September 1, 2006

Wildcat football team opens against Indianapolis

The Game

The Northern Michigan University Wildcats (0-0, 0-0 GLIAC) open up the 2006 campaign against the Greyhounds of the University of Indianapolis (0-0, 0-0 GLIAC).

The two team have not played since the 2003 season.

On the Air

The Bear (WIMK, 93.1 FM and WUPK, 94.1 FM) will carry the 'Cats all season long. The games are also available over the internet at www.nmu.edu/athletics, go to the For 'Cat Fans link and follow the directions for WNMU. Nate Rose and John Focke will bring you the action.

The Bear has a sports show on every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. Selected NMU coaches and staff will appear on the show from time-to-time.

The Coaches

Bernie Anderson is in his first season at NMU. He spent 19 seasons as the head coach at Michigan Tech where he was 93-96-0.

Joe Polizzi is in his 13th season at Indianapolis. He is 63-66-1.
 
The Series

NMU holds a 10-4 advantage over the Greyhounds. The two teams have not played since the 2003 season. The 'Cats currently have a two-game winning streak against UIndy. NMU won 24-10 during the 2002 season in Indianapolis and 49-17 in Marquette during the 2003 season.

NMU has won four of the past five games against UIndy.
 
Looking at Indianapolis

UIndy will be looking to break a 0-7 series record all-time at NMU in the season opener. The Greyhounds return 18 starters, nine on each side of the ball.

UIndy finished the 2005 season at 6-5 overall and 5-5 in the GLIAC, which was good for sixth place. 

Casey Gillin, a transfer from Ball State is in his second season with the Greyhounds. Gillin concluded the 2005 season with 1,780 yards passing. Craig Jenkins is the top returning ground gainer with his 623 yards on 133 carries. Sam Elmore had six TDs in 2005 from his fullback spot. Kevin Sanford and Justin Russell should be on the field for UIndy's opening drive. Sanford led the squad in 2005 with 42 receptions for 543 yards and four touchdowns.

Brandon Umphress will anchor the defensive from his linebacking spot. He was second on the team in 2005 with 67 total tackles (38 solo and 29 assisted). 

The defensive secondary has some holes to fill. Look for Kenneth Akridge and Kevin Shaw as both have starting experience. 

Jimmy Fleshman a Second Team All-GLIAC selection last year returns to the defensive line. He tallied five sacks for the season.

Two freshmen will handle the kicking duties. Kyle Mossbrucker will handle the place kicking duties while Tyran Fakes will do the punting.      

A Look at the NMU Offense

Buddy Rivera is back to direct the Wildcat attack. He accounted for over 2,500 yards of total offense last year and was a Second Team All-GLIAC selection. Brad Anderson, who led the 'Cats on the ground last year is back. He had 561 yards on 127 attempts.

Vincent Mayfield is gone as Fred Wells is the leading returning receiver with his 411 yards on 32 receptions. 

The offensive line will start a junior (Dan Ryan), three sophomores (Kris Krempien, Lucas Domitrovich and Cody Hanson) and two redshirt freshmen (Jack Rustman and Austin Hughes).   

The Kicking Game

Jon Laue and Thomas Labuz will handle the kicking chores. Laue will use his leg for the placekicking duties while Labuz will handle the punting. 

Labuz punted the ball 56 times in 2005 for 1,939 yards (34.6 average). Kyle Marotz and Nathan Yelk handled the kickoff duties last year.

A Look at the NMU Defense

The 'Cats will have a little different look on defense. Up front along on the line will be at the ends Lamont Bender and Tyler Larson. Kentin Lathrope at the nose guard and Mike Mahloch at the tackle will round out the front four.

The linebackers will line up with Jeremy Nelson, Nathan Yelk, Nicholas Bloch and Eric Mason.

Travis Holmes, Alex Grignon and Corbin Walker open up in the secondary.

Speed It Up

The NCAA has come up with new rules which will cause the game clock to start on the referee's signal rather than the snap of the ball, as in previous year. 

For example the clock starts when the toe meets ball and when a team is in possession of the ball at the end of scrimmage kick down.

The clock will be stopped and started on the ready for play when a team is awarded a first down. It could also happen during a referee's timeout or at the referee's discretion. 

This and That
  • NMU will play its next two games on the road against Hillsdale (Sept. 2) and Saginaw Valley (Sept. 23)
  • NMU will be off on Saturday, Sept. 16
  • Homecoming is against Ferris State on Sept. 30
Next Week

NMU will hit the road for two games. First up is a clash at Hillsdale on Saturday, Sept. 9.



Prepared By
David Faiella
Sports Information Director
906-227-1013