No. 9 Panthers Trek West for Opening Round Matchup at No. 17 Colorado Mines

No. 9 Panthers Trek West for Opening Round Matchup at No. 17 Colorado Mines

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- For a second consecutive year, Ohio Dominican's football team qualified for the NCAA's postseason, but the Panthers will experience their first road playoff test as ODU takes on No. 17 Colorado School of Mines at 12 p.m. (MT) on Saturday.

The Panthers, ranked No. 9 nationally, enter the postseason as the fifth seed in Super Region Four with a 9-1 record overall. The Orediggers went 10-1 during the regular season and are the No. 4 seed in the region.

This will be the first road postseason game in ODU's history. The Panthers hosted two NAIA playoff games in 2007 and hosted West Texas A&M in last year's regional semifinal, falling 34-27.

Overall, though, the Panthers have won 14 consecutive games on the road after scoring a 41-9 win at Tiffin in the regular season finale last week.

CSM is making its first trip to the postseason since 2010, when the Orediggers fell 35-13 to Grand Valley State in the first round.

Saturday's matchup pairs one of the best pass offenses in the country against ODU's stingy pass defense. The Orediggers rank second nationally with 375.2 yards passing per game and are third in total offense with 522.8 yards per game.

ODU, meanwhile, allows just 180.4 yards passing per game, which is 26th in the nation, and the Panthers rank 18th in total defense (303.0 yards per game) and 10th in scoring defense (16.1 points per game.) The Panthers have only allowed one quarterback to throw for 300 yards this season (Northwood).

The Panthers faced the GLIAC's best passing offense last week and held Tiffin in check, limiting the Dragons to just 161 yards on 17-of-40 passing. Brad McCurdy and Royce Easley each had interceptions and the Panthers – despite recording just one sack – were able to maintain pressure on TU quarterback Antonio Pipken throughout the game.

Offensively, ODU tallied 485 yards and achieved a nearly perfect balance, running for 241 yards and throwing for 244. Brandon Schoen ran for 99 yards and a score and also had 45 yards receiving, and Dez Stewart, Aaron Everson and Darryl Johnson each had rushing touchdowns as well.

Mark Miller completed 17-of-24 throws for 239 yards as the Panthers, who scored on each of their first six possessions, had seven plays of 20 yards or longer in the game.

QUICK HITS

• Since 2006, ODU has an overall record of 69-27 (.719 win percentage.) The Panthers are 23-2 in their last 25 games (.920 win percentage.)
• ODU is 31-5 against opponents from Ohio since 2007 (.861 win percentage.)
• Over the past 25 games, ODU has outscored opponents 1,011-418, an average of 23.7 points per game. The Panthers have scored 30 or more points 20 times in the streak and held opponents to 14 points or fewer 14 times.
• Over the past 32 games, ODU's offensive line has allowed just 14 sacks. They have allowed just foursacks this fall, which is the third-fewest in the country. The top two teams, Harding and Lenoir-Rhyne, have attempted just 143 passes between the two of them, compared to 316 for ODU.
• This is the longest road trip in school history for the Panthers. 1,275 miles separate the two campuses.  ODU's previous long trip was 729 miles to Michigan Tech in 2010.
• ODU is averaging 38.4 points per game on the road this season while allowing 15.2 points per game.

Contact: Scott Miles
miless@ohiodominican.edu