GAME PREVIEW: Gardner-Webb vs. Monmouth
Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs (3-3, 1-0 Big South) at
Monmouth Hawks (4-2, 1-0 Big South)
Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019; 1:05 p.m.
Kessler Stadium, West Long Branch, N.J.
Eddy Occhipinti (Play by Play); Emory Hunt (Color Analyst)
DIRECTIONS TO KESSLER STADIUM
Directions to Monmouth University and Kessler Stadium can be found here:
For tickets call 732-263-5735 or visit MonmouthHawks.com for online sales
Day of game tickets can be purchased at the Austin Family Box Office
A LOOK AT THE GAME
- Today is the sixth meeting between Monmouth and Gardner-Webb with the Hawks owning a 4-1 advantage in the series. MU is 2-0 in West Long Branch and have won back to back in the series, including last year's 56-42 offensive show.
- Today's game is Homecoming for the Hawks, who are looking to win on Homecoming for the third consecutive season.
- Monmouth is coming off of a dominating 45-0 win over Presbyterian on Saturday, the teams first shutout in 13 seasons. The Hawks jumped on top of the Blue Hose, leading 21-0 with just over five minutes remaining in the first quarter.
- Gardner-Webb comings into today's game 3-3 and 1-0 in Big South play after overpowering Hampton last time out, allowing just three points in the final two quarters against the Pirates. GWU rolled up 390 yards passing with four TDs in the win.
- The Hawks are looking to open the Big South season with back to back wins for the third straight season while Gardner-Webb hasn't gone 2-0 in league play since 2009.
- The game will air on ESPN3 with Eddy Occhipinti (pxp) and Emory Hunt (analyst) on the call.
Hawks Helping Hawks Additionally Monmouth University’s Student Government Association (SGA) is hosting a food pantry drive in competition with Kennesaw State Univeristy’s SGA for the month of October. For the October 12 and 19thgames fans who bring non-perishable food items for the Hawks Nest (on-campus food pantry) will receive a coupon for a BOGO (buy one, get one free) coupon for any upcoming ticketed event on campus.
THE COACHING MATCHUP
Kevin Callahan is in his 27th season at Monmouth as the Hawks’ head coach. Callahan owns a 156-123 career coaching record, all with Monmouth. Coming into the season, Callahan’s 156 victories ranks him 8th among active coaches in the Football Championship Subdivision. He is one of three FCS coaches with 150+ wins all at one institution and his 26 years as a head coach is the seventh most among active coaches. The only coach in Monmouth history, he has led the Blue & White to five conference championships, in 1996, 1998, 2003, 2004 and 2006 and its first at-large playoff berth in 2017. Callahan has earned conference coach of the year accolades in 1998, 2003 and 2006 and was named as an Eddie Robinson Award finalist in 2017, finishing 10th in the voting. Prior to arriving in West Long Branch, Callahan served as defensive coordinator at Colgate for eight seasons and at Wagner for three years. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Albany (1977-79) and Syracuse (1980) before becoming a Seahawk assistant in 1981.
Tommy Spangler begins his ninth year as head coach at PC and third since the 2006 season, after being promoted from defensive coordinator prior to 2017. Under Spangler several Blue hose have earned Big South defensive all-conference honors, including two in 2014 and three in 2015. His defense shut down opponents and led to Blue Hose ranked wins over No. 12 Furman and No. 22 Charleston Southern. Spangler spent 10 seasons at PC the first time around, first as an assistant coach from 1997- 2000 and then as head coach from 2001-06. During his six years as PC’s head football coach, Spangler guided the Blue Hose to a 42-24 record - a mark that stands as the highest winning percentage (.571) among the school’s 14 head football coaches. He began his first 10 years at Georgia Southern, helping lead the program to a pair of Division I-AA national titles.
INSIDE THE MU-GWU SERIES
Sixth Overall Meeting
Overall Record: MU 4-1
West Long Branch: MU 2-0
Boiling Springs, NC: MU 2-1
First Meeting: Nov. 22, 2014
Last Meeting: Nov. 17, 2018
Longest MU Win Streak: 2 gms
Longest GWU Win Streak: 1 gm
Largest MU W Margin: 27 pts
Largest GWU W Margin: 1 pt
Smallest MU W Margin: 14 pts
Smallest GWU W Margin: 1 pt
Overtime Games: GWU 1-0
MONMOUTH AGAINST THE BIG SOUTH
- Since starting up Big South league play in 2014, Monmouth owns an 13-14 conference record, however are 9-2 since 2017.
- The Hawks own a 4-1 record against Gardner-Webb, 1-0 against Campbell, 4-2 against PC, 2-3 vs CSU and 0-4 vs Kennesaw State. The Hawks are also 2-0 against Hampton but those were non-conference contests. Monmouth has yet to face Northern Alabama.
- Monmouth has finished each of the last two seasons in second place in the Big South, and was selected second in the preseason poll.
- MU was 0-3 against members of the Big South prior to joining the league, including dropping a home and home series with Coastal Carolina and a non-conference tilt with the Flames.
- Today’s game is the conference opener for the Hawks, who are 2-3 in league openers having won two straight.
INSIDE THE MONMOUTH-GARDNER-WEBB SERIES
- Today’s game marks the sixth time that the Hawks and Runnin' Bulldogs will meet, with Monmouth owning a 4-1 record. Monmouth is 2-0 at home and 2-1 on the road with the only loss coming in overtime by one in 2016.
- The Hawks have won two straight in the series and won a shootout in the 2018 matchup down in Boiling Springs. In that game the Hawks went up 21-7 after the first quarter but GWU tied it on a pair of AJ Moses runs. Monmouth scored the next three touchdowns to take a 42-21 lead with 9:35 left. Reggie White Jr. finished with 220 yards on 10 catches with four touchdowns while Kenji Bahar tossed for a career-high 407 yards and five touchdowns.
- The last time Gadner-Webb was at Kessler Stadium was senior day in 2017 where the Hawks won 41-14. The Hawks out-gained GWU 427 to 223 including Bahar throwing for four touchdowns including Joey Aldarelli's first. The Hawks rushed for 252 yards in that contest.
- In the first ever meeting Monmouth running back Lavon Chaney totalled 129 yards while Joe Johnson had a pair of interceptions including one returned for a 55 yard touchdown.
GUERRIERO RUSHES INTO SECOND IN MONMOUTH RECORD BOOKS
Junior running back Pete Guerriero moved into second all-time at Monmouth in rushing with 2,594 yards. He went over 100 all-purpose yards for the fifth time this season while finishing with 11 carries for 81 yards with a 48 yard touchdown. He came into the game just 63 yards shy of second place and Julian Hayes but now trails David Sinisi by 2,457 yards for first all-time. He is now 11th all-time in Big South history in rushing and needs just 29 to move into 10th place all-time.
HAWKS LOOK TO MAKE IT THREE STRAIGHT ON HOMECOMING
Today is homecoming at Monmouth University and the MU football team is looking to continue its recent trend of winning homecoming games. The Hawks are 12-14 all-time in homecoming games and are looking to extend a two-game winning streak against Big South foes. Last season the Hawks defeated Campbell in the first meeting between the two by a score of 38-21. MU is 11-12 on homecoming games played in October and 1-2 in November.