GAME #8 FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Bears Host MIT for Homecoming

GAME #8 FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Bears Host MIT for Homecoming

MIT (5-1, 3-0) AT COAST GUARD (3-4, 1-3)
OCT. 21ST --1:30 -- NEW LONDON, CONN.

There will be an audio and video stream available and that link can be found at on the football schedule page.

THE SERIES: MIT leads 5-2.

LAST YEAR: MIT held Coast Guard to just 157 total yards, freshman John Robertson had 29 carries for 127 yards and a score and senior Tucker Cheyne kicked three field goals leading the Engineers to a 23-7 win over Coast Guard in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) game.

Sophomore quarterback Ugdam Goyal was 21 of 32 for 213 yards.

Coast Guard was held to negative two yards rushing on 17 carries as MIT dominated the time of possession holding the ball for over 40 minutes in the win.

MIT finished with 406 total yards, 193 rushing and 213 in the air.

LAST WEEK: Senior quarterback Corey Creeger had 329 yards of total offense, threw a pair of touchdowns and ran for another leading Maine Maritime to a 34-16 win over Coast Guard in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game.

Creeger carried 26 times for 212 yards as the Mariners ran for 324 yards and had 441 yards of total offense while holding Coast Guard to 230 total  yards.

MIT was off last week after a 51-6 win over Maine Maritime on Oct. 7th.

COACH GEORGE IS BEARS WINS LEADER: Coast Guard head coach Bill George, in his 19th season, has a record 63 career wins as head coach at the Academy as he passed John Merriman for the most in program history in the win over Maine Maritime on Oct. 19th, 2013.

Merriman was the coach from (1930-1945) and the Gymnasium is named is his honor. In 2012, George passed NFL Hall of Famer and former Director of Athletics and head football coach Otto Graham, who had 43 wins in his two stints as head coach (1959-'65 and 1974-'75). Coach George led the Bears to a pair of NEFC Bogan Division championships in 2006 and 2007.

ESPN IS COMING TO NEW LONDON: Coast Guard will host Merchant Marine in the final game of the season this year as the team's battle for the Secetaries' Cup and the game will be carried live by the ESPN family of networks on Veterans Day, Nov. 11th at time to be announced.

Here is what the 2017 Coast Guard football captains have to say about the opportunity to play on ESPN

"We are ecstatic about opportunity ESPN has given us; we look forward to representing our nations' finest service academy in a classic rivalry against Merchant Marine. If you're watching Coast Guard football you aren't going to find any flashing lights or glamour. It's never been that way.  It never will.  What you will find is selflessness and college football in its purest form. There are no aspirations of playing at a higher level, only aspirations to one day be worthy of a commission as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, in the service of our country and humanity. In today's society, we are especially conscious of the sacrifices veterans and their families make. We are honored to be part of this nationwide celebration of America's heroes."

"I think this game will be a great opportunity for the team as well as for the Academy as a whole. It is a good way to get exposure on a popular network and educate people about the other two service Academies that can sometimes be forgotten.  I admire ESPN's commitment to honoring the members of the Armed Forces and I think the program is blessed to be able to play a long standing rivalry game on Veteran's Day weekend. I am personally excited for one of my last games of football here at the Academy to be as important and beneficial to the football program as this opportunity presents. Nonetheless, it will be a unique experience that I won't forget."

A LOOK BACK AT THE 1997 NCAA PLAYOFF TEAM: It has been 20 years since the 1997 football team made the program's second straight NCAA Playoff appearance. That team coached by Chuck Mills won the Freedom Football Conference (FFC) with a perfect 6-0 record and finished the regular season 9-1, the third best regular season football record recorded at the Academy. The Bears lost to Rowan 43-0 in the NCAA playoffs to finish 9-2. The nine wins is tied with the 1988 team for the most wins in a season.

Each week this season, we will take a look back at how that team did.

In week eight, Coast Guard took advantage of eight Plymouth State turnovers to win the battle of FFC unbeatens 19-0. The Panthers were the #4 team in the East and the #1 team in New England.

Ed Hernaez capped the win with a 34-yard interception return for a touchdown with eight seconds left.

Dan Warren threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Al Thompson in the first quarter and Warren had a 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter as the Bears led 12-0 at halfitme.

SCOUTING COAST GUARD: The Bears look to snap a three-game slide as they return home for the Homecoming Game sponsored by FirstCommand.

Sophomore Ryan Jones makes his fourth career start. He is 46 of 99 for 421 yards with two touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Senior wide receiver Cody Bain leads the team with 24 receptions and 249 yards while senior running back Cam Cecchini also has 24 receptions (171 yards), both have two touchdown receptions. Sophomore tight end Liam Middleton has 21 receptions for 211 yards.

Cecchini leads the Bears with 97 carries for 328 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

Coast Guard is averaging 15.7 points and 272 yards of total offense per game, 196.7 in the air and 75.3 on the ground.

The Bears are allowing 19.4 points per game. Coast Guard is allowing 322.7 yards per game, 135.9 passing and 186.9 rushing.

Junior linebacker Jake Behne leads the team with 48 tackles and has three for loss. Sophomore cornerback Patrick Crowley is second with 46 tackles and leads the team with 34 solo and two interceptions. Junior defensive tackle Jack Brandt (36 tackles) has a team-high six tackles for loss and three sacks.

Junior punter Chip Crowley is having a great season as he is averaging 40 yards per punt this season, second best in the NEWMAC, with 12 punts inside the 20 and eight of those over 50 yards with a long of 68 yards.

Junior placekicker Cole Austin has been outstanding making 6 of 7 on field goal attempts and 12-of-13 PAT's this season.

SCOUTING MIT: The Engineers are off to the third-best start in the varsity era of the program. MIT started 10-0 in the 2014 season and 6-1 in 1892. MIT and Springfield are the only two unbeaten teams in the NEWMAC.

MIT is averaging 31.7 points and 393.3 yards per game, a league-high 204.8 passing yards per game and 188.5 rushing yards per game.

Junior Udgam Goyal leads the NEWMAC in passing. He is 118 of 164 for a conference best 1,229 yards and league-high 10 touchdowns with just four interceptions.

His favorite target is junior wide receiver Eddie Garcia-Montes, who has 36 receptions for 440 yards and four touchdowns.

Sophomore John Robertson leads the Engineers with 118 carries, 645 yards and seven touchdowns.

The MIT defense is allowing 282.7 yards per game, 136.7 passing and 146 yards on the ground per game.

Senior linebacker Matt Nicolai leads the team with 52 tackles and three interceptions while junior linebacker Andrew DeNucci (51 tackles) leads the team with 28 solo tackles to go with five tackles for loss and a team-high 2.5 sacks.

Freshman Mark Wright has been solid kicking this season he is 5 of 6 in field goal attempts and has made 23 of 25 extra points.

UP NEXT: Coast Guard will have a bye before travelling to WPI on Nov. 4th for a noon kickoff in the final road game of the season.

Bears Fall at Maine Maritime
October 14, 2017 Bears Fall at Maine Maritime