Beavers prep for home opener against Malone

August 28, 2000

The 2000 Bluffton College football season kicks off Saturday in Salzman Stadium as the Beavers host the first of six home games on this year's schedule. The Pioneers from Malone College are the guests, and this matchup should be a great contest.

Bluffton is coming off a 7-3 season and returns 14 starters (seven on offense, seven on defense). In addition, a fine recruiting class has given head coach Carlin Carpenter depth at each position. Malone, meanwhile, is coming off a 4-6 campaign and lost nine of 11 defensive starters from last year's squad that ranked ninth in the country (NAIA) in total defense. In addition, the Pioneers could possibly line up against BC with a quarterback, fullback and tailback who are all taking their first collegiate snaps.

However, Malone is sure to give the Beavers quite a challenge. The Pioneers return their starting tight end, wide receiver and four starters on the offensive line that average 273 pounds per man. And expect the new starters on Malone's squad to be quite talented, as the Pioneer roster is filled with scholarship players.

This is just the eighth football season for the Malone program, but last year's record was only the second season under .500 for the Pioneers, who qualified for the NAIA playoffs in 1995 and 1998. MC knocked off Geneva 24-23 in its first-ever playoff appearance, but fell to Findlay 15-7 and Georgetown, Ky. (46-41 in 1998), in its two other games.

Bluffton has met up with Malone twice before on the gridiron. In 1993, Malone's first season, Bluffton handed the Pioneers a 17-9 loss as MC went 2-6-1. The next season, howver, Malone evened the series with a 32-13 victory over the Beavers in Salzman Stadium and went on to finish with a 7-3 overall record.

Malone's size on the offensive and defensive lines give the Pioneers a definite advantage up front. Should Bluffton's quickness and experience offset Malone's size, look for BC tailback Tyson Goings to pick up where he left off last season when he rushed for 1,116 yards and scored 17 touchdowns.

Visit Malone's football website.