George P. Miller Stadium will forever be known to its current players and coaches at Indiana University of Pennsylvania as one thing: home.
The IUP Crimson Hawks (4-1) will put their three-game winning streak on the line against a much improved Seton Hill (1-4) squad in the 2014 homecoming game on Saturday.
IUP has a 48-17-4 (.725) all-time record in homecoming games and has also won each of the last three seasons.
Last year was the first meeting between these two teams, and the Crimson Hawks came out victorious with a 26-0 win in Greensburg.
Seton Hill University joined the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference last season and seem to be making steady improvements under head coach Isaac Collins.
Seton Hill is a team predicated upon its passing game, and quarterback Drew Jackson is the focal point for the Griffins offense.
Coming off a game in which he threw the ball 77 times against California University of Pennsylvania, Jackson has tossed the rock 210 times in 5 games. Jackson has a plethora of lanky receivers at his disposal including 6-foot-3 FJ Williams and 6-foot-2 Erik Kearns.
Additionally, Brandon Stout is a weapon out of the backfield with over 200 yards rushing and 20 catches on the season.
The Griffins defense, however, has struggled this season, giving up an average of 42 points to their opponents and allowing over 500 yards a game. Arthur Tsapdong has been an anchor along the defensive line for the Griffins this season.
Seton Hill does have the ability to force turnovers, as they rank fifth in the conference
IUP looks to continue dominating opponents on the defensive side of the football.
The Crimson Hawks had 10 sacks last week against Edinboro University, a number that is thought to be a new record for the program.
Luigi Lista-Brinza (freshman, kinesiology health & sport science) had his fourth 100-yard rushing performance of the year last week and ranks at the top of the PSAC freshman yards per game list with 94.8. Drew Carswell (senior, criminology) has become Chase Haslett’s (graduate, sports management) favorite receiver, and now leads the team in catches (21), yards (334) and touchdowns (4).
IUP head coach Curt Cignetti was adamant that a large crowd is important to the team.
“I think the players get excited when there’s a lot of fans in the stadium,” Cignetti said.
“We’ve had a really good student turnout our first two games, and hopefully we can add to that this week. It’s just great to be back home.”