Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Friday, October 26, 2007 Tony Nicolette's Gliac Column

Tiffin (3-0 GLFC, 7-1) at Hillsdale (6-2, 6-2)

The Chargers have a lot to gain with this game. Despite Tiffin's schedule not being overwhelmingly strong, they are still 7-0 against Division II opponents. A win here can only help the Chargers in their quest to gain entrance to the playoffs. Tiffin looks to prove they will be able to hang with GLIAC opponents when they enter the conference next year.

Tiffin Keys:
- Solid offensive output. QB Matt Root is a solid player completing 65.7% of his passes and averaging over 230 yards per game passing. Hillsdale has been prone to giving up yardage, so Tiffin should be able to move the ball. WR's Dyshaun Edwards and LaMar Tipton have been Root's main targets this year; Pierece Wade is averaging upwards of 90 yards a game on the ground.
- Contain the Chargers. Stopping Nicolet, Gurica and Waldie is darn near impossible - especially at Muddy Waters Stadium. But the Dragons need to come close. If the Hillsdale offense is able to do whatever it wants, TU could be in trouble.
- Avoid the shootout. Both teams can move the ball but Hillsdale definitely has the advantage at home, especially in a track meet.

Hillsdale Keys:
- Play some defense. Tiffin has shown the ability to move the ball, but against lesser competition. The Chargers need to do what they can to frustrate the Dragons and not let them gain confidence on the road.
- Offense back on track. Mark Nicolet really didn't have his best stuff at Mercyhurst last week. With that said, the Lakers have actually been pretty solid against the pass so Nicolet's struggles were not shocking. Tiffin's lone loss this season was to a Ohio Dominican club that throws the ball very well, so if the Chargers can emulate the game plan ODU used they should be able to move the ball via the air.
- No mistakes. Turnovers helped Mercyhurst stay close last week. Giving a team like Tiffin any extra help could very easily prove costly. Don't allow that to happen.

Prediction: Despite playing clubs of little to no national acclaim, the Dragons continue to rack up wins having lost only twice since the start of 2006. Hillsdale has proven itself to be more than formidable this season, but they let mistakes get in the way of being undefeated to this point. Losses against Ferris and UIndy arguably should not have happened, and Tiffin would love to add its name to the list of teams that aided in snuffing out HC's playoff hopes. Much like Northern, Hillsdale has shown they are a much better club at home and I think they will look that way again this week. Hillsdale 37, Tiffin 28.

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