College Football

College game preview: Quincy University at McKendree

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Nov. 4, 2017 12:35 am

QU at McKendree

When: 6 p.m. Saturday

Where: Leemon Field, Lebanon, Ill.

Records: QU -- 3-6 (1-4 Great Lakes Valley Conference). McKendree -- 6-3 (4-1 GLVC).

Radio: WGEM 105.1 FM

Last meeting: Nov. 5, 2016 -- McKendree 35, QU 17. The Hawks pulled within 21-17 on Chris Harris' 3-yard touchdown run with 3:47 to go in the third quarter, but the Bearcats scored the final 14 points, which included a 64-yard punt return for a touchdown. McKendree running back Shayeen Edwards had a career-high 129 yards rushing and a touchdown, while Harris finished with 110 yards. The Bearcats sacked Hawks quarterback Robbie Kelley six times.

Scouting the Hawks: Heading into the final two regular-season games -- both on the road -- Quincy looks to end a four-game skid and avoid the longest losing streak since starting the 2012 season with six straight losses. It's going to take a better effort offensively against a stingy defense to make it happen.

The Hawks rank seventh in the GLVC in scoring offense and total offense and last in passing offense. In last week's loss to Truman State, the Hawks used three quarterbacks -- sophomore Andrew Rund, redshirt freshman Trip Gibson and junior Shane Barrett, who was converted from safety -- hoping to find a spark. It never really happened, although Gibson did throw his first career touchdown pass and Barrett looked comfortable running the option.

Look for the Hawks to continue to mix things up, especially if the running game in unable to generate any yardage. Against Truman State, the Hawks had 42 yards and two first downs on the ground.

That helps explain why they've scored just 14 points in the last three games combined. Defensively in the same stretch, the Hawks haven't been as opportunistic. They are minus-3 in turnover ratio and haven't had an interception since safety DT Christiansen picked off a pass against William Jewell. Quincy had eight interceptions in the first five games.

Scouting the Bearcats: McKendree is tough to beat at home, having won 11 of the last 12 games at Leemon Field. The lone loss came against fifth-ranked Indianapolis

Quincy has never won at Leemon Field, taking on 0-9 record on the turf surface into the game. McKendree leads the all-time series 14-4 and has won four straight.

Versatility on offense is a big reason the Bearcats have been tough to beat. Edwards, a 5-foot-8, 185-pound senior running back, became the fifth player in McKendree history to top 2,000 career yards when he hit the mark earlier this season. He currently is fourth all-time with 2,222 yards and needs just 18 yards to climb into third place. This season, Edwards has 767 yards and eight touchdowns.

Junior quarterback Reece Metcalf has thrown for 1,537 yards and 12 touchdowns with just three interceptions. He also had three touchdowns rushing.

Defensively, the Bearcats are second in the league in sacks with 28 and first with 14 interceptions. They also are second in scoring defense, allowing just 21.8 points per game. Senior defensive end Tobias Cook and senior defensive lineman Darion Simmons have 5.5 sacks apiece, while senior linebacker Austin Weitha has a team-leading 96 tackles and 11.5 tackles for loss.

-- Matt Schuckman

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