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Drake Opens 119th Football Season Hosting Grand View

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: August 28, 2012
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THE STORYLINE: The Drake Bulldogs kick off their 119th season of intercollegiate football on Thursday, Aug. 30 at 7:00 p.m. (CDT) when they host cross-town foe Grand View in Drake Stadium.

ABOUT THE VIKINGS: Grand View of the NAIA Mid-States Football Association Midwest Division, enters the contest with a record of 1-0. The Vikings won their opener 26-6 at home this past Saturday (Aug. 24) versus Graceland University. Grand View entered the game ranked 15th in the NAIA poll. The Vikings are led by fifth-year head coach Mike Woodley, who carries a 25-19 record into Thursday's matchup, and was the 2009 MSFA Coach of the Year. Woodley's son, Matt, is a former Drake basketball player who is the head basketball coach at Truman State after serving as head coach at Waukee (Iowa) High School. Matt Woodley was a two-time honorable mention All-Missouri Valley Conference selection and was the Bulldogs' team MVP his senior season.

DRAKE-GRAND VIEW SERIES:
This will be the third meeting all-time between Drake and Grand View. The first matchup came in 2009 when the Bulldogs defeated the Vikings 22-0 at Drake Stadium in a season-opening game on Sept. 5.  A year ago, the Bulldogs earned a 28-21 overtime triumph against Grand View on Sept. 10 in Drake Stadium.

MEDIA PROCEDURES: To arrange interviews with Drake football players and coaches, please contact Assistant Athletic Communications Director Sean Palchick in advance (sean.palchick@drake.edu). Availability can be arranged either before or after practices, which generally run from 3:30-5:30 p.m. during a typical game week. Credential requests should also be directed to Palchick at least one day in advance of the game.

IN OUR LAST MEETING:
Drake 28, Grand View 21 (Sept. 10, 2011)
DES MOINES, Iowa -
Drake came from behind to defeat Grand View 28-21 in overtime on Sept. 10, 2011 before a crowd of 4,215 in the home opener at Drake Stadium.

The Bulldogs tied the game at 21 with eight seconds left in regulation when quarterback Mike Piatkowski threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to running back Nathan Paddock on a 4th-and-goal play.
Piatkowski struck again on the first possession of overtime, finding wide receiver Drew Blackmon for an 11-yard score to give Drake a 28-21 lead.

The Bulldogs' defense came up big on Grand View's overtime possession by forcing a fumble on 3rd-and-5 from the Drake 20-yard line. Linebacker Travis Merritt stripped the ball from the Vikings' Colt Matthews, and it was recovered by defensive end Brandon Coleman at the 10-yard line to seal the victory and set off a wild celebration on the field.

Grand View outgained Drake 381 yards to 369, while Drake managed 20 first downs to Grand View's 17. The Bulldogs converted 5 of 13 (38.5 percent) third-down opportunities, while the Vikings converted 8 of 17 (47.1 percent).

It was just the third overtime game for Drake, and first since Oct. 25, 2003, a 51-45 loss at Valparaiso. Drake won its first overtime game 49-42 on Oct. 12, 2002 vs. Albany at Drake Stadium.

Piatkowski finished the night with 333 yards on 25-of-40 passing, with three touchdowns and one interception, which came on a Hail Mary pass at the end of the first half.

Blackmon led all receivers with 118 yards and two touchdowns, while pulling in nine receptions.
Wide receiver Joey Orlando caught four passes for 66 yards, Paddock caught four for 62 and wide receiver Nick Rosa snagged three for 36 yards. Pat Cashmore led Drake in rushing with 45 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.

Defensively, the Bulldogs were led by Merritt with 10 tackles (5 solo), followed by defensive tackle David Witkiewicz with nine (5 solo), including one sack (-7).

Drake was unable to take advantage of several opportunities earlier in the second half. The Bulldogs recovered a Grand View fumble at the Vikings' 22-yard line with 5:22 to play in the game, trailing 21-14, but turned it back over on downs.

Grand View had broken a 14-14 tie with 10:28 to play in the fourth quarter on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Greg Charles to wide receiver Darin Davis. The breakthrough for Grand View came after threatening on its two previous possessions, but coming up empty.

Drake's special teams and defense made big plays on back-to-back Grand View possessions in the third quarter to keep the score tied. The Vikings took the opening possession of the second half and drove to the Bulldogs' 3-yard line, when Erik Moore's 20-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Drake cornerback Dustin Davis.

After a three-and-out by Drake, Grand View again moved inside the Bulldogs' 5-yard line, but was stopped on 4th-and-goal from the inside the 1-yard line to keep the score tied at 14.

The score was tied at 14 at halftime after an entertaining second quarter of big plays by both offenses.
Grand View broke a 7-7 tie at the 8:18 mark of the quarter when quarterback Greg Charles connected with wide receiver Darin Davis, who broke several tackles along his own sideline near midfield and turned it into a 69-yard scoring play.

Drake struck back quickly on the first play of its following possession. Piatkowski hit Blackmon in stride at the Grand View 30-yard line and outraced the defense to make it a 70-yard touchdown play to tie the score at 14 with 8:02 remaining in the half.

The Bulldogs looked crisp right out of the gate, scoring on their first possession.  Drake took the opening kickoff and drove 68 yards in 13 plays for a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead. Cashmore scored on a 5-yard run to cap the 6:09 drive.

DRAKE IN SEASON OPENERS: Drake is 69-43-6 (.610) all-time in season-opening games. The Bulldogs are 2-2 in such games under fifth-year head coach Chris Creighton. The game against the Vikings marks the fourth time in five seasons under Creighton that Drake has opened at home.  The Bulldogs own victories over Upper Iowa (17-13 in 2008) and Grand View (22-0 in 2009) in that span while falling to Lehigh (28-14) in 2010.

DRAKE IN HOME OPENERS:
Drake is 8-3 in its last 11 home openers, 3-1 under head coach Chris Creighton.

HEAD COACH CHRIS CREIGHTON: With one succinct message, Chris Creighton sets the tone for the Drake football program.

"My vision for the program has always been to make playing football at Drake one of the most incredible experiences of our players' lives."  - Chris Creighton, Head Coach

That experience transcends the football field and the classroom, extending to every aspect of his student-athletes' lives. Creighton in his career has taken his teams on three overseas trips, including Drake's May 2011 trip to Tanzania, and ventures to Austria and Panama while head coach at Division III Wabash College.

Creighton demonstrated again in 2011 that the all-around excellence he seeks for his program is just as strong on the field as off. His fourth Bulldog team won nine games and tied for the Pioneer Football League title with a 7-1 conference record. It was Drake's fifth PFL crown--first since 2004--and represented the seventh conference championship for Creighton in 15 seasons as a head coach at three schools.

The 9-2 ledger in 2011 brought Creighton's overall record at Drake to 30-14, for a .682 winning percentage--best in school history. His career coaching record of 125-38 (.767) in 15 seasons on the sidelines ranks in the top 20 for winning percentage among active coaches with at least five years at four-year institutions.

The Bulldogs' head coach was recognized for the job he did by being named one of 20 finalists for the 2011 Eddie Robinson FCS Coach of the Year Award. A league-leading 18 Bulldogs received All-PFL honors, including 10 first- or second-teamers, and a PFL-best nine Drake student-athletes were named Academic All-PFL. In addition, a school-record 61 Bulldogs were named to the PFL Academic Honor Roll for achieving a grade-point average of 3.0 or above.

Entering the 2012 season, Drake has won 28 of its last 38 games dating back to the midpoint of Creighton's first season with the Bulldogs in 2008. Drake currently has a 10-game home winning streak, extending Creighton's coaching record at Drake Stadium to an astonishing 20-3 (.870), best all-time by a Bulldogs head coach. His teams have posted three consecutive top three finishes in the PFL, and his 30 wins are the most by a Drake head coach in his first seasons on the job.

The 2011 Bulldogs ranked second in the PFL and 12th in the FCS in passing efficiency (149.23), and 4th PFL/17th FCS in passing yards (272.5), behind PFL Offensive Player of the Year quarterback Mike Piatkowski. Now a fifth-year senior, he turned in one of the most prolific passing seasons in school history under Creighton's guidance, and climbed to No. 2 in nearly every Drake career statistical category.

Drake's defense in 2011 was even more dominant, leading the PFL (2nd FCS) in rushing defense (77.2), scoring defense (17.8, 7th FCS), tackles for loss (7.7, 13th FCS), yards per pass play allowed (4.4, tie) and red zone defense (62.9%), and ranking second in total defense (295.5, 10th FCS) and third in sacks (3.6, 5th FCS).

Creighton was named a winner of the Giant Steps Award presented by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports as part of National Student-Athlete Day on April 6, 2011. Creighton, awarded for the Coaching category, was one of just five 2011 winners of the Giant Steps Award, given annually to individuals who use sport to positively affect social change, actualizing the mission of the NCAS. The awards honor student-athletes, athletic administrators, civic leaders, coaches, parents, organizations, and other individuals who demonstrate an outstanding ability to manage life on and off the field, and who demonstrate a commitment to the betterment of society.

The 2010 Bulldogs featured a defense that ranked sixth in the nation among FCS schools (2nd PFL) in rush defense (94.2), eighth (3rd PFL) in sacks (3.0) and 18th (2nd PFL) in tackles for loss (7.4). In addition, the special teams excelled in punt coverage (5th NCAA FCS/1st PFL, 3.4), kickoff coverage (5th NCAA/1st PFL, 16.1) and punt return average (15th NCAA/1st PFL; 13.53).

Creighton's Bulldogs also featured eight players named to the Academic All-PFL team (three 1st-team, five 2nd-team) and a then school-record 55 earning a place on the PFL's Academic Honor Roll.

In 2009, picked to finish sixth in the preseason coaches' poll, Creighton guided Drake to an 8-3 record, including a 6-2 third-place finish in the Pioneer Football League. Drake matched its best nine-game start in history (8-1) in 2009, while riding a six-game mid-season winning streak to bring Creighton's two-year record at the school to 14-8.

Creighton's first Drake club in 2008 went 6-5 and finished in a tie for fourth in the PFL.

Ranked fourth among all active NCAA Division III football coaches in career winning percentage upon his hire at Drake, Creighton was named the 25th head football coach of the Bulldogs on Dec. 22, 2007.

Creighton served as head coach at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind., from 2001-07 where he constructed a 63-15 record (.808) with his teams winning four North Coast Athletic Conference championships, while competing in three NCAA Division III playoffs.

During his last three years at Wabash, Creighton led the Little Giants to a 30-5 record (.857) including three straight league championships and appearances in the 2005 and 2007 NCAA Division III playoffs.
Wabash posted a 11-2 record in 2007, competing in the NCAA Division III playoffs while being ranked No. 8 in the final NCAA Division III coaches poll. Wabash went 12-1 in 2002 and 11-1 in 2005, capping both seasons with appearances in the NCAA Division III playoffs.

As offensive coordinator at Wabash, Creighton's teams averaged 35 points per game with the multiple offense producing the school's all-time leading rusher and passer. Three starting quarterbacks received All-America honors.

Under Creighton, Wabash won conference championships in 2002, '05, '06 and '07. He coached 83 all-conference players, including seven who earned conference player of the year honors, along with 13 All-Americans. Creighton was named North Coast Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2002, '05 and '07, as well as the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1997.

Creighton was head coach at Ottawa (Kan.) University from 1997-2000, compiling a record of 32-9 (.780).

The Seattle, Wash., native produced one of the greatest single season turnarounds in NAIA history during his first year at Ottawa in 1997. Inheriting a team that posted a record of 1-8 the previous season, Creighton guided his club to a 9-2 finish en route to capturing its first Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference title since 1972. He also led Ottawa to a conference championship in 2000, along with appearances in the NAIA playoffs in '97 and 2000.

Creighton served as offensive coordinator at Concordia (Ill.) from 1991-92 and Manchester (Ind.) from 1993-96 before becoming head coach at Ottawa.

Six former assistants who worked under Creighton have gone on to become collegiate coordinators and/or head coaches: Steve Ryan (Ottawa) has been head coach at Morningside College for 10 years; Brian Ward (Wabash, Drake) was head coach at McPherson College (2006-08) and is now defensive coordinator at Western Illinois; Neal Neathery (Ottawa, Wabash, Drake) is defensive coordinator at Texas-San Antonio; Matt Jeter (Drake) is defensive coordinator at Central Missouri and Wendell Smith (Ottawa) is special teams coordinator at Ottawa, while Tom Allen (Wabash, Drake) is now special teams coordinator and linebackers coach at Ole Miss.

As an All-America quarterback, Creighton led Kenyon (Ohio) College to its only North Coast Athletic Conference title in 1989 and was named conference player of the year after setting single-season conference records for passing yardage (2,843) and touchdowns (29). He was inducted into the Kenyon College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.

Creighton earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College in 1991 and a master's degree from Concordia (Ill.) University in 1993.

Chris and his wife, Heather, have two daughters, Hallie (8) and Kate (6) and a son, Luke (5).

LEADERSHIP FROM THE CAPTAINS:
Drake's players voted during the summer to select team captains and chose fifth-year seniors Avery Fuhs (Chariton, Iowa/Chariton), Tyler Moorehead (Mason City, Iowa/Newman Catholic) and Mike Piatkowski (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South) to serve in that role.

BULLDOGS AMONG THE BEST: Drake ranks No. 20 in overall victories (572) among the 123 schools that make up the Division I Football Championships Subdivision (FCS). This week's game will be the 1,087th in 119 years of football for the school, dating back to the initial campaign in 1893. The Bulldogs' all-time record is 572-485-29 (.539).

TOP NOTES:

  • The 2012 Bulldogs will seek to win back-to-back Pioneer Football League championships for the first time. Drake's previous titles came in 1995, '98, 2000 (co-champions) and '04.
  • Five Bulldogs who earned All-PFL recognition last year return in 2012, including first-team All-PFL quarterback and Offensive Player of the Year Mike Piatkowski and Freshman Defensive Player of the Year linebacker Travis Merritt (Johnston, Iowa/Johnston). Also back are two-time first-team All-PFL linebacker Tyler Moorehead, second-team defensive end Brandon Coleman (Cary, Ill./Cary-Grove) and honorable mention tight end Kevin Marshall (Glen Ellyn, Ill. (Glenbard South).
  • Coleman, Marshall, Moorehead and Piatkowski also have been named to the College Football Performance Awards preseason Watch List at their positions.
  • Quarterback Mike Piatkowski, the 2011 PFL Offensive Player of the Year, enters the season needing just 942 passing yards to become the No. 1 passer in school history. With 6,927, he trails only Ira Vandever (7,868; 1999-2002), after a 2011 season in which he passed for 2,934 yards, second most in school history.
  • Piatkowski, the school record-holder in completions (595) and completion percentage, also needs just 14 touchdown passes to become No. 1 in that category as well (Vandever, 67; 1999-2002). Last year he threw 25, second-most in a season in school history.
  • Though the Bulldogs lost 52 percent of their pass-catching targets from 2011, they return the QB who threw 97 percent of those pass completions.
  • Tight end Kevin Marshall has earned 2012 preseason Watch List status from the College Football Performance Awards after emerging as a new favorite target of Piatkowski's in 2011. He caught a career-high 33 passes for 280 yards (8.5) and three touchdowns to earn honorable mention All-PFL honors last year.
  • Four Bulldogs who earned Academic All-PFL accolades in 2011 return this season, including one first-teamer (Moorehead) and three second-teamers (Fuhs, Coleman and Merritt).
  • Each of the top three tacklers, and four of the top five, return in 2012 from a defensive unit that ranked No. 2 in the FCS (No. 1 PFL) in rushing yards allowed (77.2) and No. 7 (No. 1 PFL) in points allowed (17.8). The four are: Moorehead (78 tackles), Merritt (66), Michael Ratelle (63) and Coleman (51).
  • In addition, a defense that led the PFL and ranked No. 13 in the FCS in tackles for loss returns the top three players in that category, in Moorehead (21.) Coleman (16.5) and Anthony Gianaras (Mundelein, Ill./Mundelein) (9.5), and the personnel who recorded 61.0 of the team's 85.0 TFLs.
  • The Bulldogs were one of the nation's top defenses in quarterback sacks (5th FCS, 3rd PFL), and return the top three players in that category, including Coleman (12.0; 10th FCS), Moorehead (10.0) and Gianaras (5.0). Overall, players who accounted for 30.5 of Drake's 39 sacks in 2011 are back in 2012.
  • Creighton, who was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson FCS Coach of the Year Award in 2011, has coached his team to wins in 28 of their last 38 games, and has a home record of 20-3 (.870), including an active streak of 10 consecutive wins at Drake Stadium.
  • Drake's defensive coaching staff takes on a new look in 2012, including a new coordinator in Brad McCaslin, formerly the defensive coordinator and associate head coach at Nebraska-Omaha, where he coached for 14 seasons.
  • Also new to the coaching staff is defensive backs coach/recruiting coordinator Todd Frakes, an 11-year coaching veteran who spent nine seasons on the staff at Centre College in Danville, Ky; defensive line coach Dain Taylor, the former Drake star who was an All-American in 2010; and cornerbacks coach Kahlil Carter, who played 11 seasons in the Arena Football League, Canadian Football League and NFL Europe.

BULLDOGS LAND FIVE PLAYERS ON PRESEASON ALL-PFL TEAM: Five Drake Bulldogs earned positions on the 2012 preseason All-Pioneer Football League team. Defensive end Brandon Coleman, tight end Kevin Marshall, linebackers Travis Merritt and Tyler Moorehead and quarterback Mike Piatkowski.

Piatkowski and Moorehead were first-team All-PFL performers on Drake's conference co-champion squad in 2011, while Coleman was a second-team choice and Marshall earned honorable mention.

Piatkowski is the reigning PFL Offensive Player of the Year and Merritt was Freshman Defensive Player of the Year.

Coleman, a senior from Cary, Ill. (Cary-Grove) is coming off a stellar junior season in which he recorded a team-high 12.0 sacks (-76) and led all Bulldog defensive linemen with 51 tackles (31 solo) in  his first year as a starter. Coleman ranked fourth in the PFL and 10th in the nation (FCS) in sacks, and added 16.5 tackles for loss. He earned PFL Defensive Player of the Week for Drake's win at Butler, Sept. 24, 2011, with 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss.

Marshall, a senior from Glen Ellyn, Ill. (Glenbard South) had a breakout season in 2011, in his second season of eligibility. He caught a career-high 33 passes to rank fourth on the team and totaled 280 receiving yards (8.5) and three touchdowns in his first year as a full-time starter. He had four games with five receptions. In his first year of play, in 2010, the 6'-4", 237-pound Marshall caught two passes for 49 yards (24.5) and one touchdown.

Merritt, a redshirt-sophomore from Johnston, Iowa (Johnston), ranked second on the team in tackles last year with 66 (38 solo), as well as one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in his first year as a starter. He also earned second-team Academic All-PFL honors.

Moorehead, a fifth-year senior from Mason City, Iowa (Newman Catholic), is a 2012 co-captain for Drake, who has earned first-team All-Pioneer Football League honors each of the past two seasons, and was a first-team Capital One Academic All-District choice in 2011. Moorehead has led the Bulldogs in tackles each of the past two seasons. Last year he recorded 78 stops (55 solo), including 10.5 sacks (-87) and 21.0 tackles for loss (-109), along with two interceptions, three forced fumbles, two pass breakups and two blocked kicks. Moorehead has started all 33 games in his career and recorded 218 tackles (150 solo), including 14.5 sacks and 40.0 tackles for loss.

Piatkowski, a co-captain and fifth-year senior from Wheaton, Ill. (Warrenville South), enters his final season as the Bulldogs' signal-caller within reach of most of the school's career passing records. In 2011 he climbed from 11th to second in career passing yards, and now stands at 6,927. Coming off a 2,934-yard season, he needs just 941 to catch all-time leader Ira Vandever (7,868; 1999-2002).

Already the school's career leader in completions (595) and completion percentage (62.3%), Piatkowski's 54 touchdown passes leave him just 13 behind Vandever in that category.

In his junior season Piatkowski ranked 11th in the nation (FCS) in passing efficiency (151.4; 1st PFL) and 21st in total offense (253.8; 5th PFL), and posted three 300-yard passing games. He also threw 25 touchdown passes, the second-highest single-season total in Drake history.

Drake Football Picked Second In Preseason PFL Coaches' Poll:  The Drake Bulldogs are picked to finish second in the 2012 preseason Pioneer Football League Coaches' Poll behind the team with which they tied for the conference title a year ago-the San Diego Toreros. The Bulldogs received one first-place vote.

San Diego received eight of a possible nine first place votes and 79 of 81 possible points as coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team in the poll. Drake received one first place vote and 71 possible points. Both the Toreros and Bulldogs finished the 2011 campaign with identical 7-1 records, San Diego winning the regular-season meeting between the two teams. The squads will meet again this season with Drake hosting San Diego in an Oct. 6 contest at Drake Stadium.

Jacksonville was picked to finish third with 65 points. Dayton picked up the remaining first-place vote and 56 total points to finish fourth in the preseason poll. Campbell rounded out the poll's top half with 45 points for fifth place.

Marist (6th, 42 points), Butler (7th, 34), Morehead State (8th, 27), Davidson (9th, 20) and Valparaiso (10th, 11) rounded out the PFL Preseason Poll.

FIVE BULLDOGS NAMED TO PHIL STEELE'S PRESEASON ALL-PFL SQUAD: Drake landed five players on Phil Steele's 2012 Preseason All-Pioneer Football League Teams.

First-team selections include quarterback Mike Piatkowski, tight end Kevin Marshall, defensive end Brandon Coleman and linebackers Travis Merritt and Tyler Moorehead.

PIATKOWSKI MOVES UP CAREER PASSING CHART: Drake QB Mike Piatkowski climbed from seventh to second on Drake's career passing yards list last season, and now has 6,927. He began 2011 with 3,993 yards, and moved past previous No. 6 Rick Casko (3,935; 1977-80) at North Dakota (9/1); current Drake wide receivers coach and then-No. 5 Jeff Martin (4,365; 1973-76) vs. Grand View (9/10); previous No. 4 Ron Royer (4,677) vs. Missouri S&T; previous No. 3 Gary Yagelski (4,795) at Butler (10/24) and previous No. 2 Connor Jostes (6,525) vs. Jacksonville (11/5). The top five list is below:

DRAKE CAREER PASSING YARDS LIST
1) 7,868-Ira Vandever (1999-2002)
2) 6,927-Mike Piatkowski (2009-present)
2) 6,525-Connor Jostes (2002-05)
4) 4,795-Gary Yagelski (1979-82)
5) 4,677-Ron Royer (1963-66)

NUMBERS TO WATCH:
942 - Passing yards needed by Mike Piatkowski to break Drake's record for career passing yards. In this his final season of eligibility, he has a legitimate shot to top the mark of 7,868 (Ira Vandever, 1999-2002) in 2012.

62.3%-Career completion percentage for Piatkowski (595-955); best in school history. His 62.8% mark in 2009 (203-323) is the best single-season figure ever by a Bulldog, and he completed 65.3 percent of his passes in 2011 (231-354).

AT HOME IN DRAKE STADIUM: Drake has won 10 home games in a row and is 20-3 at Drake Stadium since Chris Creighton became head coach in 2008. That matches the 10-game home winning streak fashioned by the 1995-97 Bulldogs. Under Coach Creighton, Drake is 14-2 in PFL home games, including winning each of its last eight conference games at Drake Stadium.

OVERTIME NOT SO COMMON OCCURRENCE FOR DRAKE: Drake's Sept. 10, 2011, overtime win against Grand View was just the third played by the Bulldogs, and the first since Oct. 25, 2003. That game was a 51-45 loss at Valparaiso. Drake's first overtime game came a year earlier, Oct. 12, 2002, when the Bulldogs defeated Albany 49-42 in double overtime at Drake Stadium. Drake is 2-0 at home in overtime games and 0-1 on the road.

RADIO/TV: The game will be broadcast on KRNT 1350 AM with Chuck Reed handling the play-by-play. Fans also can listen to the game free via the web at www.GoDrakeBulldogs.com, or purchase a subscription for video.

TICKETS:
Fans may purchase tickets to Saturday's game by calling the Drake Ticket Office at 515-271-DOGS (3647), or going online to www.GoDrakeBulldogs.com.

PREGAME TAILGATE: All fans are invited to enjoy the pregame tailgate activities at Drake Stadium. The tailgate will open in the west lots of the stadium at 5:00 p.m. Thursday. A variety of activities and a Kids Zone provide fun for the whole family. A limited number of reserved parking passes are available; to request a pass call (515) 271-4003. All other parking is on a first-come, first-served basis, so arrive early. Charcoal grills and glass containers are prohibited.

UP NEXT:  The Bulldogs welcome an old friend back to Des Moines on Saturday, Sept. 8, when Montana State comes to Drake Stadium for a 6 p.m. (CT) kickoff, led by sixth-year head coach Rob Ash, the winningest head coach in Drake football history. Ash left Drake in 2007 after 18 seasons-and 125 victories-to take over the Bobcats' program. A year later, Drake hired Chris Creighton as head coach, and Creighton has now registered the highest career winning percentage by a Bulldogs head coach, at .682 (30-14), just above Ash's percentage of .655.

THE LAST TIME IT HAPPENED:
Last time Drake played an overtime game -at Drake 28, Grand View 21 (one overtime), Sept. 10, 2011
Last time Drake played an overtime game on road -Valparaiso 51, Drake 45, (one overtime), Oct. 25, 2003
Last shutout by Drake - 50-0 vs. Valparaiso, Oct. 22, 2011
Last shutout by Drake at home - 50-0 vs. Valparaiso, Oct. 22, 2011
Last time Drake shut out - 16-0 at North Dakota, Sept. 1, 2011
Last time Drake shut out at home - 37-0 by San Diego, Oct. 21, 2006
Last Drake kickoff return for touchdown - 90 yards, Augustine Agyei vs. Waldorf, Sept. 8, 2007
Last Drake punt return for a touchdown - 49 yards, Mike Lahart vs. Marist, Oct. 2, 2010
Last time Drake blocked a punt for a touchdown - 28 yards, Brent Shelton vs. Missouri S&T, Sept. 17, 2011
Last time Drake blocked a punt for a safety - Mike Bialas vs. Butler, Oct. 6, 2007
Last Drake pass interception for a touchdown - 65 yards, Jake Underwood vs. Valparaiso, Oct. 22, 2011
Last Drake fumble return for a touchdown - 22 yards, Mike Piatkowski vs. Davidson, Oct. 23, 2010
Last Drake player to rush for 100 yards - 160 (35 carries) Patrick Cashmore vs. Jacksonville, Nov. 5, 2011
Two Drake players 100+ rush yards same game - 101 yards (19 carries), Willie Cashmore; 216 yards in (27 carries), Scott Phaydavong vs. Jacksonville, Nov. 10, 2006
Last Drake player to have 100 or more yards receiving - 163 yards (5 receptions, 2 TDs), Nathan Paddock at Morehead State, Oct. 8, 2011
Last Drake player to pass for more than 300 yards - 310 yards, Mike Piatkowski at Morehead State, Oct. 8, 2011
Last Drake player to rush for three touchdowns - 3, Scott Phaydavong vs. Valparaiso Sept. 29, 2007
Last Drake player to catch three touchdowns - 3, Jason Jones vs. Jacksonville, Oct. 4, 2003
Last Drake player to pass for four touchdowns - 4, Mike Piatkowski vs. Dayton, Nov. 12, 2011
Last Drake player to pass for five touchdowns - 5, Connor Jostes vs. Upper Iowa, Nov. 6, 2004
Last Drake player to score three touchdowns - 3, Scott Phaydavong vs. Valparaiso, Sept. 29, 2007
Last Drake player to make four field goals - 4, Billy Janssen at Morehead State, Oct. 8, 2011



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