Friday, September 03, 2010

The Friday Tailgate

The Friday Tailgate returns for its third season here on the Centennial Conference Today blog. We hope you'll enjoy our weekly look at the weekend's gridiron games.

This year, we welcome Susquehanna University to the Conference as an associate football member, bringing the Centennial to 10 teams. The Crusaders won the Liberty League title last fall, advancing to the NCAA tournament.

Washington & Lee at Franklin & Marshall
Audio: WLUR-FM 91.5. Video: Yes. Live Stats: Yes.
This is the 11th time that the Generals and the Diplomats have met on the gridiron with the series tied at 5-5. F&M is 67-52-3 in season openers and 3-1 under head coach John Troxell. The Diplomats are also 87-34-1 in their home opener. W&L was picked to finish fifth in the seven-team Old Dominion Athletic Conference, while F&M was slotted in the #2 spot in the Centennial preseason poll. The Generals are 57-52-1 in season lidlifters and has not won a road opener since a 14-13 win at Towson on Sept. 20, 1969 - a string of 19 straight losses away from Lexington.

Gettysburg at Lebanon Valley
Audio: WMSS-FM 91.1. Live Stats: Yes.
This is the 37th time that the Bullets have lined up opposite the Flying Dutchmen since 1898. Gettysburg holds a 30-6-1 lead but LVC has won four of the last six matchups, including the last three in Annville. Bullet head coach Barry Streeter ranks 11th among active Division III coaches with 155 victories. He is 6-2 in games at Lebanon Valley - his alma mater. LVC was picked second in the Middle Atlantic Conference preseason poll.

McDaniel at Juniata
Audio: WTTR-AM 1470. Live Stats: Yes.
It is the 23rd time that the Green Terror and the Eagles meet on the gridiron in a series that dates to 1923. Juniata holds a slim 11-9-1 lead, but McDaniel captured a 30-3 decision last year in Westminster. The Terror is 61-48-6 on opening day and coach Tim Keating is 8-9 in season lidlifters. This is the first time since 1985 that McDaniel has opened with a league foe and the September 4 date is the earliest ever for the Green and Gold to play a Conference opponent. McDaniel was picked seventh in the 10-team preseason Centennial poll, while Juniata was slotted at No. 10. The Eagles are opening with a Conference opponent for the first time since 2001.

Susquehanna at Moravian
Audio: WQSU-FM 88.9; WSAN-AM 1470.
Saturday's game is the 37th in the series between the Crusaders and the Greyhounds - who are back in the same conference for the first time since 2006. Moravian holds a 20-15-1 series lead with three straight wins over SU in Bethlehem. Susquehanna's last win at Moravian was a 41-14 triumph in 2001. The 'Hounds are 7-2 in their last nine season openers. Susquehanna - the newest member of the Centennial - won the Liberty League championship last season. SU head coach Steve Briggs (110-93) and Moravian mentor Scot Dapp (137-99-1) are the winningest coaches in their respective school's histories.

Delaware Valley at Muhlenberg
Audio: DVC Sports Network. Video: Yes. Live Stats: Yes.
The Mules and the Aggies - separated by just 33 miles - will meet for the first time since 1972. Delaware Valley captured that contest, 35-14, while Muhlenberg avenged that defeat the following year, aqlso by a 35-14 count. After a season in which five of their 10 opponents continued onto postseason play, the Mules open with an Aggie squad ranked 10th in the preseason by Muhlenberg is 8-2 in its last 10 season lidlifters.

Ursinus at Albright
Audio: WXAC-FM 91.3; Ursinus Sports Network. Live Stats: Yes.
This is the 18th meeting between the Bears and the Lions with Albright holding a 10-6-1 series lead. UC head coach Peter Gallagher (40-52) needs just one more win to tie Steve Gilbert for the most victories in school history with 41. This is the Bears' first night game since a 2007 tilt with LaSalle. Both teams were picked to finish third in their respective conference preseason polls. Albright was won nine straight games at Shirk Stadium since a loss in the 2008 season opener to Salisbury. The Lions will be sporting brand-new red uniforms for the contest.

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