By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News
FULTON, Mo. ? The Iowa Wesleyan football took a couple of tough losses in a 1-3 month of October that ended the Tigers? chances for a .500 record, but the team can end the year on a high note this weekend in Fulton.
The Tigers sit at 2-7 overall and 2-6 in conference play, and will take on Westminster College squad that sits just above .500 at 5-4 overall and 5-3 in the conference.
IW will aim to end a two-game losing streak to the Blue Jays. After topping Westminster in 2013 and 2013, the Tigers fell 27-6 in 2015 and dropped a 24-7 game last season.
The matchup to watch this week will be Iowa Wesleyan?s offense against Westminster?s defense. The Tigers have scored 24.2 points per game this season, which ranks fourth in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. The Blue Jays are fourth in points allowed, with 21.2 points per game given up.
The other side of the ball has turned into a problem for IW. After giving up 47 points to Greenville University last Saturday, the Tigers ran their points allowed number to 39 points per game, which sits second to last in the conference.
Westminster isn?t the most explosive offensive team, however, sitting seventh in the conference with 23.2 points per game.
The Blue Jays sport a balanced offense, sitting fifth in rushing offense and seventh in passing offense in the conference.
The Tiger defense has given up a lot of yards this season, but it isn?t all bad for IW defensively. The Tigers lead the conference in sacks, with 25, and are coming off a game where they took the ball away seven times on fumble recoveries.
One key for the Tigers on Saturday may be just posessing the football for a little longer. The Tigers rank last in time of posession by almost five minutes. IW controls the ball for 23:08 per game. Westminster, on the other hand, is second in time of posession at 32:54 per game.
A win and a Greenville loss can put the Tigers in a seventh-place tie with Greenville to end the season. It could also spoil a top-four finish for Westminster, as the Blue Jays are tied for fourth in the UMAC going into the final week.
The Tigers and Blue Jays will kick off on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 1 p.m.