QU at Central State
When: Noon Saturday
Where: McPherson Memorial Stadium, Wilberforce, Ohio.
2018 records: QU -- 4-7 (3-4 Great Lakes Valley Conference). Central State -- 5-5 (3-3 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference).
Radio: WGEM 1440 AM
All-time series: QU leads 1-0.
Last meeting: Oct. 27, 2012 -- The Marauders actually won the matchup at home 32-16, scoring 18 unanswered points in the second half after the Hawks opened the second half by erasing a 14-3 deficit. However, the victory was vacated after it was ruled the Marauders used an ineligible player.
Inside the matchup: The Hawks are ready to unveil the up-tempo attack first-year offensive coordinator Keith Barefield began implementing in the spring. Senior quarterback Andrew Rund won the starting job after a preseason battle with sophomore Trey Mosley, and redshirt freshman Jalen Griffin emerged as the starting tailback after a four-way battle.
Expect all four backs -- junior Oscee Calhoun, freshman Keenan Hailey and sophomore Darries Rainey are the others -- to get carries, but Griffin should see the bulk of the action.
"He's had a great fall camp," QU coach Gary Bass said of Griffin. "He reminds me of Chris Harris. He is very similar to him in his running mentality. His vision is really good."
The Hawks' ability to stay on the field offensively is vital. Last season, QU ranked sixth in the GLVC in time of possession and last in third-down conversions, successful only 27.8 percent of the time. The Hawks also were last in red zone efficiency, scoring on 62 percent of their trips inside the 20-yard line.
Improving in all three categories will take pressure off a defense looking to replace an All-American linebacker. The Hawks will be tested by the Marauders' top returning offensive weapon.
Senior running back Terraris Saffold rushed for 874 yards and nine touchdowns last season, averaging 4.4 yards per game. He also caught 36 passes for 362 yards and two touchdowns. Darius Ford is the other top returning wide receiver, having caught 22 passes for 298 yards and two scores last season.
Central State has to replace Trent Mays at quarterback and will rely heavily on a defense led by junior linebacker Kellen Abrams, who had 116 tackles and 2.5 sacks last season.
-- Matt Schuckman