COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Winners of 20 consecutive regular season games, Ohio Dominican's football team returns home to face off against Hillsdale at noon on Saturday.
ODU, ranked No. 8 in the AFCA poll for a second straight week, last suffered a regular season setback on Oct. 6, 2012 against Ashland.
The Panthers boast arguably the best defense in the GLIAC, yielding just 280.4 yards per game and 16.0 points per game. In a pass-happy era of college football, and in spite of playing with leads in the majority of its games, ODU is holding opponents to just 160.2 yards passing per game, which ranks 17th in the nation.
ODU's defense has been particularly stingy in the red zone, allowing opponents to only score on 53.8 percent of its trips inside the Panther 20, which is ninth best in the nation. The defense also gets off the field on third downs, allowing opponents to convert just 27.4 percent of its conversions, which is 15th in the country.
The defense has been on the field for only 322 snaps, an average of 64 per game, and the Panthers have dominated the time of possession battle this season, holding the ball for over 34 minutes per game. It's a young unit, with the top nine tacklers being sophomores or juniors, led by 32 stops apiece by Austin Osborne (Jackson, Ohio) and Warren Shields (Richwood, Ohio).
In the 48-14 win over Lake Erie, the Panthers picked up 31 first downs and held a potent Lake Erie offense to just 14. ODU outgained the Storm 534-325, running for 289 yards.
Junior Brandon Schoen (Lewis Center, Ohio) set the school's all-time rushing record as he tallied 150 yards on the ground in the win, giving him 2,771 for his career. He's also now one touchdown away from setting that career mark as well, as he has 25 scores on the ground in his 24 games.
The Panthers scored the game's final 34 points last Saturday. The defense allowed just 153 yards in the final three quarters, while the offense chewed up clock and scored on touchdown drives of 13, 11, 14 and 10 plays.
Junior Brad McCurdy (Columbus, Ohio) had a season-high nine tackles to help lead the defense, while juniors Cody Culbertson (Galloway, Ohio), Da'Twane Harris (Cleveland, Ohio) and Osborne each had five tackles.
• Since 2006, ODU has an overall record of 65-26 (.714 win percentage.) The Panthers are 27-4 in their last 31 games (.871 win percentage.)
• ODU is 30-5 against opponents from Ohio since 2007 (.857 win percentage.)
• During the 20-game regular season win streak, ODU has outscored opponents 828-324, with an average margin of victory of 25.2 points per game. The Panthers have scored 30 or more points 17 times in the streak and held opponents to 14 points or fewer 11 times.
• Over the past 27 games, ODU's offensive line has allowed just 12 sacks. They have allowed just two sacks this fall, which is the seventh-fewest in the country.
• The matchup between ODU and Hillsdale features the two best passing offenses in the GLIAC, with the Panthers throwing for 268.6 yards per game and HC at 253.6.
Contact: Scott Miles