INDIANAPOLIS – The fifth-ranked UIndy football team (10-0, 7-0) upped its Division II-high winning streak to 14 with a 43-34 win against visiting Missouri S&T (6-4, 4-2 GLVC) Saturday night. The Greyhounds locked up the outright Great Lakes Valley Conference title while moving to 10-0 for the first time in program history.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After struggling defensively in the first 30 minutes, the Greyhounds abruptly turned the tables in the second half. UIndy faced a season-high 11-point deficit at the break but out-scored the Miners 23-0 in the third quarter alone. The Hounds recovered a pair of S&T fumbles in that fatal third period while racking up six of its season-high seven sacks in the second half.
Quarterback Jake Purichia found three different Greyhounds with touchdown throws in the third, including Daveon Bell (5 yds), Malik Higgins (25 yds) and Garrett Willis (17 yds).
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– Defensive end Jacob Schmatz racked up four sacks, most by a Greyhound since Jimmy Fleshman got four versus Mercyhurst in 2005. No Greyhound has had more than four sacks since at least 2002 – the first year single-game sack info is available.
– UIndy’s team sack total of seven is also the most since at least 2002.
– Freshman running back Al McKeller compiled 101 yards on just 10 carries before exiting with an apparent injury late in the first half. He is just 10 rushing yards shy of 1,000 for the season.
– Purichia finished 21 for 33 fo r237 yards and three TDs. He now has a 10:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio and has not thrown a pick in the last four contests.
– Cornerback Mitch Dewitt had a team-high 11 tackles to go with a fumble recovery and a pass break-up.
– Senior Brad Schickel connected on a 45-yard field in the second quarter, matching a career long.
Schmatz on the difference between the first half and the second…
“We were missing tackles. So in the second half, we really turned up the juice. We brought the energy, which we didn’t have in the first half, and we started making plays which brought energy to not only the defense, but to the whole team.”
UIndy trailed by 11 at the break, its largst halftime deficit of the season … Saturday’s result squelched the Miners’ chance at sharing their first-ever GLVC title … S&T was 5-0 on the road prior to this weekend … The Greyhounds have scored 40 points or more in six games this season, including each of the last four. Last year, the Hounds’ season-high total was 38 … Before giving up four touchdowns in the first half, UIndy had not surrendered a TD for the previous 13 quarters.
With all seven conference games in the books, the Hounds have one more non-conference tilt on the docket. UIndy will host Notre Dame College Saturday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. The Falcons are 8-2 on the year and battling for a playoff spot in Super Region One.