COLUMBUS, Ohio -- After dispatching of No. 17 Colorado School of Mines last Saturday, Ohio Dominican's football team travels to Michigan to take on Ferris State, the nation's fourth-ranked team, at noon this Saturday.
The Panthers are 10-1 and ranked No. 8 in the nation and fifth in the region, with their lone loss of the season coming to Ferris State by a 34-19 score on Oct. 18. The Bulldogs are undefeated (11-0) and earned a bye in the opening round of the playoffs by virtue of being the top seed in the region.
For a second straight week, the Panthers will be tested by an offense that puts up over 500 yards per game and scores more than 40 points per game. ODU held Mines' offense largely in check, limiting the Orediggers to 16 points and 395 yards over the first three and a half quarters, building an 18-point lead in the process. CSM entered the game averaging 40.5 points and 522.8 yards per game.
Ferris State, meanwhile, leads the nation in offense, entering the game averaging 533.8 yards per game, and the Bulldogs rank second nationally with 47.8 points per game. They finished with 459 yards against ODU in October.
The Panthers feature the nation's 11th-best scoring defense, holding the opposition to 16.7 points per game. ODU has been particularly stingy in the red zone as the opposition has scored on less than 60 percent of its trips inside the Panther 20.
ODU registered five sacks last week, including two from Di'Andre Harrison (Columbus, Ohio), and the Panthers broke up eight passes, led by three from Billy Eakins (Pickerington, Ohio). Austin Osborne (Jackson, Ohio) led the way with 12 tackles and Cameron Kohl (Hilliard, Ohio) set a career-best with 11 stops. Brad McCurdy (Columbus, Ohio) had 10 tackles and an interception as well.
On offense, Dez Stewart (Cincinnati, Ohio) had a huge game, catching two passes of 49 yards and another for a 68 yard touchdown. He also returned a punt 35 yards and finished with 166 receiving yards. Brandon Schoen (Lewis Center, Ohio) rushed for 112 yards, putting the game away with a 29-yard TD run in the fourth, and Mark Miller (Cincinnati, Ohio) threw for a season-high 313 yards on 18-of-27 passing.
• Since 2006, ODU has an overall record of 70-27 (.722 win percentage.) The Panthers are 24-2 in their last 26 games (.923 win percentage.)
• ODU is 31-5 against opponents from Ohio since 2007 (.861 win percentage.)
• Over the past 26 games, ODU has outscored opponents 1,045-441, an average of 23.2 points per game. The Panthers have scored 30 or more points 21 times in that stretch and held opponents to 14 points or fewer 14 times.
• Over the past 33 games, ODU's offensive line has allowed just 15 sacks. They have allowed just four sacks this fall, which is the fifth-fewest in the country.
• The Panthers have won 15 consecutive road games, dating back to 2012.
• This is the first time the Panthers have played the same opponent twice in a season.
• ODU has a 2-2 record all-time in the playoffs, with this being the team's third trip since 2007.
Contact: Scott Miles