COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Following its first regular season defeat in the past two years, Ohio Dominican's football team will look to begin a new streak as the Panthers take the road to face off against GLIAC North Division foe Northwood on Saturday.
The Panthers suffered a 34-19 setback at the hands of No. 11 Ferris State on Oct. 18, then had a bye on Oct. 25. They play a Northwood team that is 4-4 overall and coming off a 16-14 setback to rival Saginaw Valley.
Ohio Dominican enters the game ranked No. 12 in the AFCA poll and No. 13 in the D2Football.com poll. More importantly, though, the Panthers sit third in the NCAA's Super Region Four rankings. The top six teams in each of the nation's four regions qualify for the postseason, and the top four in each region host a playoff game.
This is the first meeting between ODU and Northwood since 2011, when the Panthers scored a 44-30 win in Midland.
ODU trailed Ferris State 14-13 before a turnover late in the first half led to a Bulldogs touchdown and a 21-13 lead for the visitors at the break. The Panthers drove into Ferris State territory to start the second half before another turnover halted that drive and led to an FSU field goal.
The Bulldogs then tacked on another touchdown and a field goal in the third and fourth quarters to pull away with the game and snap the Panthers' 21-game regular season win streak.
ODU finished with 376 yards of offense as quarterbacks Mark Miller and Grant Russell threw for 253 yards. Junior Dez Stewart caught eight passes for 90 yards and a score and senior Nick McKnight hauled in five passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. In his first start, freshman Aaron Everson ran for 84 yards on 19 carries, and Russell also ran for 34 yards.
Austin Osborne led the defense with a career-best 13 tackles (2.0 for loss) while also forcing a fumble. Cody Culbertson made 11 tackles and Brad McCurdy and Warren Shields each had 10 stops to also pace the defense, which allowed 459 yards to the nation's top-ranked offense.
• Since 2006, ODU has an overall record of 66-27 (.710 win percentage.) The Panthers are 21-2 in their last 23 games (.913 win percentage.)
• ODU is 30-5 against opponents from Ohio since 2007 (.857 win percentage.)
• Over the past 23 games, ODU has outscored opponents 883-395, an average of 21.2 points per game. The Panthers have scored 30 or more points 17 times in the streak and held opponents to 14 points or fewer 12 times.
• Over the past 29 games, ODU's offensive line has allowed just 12 sacks. They have allowed just two sacks this fall, which is the fifth-fewest in the country.
• The Panthers have outscored their first seven opponents 112-33 in the second halves of games and outgained them 1,496-754. ODU has outscored teams 67-14 in the fourth quarter alone.
• Since joining the GLIAC, ODU has a record of 8-6 against opponents from the North Division. ODU has a 4-5 record in games played in the state of Michigan all-time.
Contact: Scott Miles