PFL Week 12 Preview

Wednesday, November 13, 2019
by Cody Bush, PFL Media Relations

All times Eastern. 


Valparaiso at Butler, Noon
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Stadium: Sellick Bowl
Series: BUT leads, 50-27    Streak: VAL, two wins
Previously: Valparaiso def. Butler, 35-17 (2018)

Jacksonville at Marist, 1 p.m.
Location: Poughkeepsie, New York
Stadium: Tenney Stadium
Series: JAC leads, 6-4    Streak: MAR, one win
Previously: Marist def. Jacksonville, 20-17 (2018)

Davidson at Stetson, 1 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: DeLand, Florida
Stadium: Spec Martin Memorial Stadium
Series: STE leads, 6-4    Streak: STE, three wins
Previously: Stetson def. Davidson, 56-53 (2018)

Dayton at Drake, 2 p.m.
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Stadium: Drake Stadium
Series: DAY leads, 26-9    Streak: DRA, one win
Previously: Drake def. Dayton, 28-17 (2018)

Morehead State at San Diego, 5 p.m.
Location: San Diego, California
Stadium: Torero Stadium
Series: SAN leads, 12-0    Streak: SAN, 12 wins
Previously: San Diego def. Morehead State, 51-34 (2018)


Valparaiso at Butler, Noon
The Hoosier Helmet will be up for grabs when Valparaiso travels down Interstate 65, Saturday. Valparaiso has won the last two meetings in the series and is seeking its first three-game win streak against Butler since winning seven straight from 1994-00. Neither team’s offense has been able to find stable footing in 2019, Butler ranking ninth (19.2 ppg) and Valparaiso 10th (18.7 ppg) in scoring offense in their six previous PFL games. Valparaiso does hold an edge defensively, ranking ahead of Butler in both scoring defense (5th vs. 8th place) and total defense (4th vs. 6th place). CRUSADER TO WATCH: Senior Jamari Booker leads that Valparaiso defensive effort with 11.2 tackles per game, ranking second among league defenders in PFL play. He also has two interceptions and two fumbles forced in league play and returned a punt for a touchdown against Central Connecticut State. BULLDOG TO WATCH: While Booker ranks second in PFL tackles, Butler senior linebacker Luke Sennett is third in PFL tackles (8.7 pg) and is one of four Butler defenders ranked among the league’s Top 20 in tackles per game.

Jacksonville at Marist, 1 p.m.
Jacksonville makes the trip north this week to face Marist in a series that has proven to be uncomfortably close for the two teams, with the last six games each decided by seven points or less. Both teams are coming off road losses in Week 11, Jacksonville falling at Drake while Marist dropped a game at Dayton. The Red Foxes offense put up 35 points – its second-straight 30-point outing – and 417 yards but could not overcome a second and third quarter outburst that saw Dayton post 38 points. Jacksonville out-gained Drake by a 383-376 margin thanks to 339 rushing yards from six different runners. But Drake’s touchdowns after an interception and missed field goal proved to be the difference. DOLPHIN TO WATCH: Calvin Turner Jr. has been the Dolphins offense in 2019, entering this weekend’s game with 1,105 total offensive yards out of Jacksonville’s 2,115 offensive yards. He is the only PFL runner with more than 1,000 rushing yards through 11 weeks this season, with 1,080 yards in 10 games with two games remaining. RED FOX TO WATCH: Quarterback Austin Day broke out for season bests in passing yardage (262 yards) and touchdown throw (3) in the loss at Dayton. His outing helped Marist to its first 300-yard passing day since Sept. 28 against Drake and its third 400-yard offensive outing this season.

Davidson at Stetson, 1 p.m.
A lot of offense is in the offing when Davidson travels to Stetson, Saturday. Both teams are averaging over 400 offensive yards in PFL play this season. The Hatters have been the more balanced team this season, averaging 218 rushing yards (4th in PFL) and 182.5 passing yards (6th in PFL). Meanwhile, the Wildcats are one of the league’s run-heavy teams, leading the league in rushing yardage (326.5 ypg) while posting the third fewest passing yards in the league (118.5 ypg). Stetson has won the last three meetings in the series with the average scoring leaning 38-32 in their favor. WILDCAT TO WATCH: Junior running back Wesley Dugger became Davidson’s all-time leading rusher at Butler Saturday, passing John Leverett’s 2004 mark of 3,165 yards. He currently sits at 3,247 yards and is 125 from his third consecutive 1,000-yard campaign. HATTER TO WATCH: Freshman running back Jalen Leary had his streak of four straight games with 100-rush yards snapped against San Diego. He needs 44 yards this week to break the modern era Stetson record for rush yards in a season and needs just 121 yards in the last 2 games to reach 1,000 rush yards for the year.

Dayton at Drake, 2 p.m.
Drake will work to keep its PFL title hopes alive when it hosts Dayton in the 35th meeting between the two teams. Drake won last season’s meeting between the teams in Dayton, 28-17, and two of the principal actors – Dayton quarterback Jack Cook and Drake running back Drew Lauer – from that game return for the 2019 edition. The game will pit the league’s No. 1 scoring offense against its No. 2 scoring defense, but probably not in the order most PFL observers are used to seeing. Dayton brings the top-rated offense to Des Moines, averaging 41.2 points per game in its six league outings. Drake owns the No. 2-rated defense, holding PFL opponents to 22.8 points and 354.8 yards per game. FLYER TO WATCH: Jack Cook passed for 194 yards but his only touchdown came on the ground in last season’s meeting. This season the Flyers quarterback is the second-ranked signal caller in both yardage (247.9 ypg) and efficiency (167.1 rating), but has thrown more TDs (29) than any other quarterback in PFL play.  BULLDOG TO WATCH: Drew Lauer ran for a game-best 136 yards and two touchdowns in last season’s meeting. He is the PFL’s No. 3 running back in rushing yardage (99.7 ypg), all-purpose yardage (124.0 ypg) and in rushing TDs (nine) this season.

Morehead State at San Diego, 5 p.m.
San Diego looks to put a wrap on the 2019 PFL Championship race with its Week 12 contest against Morehead State. The Toreros offense has found a different gear in its last three PFL outings, averaging 50 points and 567.7 yards per game in wins against Dayton, Drake and Stetson. The bulk of that offense has come on the ground, where the Toreros have averaged 287.0 yards per game. Morehead State has leaned on its passing game over its last four games, posting 300 passing yards in each of those four outings while the run game has surpassed 100 yards in only the last two games. TORERO TO WATCH: Running back Emilio Martinez had just 23 yards at Stetson after missing the Toreros’ Week 10 contest against Drake. Prior to missing that game, he broke off a 161-yard outing against Dayton. Martinez still ranks eighth among PFL runners with 66.4 yards per game this season. EAGLE TO WATCH: Quarterback Mark Pappas has moved up to third on the PFL passing yardage list (249.8 ypg) thanks to his 311.2 yards per game over the Eagles last four games. He’s one of only three PFL quarterbacks to average more than 200 yards passing in 2019 and also ranks third in touchdown passes (19).