COLORADO MESA FOOTBALL PREVIEW
Colorado Mesa (3-2, 2-1 RMAC) vs. Western New Mexico (1-3, 1-2)
Kickoff: 1 p.m., Saturday, Stocker Stadium
On the Air: 1230-AM (KEXO)
Internet: Visit http://www.cmumavericks.com for live stats and streaming video. Follow Allen Gemaehlich on Twitter (@allen_gjsports) for live in-game analysis.
Colorado Mesa won its second straight game with a 22-17 victory over New Mexico Highlands.
Western New Mexico snapped a three-game losing streak with a 25-22 victory over Colorado School of Mines.
The Mavericks are 24-9 all-time against Western New Mexico, including a 12-3 record at home. Mesa has won four of its past five meetings against the Mustangs in Grand Junction.
About Western New Mexico
■ The Mustangs’ defense ranks eighth in the RMAC, allowing 468.8 yards per game, and is ninth in scoring defense, allowing 35.5 points per game.
■ Quarterback Mitch Glasman is second in the RMAC, averaging 276.8 yards per game. The sophomore has completed 55.3 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and one interception. He was the RMAC Freshman Offensive Player of the Year last season.
■ Wide receivers Donald Byrd and Ronnell Pompey have caught 52 passes for 834 yards and six TDs. Byrd also leads the RMAC in punt return yardage per game, averaging 19.8 yards.
■ The Mustangs have scored touchdowns on eight of their nine red zone (inside opponents’ 20-yard line) chances.
■ Western New Mexico’s defense is allowing 213.5 rushing yards per game (ninth in RMAC), and its offenses rushes for a conference-worst 82 yards per game.
Western New Mexico Coach Adam Clark says
■ About last week’s win over Mines: “It was nice to finish out a game and get the win. Two of our three losses have come in the last couple minutes of the game. We could easily be 3-1. We did a lot of good things. We’ve got to play consistent and get better.”
■ About QB Mitch Glasman: “He’s a very good football player. He does a lot of good things. We’re lucky to have him. We had some Division I attention but didn’t get any offers. I stayed in touch with him.”
■ About the Mustangs’ special teams: “We’re aggressive with them and try to win games with them. We left six points on the field because of special teams. Consistency is still an issue.”
■ About the Mavericks: “Coach (Russ) Martin does a great job. Him and (Todd) Auer know what they’re doing schematically.”
■ About CMU’s running backs: “(Jake) Cimolino and (Ricky) Trinidad are both really good backs. (DJ) Hubbard is a good player.”
■ About the key to victory: “It will come down to whoever executes best. Both teams have a number of strengths and are well-coached.”
About Colorado Mesa
■ The Mavericks are tied for first in the nation in interceptions with 12. Mesa ranks eighth in the country in turnover margin (plus-1.4 per game) and 12th in turnovers gained (plus-14).
■ Colorado Mesa’s defense has limited opponents to a combined six points in the fourth quarter in five games. It ranks 19th in Division II for scoring defense (16.8 points per game).
■ Junior RB Jake Cimolino is cleared to play this week after leaving the game in the third quarter last week. He needs four yards to pass Charles Dukes for third on the Mavericks’ all-time rushing list. Cimolino is averaging 98.4 yards per game this season.
■ Senior LB Jake Edmiston is third in Division II and first in the RMAC in total tackles with 13.2 per game. He is averaging 6.8 solo tackles per game.
■ Quarterback Aric Kaiser had a good week of practice and will start, Martin said. Kaiser started the season opener, but was injured in the first game and missed the past four games.
■ Linebacker Marc Palacios was penalized last week for targeting (hitting helmet-to-helmet) and won’t play this week. He is the first CMU player to be called for targeting this season.
Colorado Mesa Coach Russ Martin says
■ About last week’s win: “There were some things that happened that were outstanding for us. Special teams played outstanding and kept them pinned with long field-position situations. Offensively, last series we go down the field 71 yards. Although we don’t score a touchdown, we scored a field goal. It changed it from a two-point game to a five-point game. They had to score a touchdown. Our defense stiffened and held.”
■ About leading Division II in interceptions: “We had a bunch in the Black Hills game alone, but also our guys understand our defense better. We’re getting pressure on the quarterbacks. We’re getting sacks and a lot of hurries. A majority of what we do forces quarterbacks to make decisions. Also, our guys are paying attention to what the offense is doing.”
■ About Western New Mexico: “They’re a good football team. They’ve lost a couple close games, but last week may be the best indicator of them of all. They beat Mines in a number of facets. Offensively, they got after it early and hung on.”
■ About QB Mitch Glasman: “He is a very talented young man. He does a great job with his reads and distributing the ball where it needs to be. He’s been in pressure situations. He’s a really good quarterback.”
■ About the Mustangs’ receivers: “(Ronnell) Pompey was a phenomenal player for them last year. (Glasman’s) got guys that can do some things and make yards after the catch. They’re not afraid to take it downtown.”
■ About the keys to victory: “We have to take care of the football. We need to score touchdowns in the red zone. They’re capable of scoring touchdowns fast. We’ve got to eliminate the big play and create turnovers. The other thing is we have to win the special-teams battle.”
— Allen Gemaehlich