TACOMA, Washington – With only three games remaining in the 2018 season, the Puget Sound football team heads to Salem, Oregon, for a Northwest Conference clash at Willamette Saturday, Oct. 27. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
|WHO||Puget Sound at Willamette|
|WHEN||Saturday, Oct. 27 | 1:30 p.m.|
|LINKS||Stats | Video|
The 2018 Puget Sound defense is one of the best defenses in recent program history. Todd Blakely leads the NWC in sacks with 9.5, while Matt Ahnin and Jason Clayton are tied for the NWC lead in interceptions with three, each. Keanu Songcuan has a conference-high 61 tackles this season. As a team, the Loggers rank second in both sacks (24) and interceptions (11) in the NWC. Puget Sound surrenders under 200 passing yards per game (195.4).
Pass the opportunity
In addition to the vast improvements on defense, Puget Sound continues its tradition of being one of the most prolific passing offenses in the country. The Loggers' 358.3 passing yards per game ranks fourth in NCAA D-III, and Murdock Rutledge leads the NWC in passing touchdowns with 16.
Puget Sound arguably has the best receiving trio in NCAA D-III. Jewell Day leads the NWC in receiving touchdowns with 10, while Collin Heimbach is second in the NWC with seven, and AJ Johnson ranks third with five. They are also the league's top three in receiving yards. Heimbach leads the way with 665 receiving yards, followed by Johnson with 638, and Day with 634.
Puget Sound won four of its first five games this season, marking the program's first 4-1 start since the 2000 campaign. The Loggers haven't started a season 5-1 since 1987.
So far this season six Loggers have been named a Northwest Conference Student-Athlete of the Week: AJ Johnson (offense), Jewell Day (offense), Collin Heimbach (offense), Murdock Rutledge (offense), Alex Everett (special teams), and Zackary Teats (defense). Teats and Jason Clayton have also been named to the D3football.com Team of the Week this season.
Recent history against Willamette
The Loggers are 3-1 in their last four games against Willamette. The most recent head-to-head meeting ended in a 14-13 Logger victory at Baker Stadium, Oct. 2017. Jewell Day had a 30-yard reception in that game, while Keanu Songcuan tallied 11 tackles and Jason Clayton came away with an interception and a blocked field-goal in the fourth quarter.
Scouting Willamette (1-5, 0-4 NWC)
The Bearcats are the lowest-scoring team in the NWC by averaging 13.2 points per game. They also rank last in total offense with 257.2 yards per game. The Bearcats have committed 13 turnovers through six games, 11 of which are interceptions. Alec Stevenson leads the defensive efforts with 50 tackles and 3.5 sacks.