point PER Penalty Assessed
The TPR(c) System was created by Tony Dixon, and is used exclusively for the TPR(c) Rankings. No other source except numerical data from the game itself is used to score the rankings.
When the weather forecasters get it right, they get it right! All week long the forecast had been for day long, heavy rains…the kind of weather that would heighten the need for a strong ground game and a good grip on the football.
Michigan on this Saturday was not a place to showcase your “air-raid” attack! It was a place for your offensive linemen to show what those long, hard hours in the weight room had wrought. Fullbacks and running backs were full of anticipation of the coming game, knowing that they would be the focus of this week’s game. It was also the place where a mobile quarterback could prove…invaluable!
Case in point, the CFWU’s GAME OF THE WEEK, # 1 (TPR) Hope on the road at # 2 (TPR) Olivet…with sole possession of 1st place in the MIAA on the line! The Flying Dutchmen rushed for 310 yards, led by their senior QB Mason Opple’s 213 yards, 8.5 yards/rush and 2 TDs on the ground, on their way to a 21 – 7 victory. Opple is listed at 6-3, 236 pounds, and when his head coach was asked about the performance, he replied…“What can you say about Mason Opple? He’s a beast,” Stuursma said. “It’s like tackling a dump truck. He saddled us up and put us on his shoulders and carried us.”
Case in point, #2 nationally (# 6 TPR) Ferris State invited an old and familiar foe, # 10 (TPR) Saginaw Valley State out to Top Taggart Field to make their case for being the best team in the GLIAC. FSU’s senior QB Jayru Campbell had a monster day with over 400 yards of total offense and 2 rushing TDs. Oddly enough, 347 yards of those yards came through the air, as Ferris remained unbeaten and in first place in the conference, with a 31 – 10 victory over SVSU.
The COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)’s Other Games Of Interest results:
#5 (TPR) Grand Valley State grinds out a water logged 27 – 7 victory over #14 (TPR) Davenport-GR under the lights at Lubbers Stadium.
#4 (TPR and #18 nationally) Siena Heights goes on the road and upsets #4 (nationally) Saint Francis 24 – 14. It was the program’s first victory over a nationally Top Ten ranked opponent.
#19 (nationally) U-M shines under the lights at the Big House as they take #7 Notre Dame apart on national TV with a 45 – 14 victory.
Grand Valley State’s 28-24 fourth quarter comeback win over a talented Delta State squad Saturday night at Lubbers Stadium before a crowd of 10,680 will be etched in the memory bank for years to come. The Lakers overcame three 10 point deficits, the third (24-14) coming in the fourth quarter with 9:52 remaining in the game. GVSU, now 2-0 on the year, will hit the road for the GLIAC opener at Northwood next Saturday (Sept. 21) for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
The Lakers trailed 24-14 after a Delta State touchdown with 9:52 remaining, but redshirt freshman backup quarterback Cade Peterson, who was in for the injured Cole Kotopka, led two fourth quarter touchdown drives. Peterson finished the first drive with a 2-yard TD run on fourth down with 5:19 left to pull Grand Valley State within three, then following an Antonio Strong interception and 26 yard return, Peterson drove the Lakers 21 yards in two plays as sophomore Aryuan Cain-Veasey went the final nine yards for a touchdown. The GVSU defense was able to come up with a stop on fourth down with 1:41 remaining to preserve the win.
Grand Valley State opened the 2019 season with an impressive 35-10 non-conference, home-opening win over Edinboro before a crowd of 14,552. The Lakers improve to 31-18 all-time in season-opening games (17-2 since 2001) and 34-11 in home openers at Lubbers Stadium (19-1 since 2001). The Lakers will host Delta State Saturday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m.
The Laker defense dominated from the opening kickoff, limiting Edinboro to 120 yards of total offense, including just five first downs. The fighting Scots tallied 120 yards of total offense, 13 via the ground on 20 carries. Edinboro’s offense produced just a second quarter 38 yard field goal. In addition, the Laker defense produced eight three-and-outs.
Offensively, GVSU scored on its opening possession of the season when junior QB Cole Kotopka hit RB Bryce Young-Walls with a 59-yard pass completion and then found WR Austin Paritee in the corner of the endzone with a 1-yard TD pass. Freshman PK Josh Gorball kicked the first of his five PATs to give GVSU a 7-0 lead. Sophomore RB Aryuan Cain-Veasey then took over the game. He raced 48 yards for a touchdown on the Lakers’ third possession of the game and then added a 94-yard TD run with 4:29 left in the second quarter to up the Laker lead to 21-3. The 94 yard TD run was the third longest in program history (Marty Carter 97, Spencer Calhoun 95).