Tailgate Talk: Week 1

Artwork courtesy of Harlee Mollenkopf ’17.

By Noah

Kenyon College (0-0) vs. Marietta College (0-0)

McBride Field, Gambier, Ohio.

1 p.m.

Know the Enemy

Nickname: Pioneers.

All-Time Record vs. Kenyon: 17-11-5.

Current Steak: 1-Kenyon.

Location: Marietta, Ohio.

Enrollment: 1,350.

School Anagram: I tear mat!

Notable Alumnus: Don Schaly ’59. Schaly served as skipper for the Pioneers’ baseball team from 1964-2003, bringing his team to the national championship ten times (once every four years while he was the team’s manager) and taking home a national title on three such occasions. When all was said and done, Schaly retired with a record of 1,442-329, yielding an 81.4% winning percentage.

While not an alumnus of the school, Kenyon Assistant Coach Steve Gruenberg attended Marietta College for two years before transferring.

When Last They Met

Kenyon and Marietta last played each other in 1993; to give the year some context, Snoop Doggy Dog released his very first album Doggystyle in 1993. That’s right, he had yet to even change his name to “Snoop Dogg.”

Under Head Coach Jim Meyer, the Lords defeated the Pioneers 21-10 en route to a 4-6 (3-5 NCAC) campaign.

By the Numbers

44.4- Number of points per game conceded by Marietta’s defense last season.

23- Freshmen on Kenyon’s roster.

3- Number of wins Kenyon has accumulated in its past 10 season openers.

Players to Watch

Kenyon Junior QB Jake Bates

After having his thumb severely dislocated during last season’s opener against Allegheny, Bates continued to play through the pain for the remainder of the season, but the injury had far reaching effects in Kenyon’s offense nonetheless. With Bates’ dislocated thumb inhibiting him from taking snaps under center, Kenyon’s rushing game was stunted while operating out of the shotgun. Kenyon’s passing game was also adversely affected since Bates’ injury drastically limited his ability to put a sufficient amount of ‘zip’ on his passes (see: Rich’s 2013 Season-in-Review).

With one season of Kenyon football under his belt, Bates returns with the title of Co-Captain, a testament to his leadership on the field and extensive knowledge of the Lords’ offense. While Bates is a valuable asset to the Lords in his ability to make plays both through the air and on the ground, Bates’ veteran leadership will prove critical on a team with 23 first-years and only a handful of returning starters.

Marietta Senior RB Tim Conner

An alumnus of national football powerhouse Glenville High School (OH) (pro football players Ted Ginn Jr., Troy Smith and Donte Whitner are all graduates of Glenville High), Conner garnered Third Team All-Ohio honors at the conclusion of last season. In 2013, Conner rushed for 913 yards on the season (91.3 yards per game) and broke the 100 yard-threshold in five games. Look for Conner to strike at Kenyon’s young defense from the get-go.

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