Gorillas get a break after tough October

By: Brian Pommier, Team Kong Contributor
Nov 1, 2013

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After a rough four weeks that saw the Pittsburg State Gorillas’ playoff chances on the line, the team finally returns to Carnie Smith Stadium.

Finally, a Jungle Walk. Finally, the smoke and screams as they enter the field.

Finally, a chance to breathe.

The No. 7-ranked Gorillas (7-1, 6-1 MIAA) will face the 1-7 Northwestern Oklahoma State Rangers at 2 p.m. It’s a game that should stand in sharp relief against the three games since the Gorillas last played in Kansas.

After PSU beat Central Missouri 31-21, the then-undefeated Gorillas dropped a heartbreaker against then-No. 2 Northwest Missouri State Bearcats as Pitt State’s offense went AWOL.

The Gorillas want to keep that the low point in this season.

After switching things up on the offensive line last week, the Pitt State running game roared to life as the Gorillas handed No. 4 Missouri Western its first loss in a 34-24 win at St. Joseph.

Now the Gorillas will face a squad that has averaged a 42-13 loss this season. Pitt State’s offense outgains the Rangers 502 yards to 289. Northwestern Oklahoma is led by running back Javari Liggins, who has rushed for just 359 yards on 112 carries and two touchdowns. Jarion Tudman has 284 yards on 50 carries and a pair of touchdowns.

Compare that with the fortunes of PSU sophomore running back Jeff Seybold, who is knocking on the door of a 1,000-yard season. Through eight games, Seybold has amassed 910 yards and 16 touchdowns -- including one through the air.

In fact, Seybold’s 179-yard performance against Western propelled the Gorillas to a relatively easy win over the No. 4 team in the nation.

The Rangers passing numbers aren’t very strong, either. Reid Miller is completing only 46 percent of his passes for just 765 yards, four touchdowns and six picks.

That offense could make things ripe for senior linebacker Nate Dreiling to make history. Dreiling is just 13 tackles short of the PSU school record set in 1995 by Chris Brown.

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