Dragons travel to Saginaw Valley in Week Two

Tiffin University looks to continue winning on the road at Saginaw Valley State this Saturday.
Tiffin University looks to continue winning on the road at Saginaw Valley State this Saturday.

Tiffin University's football team looks to continue winning in Week Two, heading to Saginaw Valley State for another non-conference tilt Sept. 14 at 1 pm.

Live Stats gotiffindragons.com
Live Radio WMJK 100.9 FM
Live Video:


The last matchup between Tiffin and SVSU came when TU was a still a member of the GLIAC in 2017, and the Cardinals were able to stave off a late Dragon comeback attempt and win 14-9. After SVSU took a 14-0 lead with a touchdown early in the third quarter, a TU field goal and a 4-yard touchdown pass from Nick Watson brought the Dragons within five, but that was as close as Tiffin would come.

As GLIAC foes for a few seasons, Tiffin and Saginaw Valley have met five times in their program histories, with the Cardinals holding a 3-2 advantage in the series. TU has won two of the last three, with victories in 2014 and 2015, and has outscored SVSU 112-104 in the five contests.

Saginaw Valley Notes

- After finishing 2018 with an 8-3 overall record and 5-3 mark in the GLIAC for fourth place, the Cardinals were picked by the conference coaches to also finish fourth in 2019. 
- SVSU made the long trip to the country's southern border to take on Texas A&M University - Kingsville to open the season last weekend, taking down the Javelinas 35-14.
- Saginaw Valley head coach Ryan Brady is in his first season at the helm of a collegiate football program after spending the last six years as an assistant at Ferris State, most recently the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. 
Saginaw Valley Offense
- The Cardinals are led on offense by four-year starting quarterback Ryan Conklin, a two-time GLIAC Honorable Mention selection. In SVSU's season opening win, Conklin was 13-29 (44.8%) for 259 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed 12 times for 17 yards and a score.
- Saginaw Valley tried out a bevy of running backs in their first game, as Conklin actually recorded the most carries. Junior back Tommy Scott Jr. registered the best output, though, rushing seven times for 26 yards. 
- Much of SVSU's damage was done through the air last weekend, and sophomore wideout Casey Williams was the biggest benefactor with four receptions for 132 yards, including a 79-yard touchdown. Chad Gailliard (4 receptions, 61 yards), Dominick Fiscelli (2 receptions, 22 yards), and Nysir Minney-Gratz (2 receptions, 39 yards) also figure to factor into the offensive output.
Saginaw Valley Defense
- The Cardinals are led on defense by junior defensive back Marvin White, who was named the GLIAC Defensive Player of the Week last week after making seven tackles and taking an interception back 71 yards for a touchdown. 
- Senior linebacker David Still was also all over the field against Kingsville, recording eight tackles, a tackle-for-loss, a forced fumble, an interception, and a pass breakup.
- Fellow senior linebacker Justin Whitted also picked off a pass, as well as registering seven tackles, a forced fumble, and a tackle-for-loss.
- Defensive tackle Heath Williams only had two tackles on the night, but they were both sacks for a total of 16 yards.
Tiffin Notes
- Tiffin won their second-straight season opener last weekend with a 22-19 defeat of Northwood on the road. Nick Watson got things started with a 23-yard touchdown run in the first, and AJ Nickoli tacked on a field goal to give the Dragons a 9-0 lead after one quarter.
- Northwood responded with a field goal of their own, but a 29-yard strike from Watson to Marcus Whitfield put TU up 16-3 at the half.
- The Timberwolves battled back, briefly taking a 17-16 lead early in the fourth quarter, but a 39-yard touchdown pass from Watson to Stanley Jackson gave the Dragons the lead for good.
- In picking up first-year head coach Cris Reisert's first victory, Tiffin was one of just two GMAC schools to win their season-openers along with Ohio Dominican.


Tiffin Offense

- Tiffin's offense performed the best of any GMAC program last weekend, racking up 488 total yards off offense, including 338 pass yards, over a 100 more than the next team.
- Nick Watson gets much of the credit for the big start, as he was 20-34 (58.8%) for 338 yards and two touchdowns through the air. He also recorded 48 yards rushing, including a 23-yard score on the ground. Watson's efforts were good enough to earn the redshirt junior the GMAC Football Offensive Player of the Week honors for the third time in his career.
- Running backs JaQuan Hardy and Kyle Brunson shouldered the load in the ground game, with Hardy leading the way with 14 attempts for 79 yards. Brunson added 49 yards on 15 attempts.
- Senior transfer Stanley Jackson Jr. seems to like his new team, as the wideout exploded for a seven-reception, 179-yard game in his first contest in a Dragon uniform. After week one, Jackson leads the GMAC in receiving.
- Fellow newcomer Marcus Whitfield also had a good debut for TU, hauling in three passes for 56 yards and a score. 
- The only returning wideout to catch a pass in week one, Gavin Woods notched three catches for 36 yards. Devin Butler also added four catches for 36 yards.


Tiffin Defense

- Tiffin's defense also was tops in the GMAC, holding their opponent to just 286 yards in the season opener, including only 100 yards through the air and recording four interceptions. 
- Latrell Robinson and Jacob Mertus were both very busy on defense, each recording 10 tackles in the game with Robinson adding a tackle-for-loss.
- Charlie Cleveland was also huge on the defensive line in his first game back since 2017, with nine tackles and 1.5 tackles-for loss, as well as a pass breakup.
- Four different Dragons recorded an interception in the opener - Ross Moore, Daigien Morgan, Carrington Contee, and Kevin Hyde.
- AJ Wright also added a sack and four tackles from his defensive tackle position.