Tahlequah Daily Press

NSU Sports

September 21, 2012

RiverHawks return home to face Emporia State


Emporia State (3-0, 3-0 MIAA) at Northeastern State (0-3, 0-3), 6 p.m.

Where: Doc Wadley Stadium.

Series record: NSU leads, 5-1.

At stake: Either Northeastern State begins to prove its worth in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, or Emporia State proves its first three games, against weaker MIAA competition, weren't flukes for three easy victories.

Key matchup: NSU's secondary vs. Emporia State quarterback Tyler Eckenrode and the Hornets' passing game. Eckenrode is averaging 363.7 passing yards per game, with 150 of those going to Shjuan Richardson. NSU's defense, though, is holding opponents to 194 yards through the air in three games. However, one of NSU's games came against Missouri Southern, who only passes the ball a handful of times each game.

Players to watch

Emporia State: Ben Carlson. The senior linebacker has done a little of everything in the Hornets' first three games. He is tied for the team lead in tackles with 23 while also logging a tackle for loss and a sack. He has also has two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

Northeastern State: Terrance Dixon and Joel Rockmore. Both running backs have recorded 100-yard rushing games this season. If both continue to pick up yardage, NSU's passing game could flourish with play-action.

Notes: Emporia State head coach Garin Higgins was Northeastern State's offensive coordinator in 2006. ... NSU linebacker Langston Jones is leading the MIAA in tackles per game (12.3), and he ranks sixth in the NCAA in that category. ... NSU has outscored its opponents 38-26 in the second half.

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