Scouting report: Kenyon College Lords

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Kenyon Scope:

After dropping the first two games of the season, Kenyon have rebounded in recent weeks. The Lords have convincing wins over Hiram College and Allegheny College their last two times on the field.

While the defense struggled in the Lords’ two losses to open the season, allowing almost 30 points per game, it has come back strong as of late. Kenyon held both the Terriers and Allegheny to 17 points in their pair of wins.

The one thing that has remained constant so far this season for Kenyon has been their ability to score. The 21 points they scored in their week one loss to Sewanee: The University of the South was their smallest point total this year. Since then, the Lords have scored 28 in a loss to Oberlin College and 34 and 32 in two recent wins.

Saturday marks the start of a tough stretch for the Lords. After facing DePauw, they play host to Ohio Wesleyan University before traveling to eighth ranked Wabash College.

DePauw Scope:

As expected, the undefeated Tigers have taken care of business in the first three weeks of the season. Not facing a legitimate threat in any of the games, DePauw has won by margins of 53, 29 and 38.

Now, however, is when we find out who the Tigers are. While on paper, they may be the better team than Kenyon, the Lords mark the first real threat the Tigers will have faced this season and the fact that the game is in Gambier doesn’t make anything any easier for the Tigers. 

That doesn’t mean the Tigers are at a disadvantage, though. Kenyon will have to face red-hot junior quarterback Matt Hunt as well as take on a defense that already has a shutout this year and is coming off a game in which they gave up only seven points.

With a game that has huge North Coast Athletic Conference implications looming next week for the Tigers against Wittenberg University, it will be interesting to see how focused they are on the 2-2 Lords.

 

Kenyon Key Players:

Jake Bates, QB, Sr.: The greatest strength for Bates so far this season has been his ability to avoid turnovers. While he’s only thrown six touchdowns and 671 yards in four games, Bates hasn’t thrown any interceptions yet. Winning the turnover battle will be key for the Lords as they’ll need to take advantage of any chance they get against the Tigers. Bates is also coming off of his best game of the season against Allegheny in which he completed 21 of 25 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns.

Blake Calcei, FB, Sr.: It’s rare nowadays to see a fullback as a team’s leading rusher, but that’s what the Lords have in Calcei. He’s been the model of consistency for Kenyon so far this year, averaging 100 yards per game thus far and scoring one touchdown in every game. His best performance came two weeks ago against Hiram when Calcei went off for 143 yards on the ground.

Jamal Perkins, DL, Jr.: Perkins has been the Lords’ biggest presence up front. He leads the team in total tackles with 25 and is one of the best when it comes to tackles for loss and sacks on the Kenyon roster. Perkins will likely play a big role in the success or failure of the Kenyon defense, as he’ll face three dynamic running backs and a quarterback with dual-threat capabilities.

Matchup to watch: Kenyon FB Blake Calcei vs. the DePauw rush defense

Through the first three weeks, the Tigers have given up less than 60 yards on the ground per game. It’ll be interesting to see how those numbers match up against the hard running style of the Kenyon fullback. If the Tigers can take away Calcei and force Bates to beat them through the air, DePauw will be in good shape.

DePauw wins if...

They stay focused on the game at hand. Again, while on paper, the Tigers are definitely the better team, the matchup with Wittenberg that looms the following weekend could take some of their focus away. That being said, the Tigers shouldn’t really have a problem with anything the Lords are going to throw at them.

Predictions:

While DePauw Head Coach Bill Lynch admitted earlier this week that Kenyon will be the best team the Tigers will have faced so far this year, I don’t think there is much to be scared of. There’s just nothing that jumps off the page about the Lords. They have an offense and defense that are good but not special and they’ll need to play the game of their lives to knock off the undefeated Tigers. This one has the potential to not be as big of a blowout as the previous three games, but I still say the Tigers easily win this one.

Final Score:

DePauw 42, Kenyon 17.