TOUGH ROAD AHEAD: Only twice in CC history has a team lost two Conference games and gained a share of the Centennial Conference title - 1983 (Gettysburg, Muhlenberg, Swarthmore) and 1993 (Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall). In those years, the Conference had eight teams and the champion shared the trophy with 5-2 records.
FIVE CROWNS: Centennial Conference title hopes abound this year as there could be five CC champions out of the seven team Conference. Consider, if McDaniel beats Muhlenberg and Johns Hopkins beats McDaniel over the final two weeks of the season, and both F&M and Dickinson win out, all five teams will finish the CC season with 4-2 records and have an equal share of the CC title trophy.
CENTENNIAL CONFERENCE TEAM RANKINGS: Franklin & Marshall ranks among the Centennial Conference leaders in scoring offense (second, 23.5 points), scoring defense (fourth, 15.9 points), pass offense (first, 247.9 yards), pass defense (fifth, 182.5 ypg), kickoff returns (fourth, 17.3 yards), punting (first, 35.0 yards), turnover margin (third, -1), rushing offense (fifth, 119.4 yards), rushing defense (fifth, 154.8 yards), total offense (first, 367.2 yards), total defense (fifth, 337.2 yards), punt returns (seventh, 5.1 yards), pass efficiency (first, 130.2), pass defense efficiency (sixth, 111.1), first downs (second, 146), opponent first downs (sixth, 145), sacks by (seventh, 12 for 70 yards), penalties (fourth, 35 for 384 yards), opponent penalties (second, 49 for 459 yards), fourth down conversions (second, 61.1 percent), opponent fourth down conversions (second, 30.0 percent), red zone offense (fourth, 66.7 percent), red zone defense (first, 42.9 percent), third down conversions (third, 34.1 percent), opponent third down conversions (fifth, 35.4 percent), sacks against (second, 14 for 80 yards), field goal percentage (third, 62.5 percent), PAT kicking (second, 23-for-24), time of possession (sixth, 27:49) and kickoff coverage (seventh, 25.0).
OUT OF OUR LEAGUE: F&M's 31-14 loss at Carnegie Mellon wrapped up the team's out of conference games as the Diplomats recorded the fist winning season against out of conference squads 283-1) since the 1996 team downed CMU (28-7), Randolph Macon (20-13) and Hobart (38-24) back when there were eight CC schools. This year, the Diplomats handled Bethany (35-7 W), Oberlin (41-21 W) and Hobart (35-14 W) to achieve the winning record.
15th ANNIVERSARY OF 1989 FOOTBALL TEAM: The 2004 season marks the 15th anniversary of the 1989 football team which finished 10-1 (6-1 Centennial Conference) to tie the school record for most single season wins, get head coach Tom Gilburg his 100th career victory and capture the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) title with a 31-18 victory at St. Johns behind the play of Centennial Conference Co-Player of the Year, Associated Press and Kodak All-America wide receiver and ECAC Most Valuable Player Dale Amos '90.
30th ANNIVERSARY OF 1974 FOOTBALL TEAM: The 2004 season marks the 30th anniversary of the undefeated 1974 football team. Under Coach Bob Curtis, the team rolled to a 9-0 record (8-0 MAC) with wins over Hamilton (14-9), Ursinus (45-6), Johns Hopkins (63-13), Swarthmore (70-0), Dickinson (54-13), Widener (26-22), Lebanon Valley (47-7), Moravian (40-28) and Muhlenberg (47-13) on their way to winning the MAC South Title. In addition, the team finished the year ranked first in the nation (Division I, II, III) in points per game averaging 45.1 points per contest. Further, the team set 33 individual and team single game, season and career records during the season highlighted by amassing 4.229 yards of total offense.
40th ANNIVERSARY OF 1964 FOOTBALL TEAM: The 2004 season marks the 40th anniversary of the undefeated 1964 football team. Behind the play of MAC MVP Seiki Murono '66 (who repeated as MAC MVP in 1965) and the coaching of George Storck, the team cruised to an 8-0 record (7-0 MAC) with wins over Johns Hopkins (21-6), Swarthmore (21-12), Dickinson (6-5), Carnegie Mellon (18-14), Haverford (14-6), Widener (19-17), Muhlenberg (29-22) and Ursinus (20-6).
90th ANNIVERSARY OF 1914 FOOTBALL TEAM: The 2004 season marks the 90th anniversary of the 1914 football team which played under head coach Charlie Mayser. Historically, the team finished 6-2-1 with wins over Penn (10-0), Lebanon Valley (3-0), Swarthmore (16-0), Dickinson (44-6), Haverford (14-0) and Gettysburg (7-6), a tie with Ursinus (6-6) and losses to Lehigh (12-0) and Cornell (26-3). The game against Penn marked the first major event in F&M football history as the F&M Weekly, Franklin & Marshall's student newspaper, reported on the game, "The bloody carnage now taking place in Europe could not be compared to the awful havoc by the wearers of the Blue and White upon the sons of Ol' Penn within the very walls of the City of Brotherly Love...it is the greatest football win in F&M's history." The win marks the only victory in the F&M-Penn rivalry for the Diplomats as the Quakers hold a 34-1 advantage in 35 meetings.
105th ANNIVERSARY OF 1899 FOOTBALL TEAM: The 2004 season marks the 105th anniversary of the largest margin of victory in Franklin & Marshall College football history as F&M crushed Temple University 96-0 in the second to last game of the 1899 season as the team finished 3-5-1. Believed to be the worst defeat in Temple University football history, the game occurred just 15 years after Dr. Russell Conwell founded Temple in 1884 as "an informal adult-education outgrowth of his Baptist Temple ministry. Temple College was chartered in 1888 and was incorporated as Temple University in 1907. In 1965, Temple became a member of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education" according to owlsports.com, the online home of Temple athletics.
115th ANNIVERSARY OF 1889 FOOTBALL TEAM: The 2004 season marks the 115th anniversary of the 1889 F&M football team which rolled to a 5-1-1 record in the first full season of intercollegiate competition for the school. Following an 0-2 mark in 1887 with a pair of losses to the York YMCA (9-0, 6-4), and an 1888 season in which excitement over the presidential election caused the season to be postponed, the 1889 team started F&M's intercollegiate history by winning 60-0 at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. The team followed up the first win in program history with a tie (12-12) at home and win on the road (16-0) versus Bucknell, a 10-0 loss at Dickinson, and home wins over Swarthmore (22-4), Dickinson (22-0) and Fordham (56-0).
BACK IN BLOCKS: Defensive back Chris Santaniello (So., Somers Point, NJ/Mainland) could make history this year as he recorded three blocked kicks with two field goals and an extra point to tie John Schropp for the F&M single season record last year. Currently, he is on pace to reset the school career record of eight blocked kicks held by Schropp.
WHY IS F&M CALLED THE DIPLOMATS?: Franklin & Marshall College's nickname of Diplomats comes from New York Times sportswriter Arthur Daley who coined the name after watching Fordham come back in the fourth quarter behind NFL Hall-of-Famers Vince Lombardi and Alex Wojciechowicz to defeat F&M 14-7 at the Polo Grounds in the season-opening game of the 1935 season. Prior to the game, F&M teams were known as either "Nevonians" or "Big Blue". The name "Diplomats" was derived from the fact that F&M was five minutes late coming out of the locker-room to begin the second half, tardiness, according to Daley, "customary in the diplomatic services of both hemispheres."
GOING LONG: Franklin & Marshall continued its tradition of long touchdown passes against Dickinson as quarterback Jeff Harner (So., Mohrsville, PA/Schuylkill Valley) connected with receiver Robert Donofrio (So., Sea Girt, NJ/Wall Township) with 7:58 remaining in the first quarter for an 80 yard scoring strike.
The TD marked the sixth 50+ yard touchdown of the season for the Diplomats, not including a 49 yarder to tailback Scott Stephen (Sr., Glen Rock, NJ/Glen Rock) versus Hobart.
To date the 50+ yard TDs are:
59 yards vs. Oberlin (Harner to Donofrio)
98 yards vs. Oberlin (Harner to Derek Boyce)
52 yards vs. Oberlin (Harner to Stephen)
79 yards vs. Johns Hopkins (Harner to Boyce)
55 yards vs. Johns Hopkins (Harner to Matt Mondonedo)
80 yards vs. Dickinson (Harner to Donofrio)
TURNOVERS: Turnovers have played a major role in the Bears' 1-7 start this year. UC is 1-1 when winning the turnover battle and 0-6 when tied or losing the category.
BEARS' DEFENSE: Ursinus comes to Lancaster with the seventh ranked rushing defense and third ranked passing defense in the seven team Centennial Conference as the Bears are allowing 197.6 yards on the ground and 144.5 through the air. Franklin & Marshall enters the game with the top ranked passing offense (247.9 ypg) and the fifth ranked rushing offense (119.4 ypg).
PRESSURING THE QUARTERBACK: Do not watch for a lot of pressure on either quarterback today as Ursinus (13 for 82 yards) and Franklin & Marshall (12 for 70 yards) rank sixth and seventh, respectively, in sacks.
CC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Franklin & Marshall College quarterback Doug Hiltner (Sr., Margate, NJ/Atlantic City) was named the October 31 Centennial Conference Football Co-Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in a 20-7 win at home over McDaniel College on October 30. Against the Green Terror, Hiltner completed 15-of-22 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns after coming in to relieve starting quarterback Jeff Harner (So., Mohrsville, PA/Schuylkill Valley) in the first quarter. The Diplomats took the lead in the opening minutes of the second quarter as Hiltner marched Franklin & Marshall 80 yards on seven plays before hitting Bobby Freiler (So., Orwigsburg, PA/Blue Mountain) for a 22 yard touchdown with 12:28 left in the first half. Eggertsson tacked on the extra point for a 7-0 lead. Following a McDaniel touchdown with 3:12 left in the third quarter, the Diplomats finished the scoring as on first and 10 from the McDaniel 23-yard line, Hiltner's pass was tipped at the goal line and fell into the hands of wide receiver Derek Boyce (Jr., Lancaster, PA/Lampeter-Strasburg) in the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown to cap a five play, 50-yard drive. Hiltner closed out the game by chewing up five minutes in an 11 play, 61 yard drive and four minutes in an eight play, 40 yard drive in the fourth quarter as the Diplomats defeated McDaniel for the first time since a 38-7 victory at home in 1996. Overall, Hiltner finished the game with 204 yards of net offense as he added 12 rushing yards after entering the game for Harner. Combined, Harner and Hiltner completed 17-of-29 attempts for 208 yards. On the year, Hiltner has completed 48-of-86 passes for 594 yards with seven touchdowns and one interception in six games for a Centennial Conference best 138.4 pass efficiency rating. Statistically, the Diplomats boast the two best passers in the Conference as Harner ranks second with a 125.9 rating off 75-of-161 attempts for 1,310 yards with nine touchdowns and six interceptions in eight games. In addition, Hiltner ranks seventh in passing average (99.0 ypg) and ninth in total offense (99.8 ypg) this year. For his career, Hiltner has completed 120-of-266 attempts for 1,641 yards with 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 19 games.
FAIR PLAY: Also, watch for a few penalties today as Ursinus (57.8 ypg) and Franklin & Marshall (57.4) rank a top the CC in most opponent penalty yards per game.
IN THE NATIONAL STATISTICS: Punter Dan Eggertsson (Sr., Royal Palm, FL/Suncoast), defensive back Chris Santaniello (So., Somers Point, NJ/Mainland) and the Franklin & Marshall College defense and pass offense rank among the nation's best in the November 1 NCAA Division III football statistics. A member of the October 31 Centennial Conference Special Teams Honor Roll for making two field goals (32, 21) while averaging 37.4 yards on five punts with three boots inside the 20 yard line in a 20-7 win over #16 McDaniel College, Eggertsson ranks fourth in the nation with a 40.9 punting average. In the latest Centennial Conference statistics, Eggertsson leads the Conference in punting with a 40.9 yard average (47 punts for 1,922 yards) and ranks second in point after efficiency (95.8 percent). Further, he ranks second in field goals (five), third in field goal percentage (five-for-eight, 62.5 percent), second in scoring by kick (38 points) and seventh in scoring with 4.8 points per game. Santaniello ranks sixth in forced fumbles with four through the first eight games (0.50 per game) of the season. In the latest Centennial Conference statistics, he is tied for second in forced fumbles and ranks second in forced fumbles per game behind Bob Zeigler of Dickinson (five in eight games). For his career, he has 78 tackles, two interceptions for 30 yards, 10 pass breakups, four fumbles forced and three blocked kicks. In the team rankings, F&M rates 34th in passing offense as the Diplomats are averaging 247.9 yards per game through the air off 128 completions on 258 attempts for 1,983 yards. On defense, Franklin & Marshall ranks 34th in scoring defense as the Diplomats are allowing 15.9 points per game.
CC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Franklin & Marshall College linebacker George Farrell (Fr., Hatfield, PA/North Penn) was named the October 31 Centennial Conference Football Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in a 20-7 win at home over McDaniel College on October 30. Against the Green Terror, Farrell was the leader of a Diplomats' defensive unit that held the Centennial Conference's top scoring offense (27.3 ppg) to just seven points. Individually, he finished with 10 tackles, including two-for-losses, and broke up a pair of passes. The award marks the second time this season Farrell has been honored by the Centennial Conference as he earned a spot on the defensive honor roll for his performance in a 15-10 win at Muhlenberg on October 2. Against the Mules, he batted and intercepted a Muhlenberg pass and returned it 82 yards for a touchdown for the go ahead points. In addition, he made a tackle-for-loss of six yards to stop a Muhlenberg drive in its tracks and force the Mules to punt to give F&M good field position. On the year, Farrell ranks 10th in tackles (29) for the Diplomats, including five tackles-for-loss of 24 yards, with 1.5 sacks for 15 yards, one interception for 82 yards and three pass breakups.
F&M PICKED FOURTH BY CENTENNIAL CONFERENCE SIDS & COACHES: The Franklin & Marshall College football team was selected to finish fourth in the race for the 2004 Centennial Conference title in a pre-season poll of the Conference's head football coaches and Sports Information Directors. The ranking marked a two-place improvement for F&M over the team's sixth place selection in 2003 and a three spot improvement over the team's projected finish of seventh in 2001 and 2002. Johns Hopkins, who shared the CC title the past two years, was the preseason favorite to win the honor outright in 2004. The Blue Jays were a unanimous choice, receiving all 12 (teams not permitted to vote for themselves) for 72 points in the annual preseason poll of coaches. Muhlenberg was the second pick with two first-place votes and 62 points. McDaniel was third with 49 points. Franklin & Marshall and Gettysburg followed in fourth and fifth place with 33 and 32 points, respectively. Ursinus (25) and Dickinson (21) rounded out the poll.
F&M PICKED FIFTH IN CENTENNIAL CONFERERENCE BY D3FOOTBALL.COM: The Franklin & Marshall College football team was selected to finish fifth in the race for the 2004 Centennial Conference title in a pre-season ranking by D3football.com. Johns Hopkins was the preseason favorite to win the honor the title in 2004 according to D3football.com as Muhlenberg, McDaniel, Ursinus, F&M, Gettysburg and Dickinson rounded out the rankings.
HERE'S THE KICKER: A member of the October 31 Centennial Conference Special Teams Honor Roll, punter/kicker Dan Eggertsson (Sr., Royal Palm, FL/Suncoast) leads the Conference in punting with a 40.9 yard average (47 punts for 1,922 yards) and ranks second in point after efficiency (95.8 percent). Further, he ranks second in field goals (five), third in field goal percentage (five-for-eight, 62.5 percent), second in scoring by kick (38 points) and seventh in scoring with 4.8 points per game. For his career, Eggertsson has punted 140 times for 5,344 yards with 40 punts inside the 20-yard line, eight fair catches and six touchbacks. For his career, he is averaging 38.1 yards per punt as he is currently 0.30 off the school career punting record of 38.4 held by Jon Bushey and is on pace to erase the single season punt average record of 39.9 held by Bushey from 1996.
FINAL TIME: This week's game marks the final regular season home contest for F&M seniors Scott Stephen (Glen Rock, NJ/Glen Rock), Doug Hitlner (Margate, NJ/Atlantic City), Dan Eggertsson (Royal Palm, FL/Suncoast), Justin Koch (Schuylkill Haven, PA/Schuylkill Haven), Matt Capone (Scarsdale, NY/Scarsdale), Bill McGrade (Montgomery, NY/Valley Central), John Mervin (Yardley, PA/Hun School) and Chris White (Vestal, NY/Vestal).