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Local colleges

Kevin Donley’s Saint Francis Cougars open the season against William Penn in Oskaloosa, Iowa, on Saturday.

College football preview: Saint Francis at William Penn

Records: No. 5 Cougars (0-0); No. 16 Statesmen (1-0)

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Oskaloosa Community Stadium, Oskaloosa, Iowa

Radio: 1450 AM

3 matchups to watch

Saint Francis strong safety Taylor Brown vs. William Penn running back Evan Ressler: Ressler scratched out just 25 yards last year as William Penn, undefeated and ranked fifth at the time, lost 28-19 to the Cougars in Oskaloosa. Part of that was surely because of Brown, the Cougars’ All-American safety, who had seven solo tackles and 13 total. Now he gets another crack at Ressler. And Ressler gets another crack at him, after rambling for 133 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries in the Statesmen’s 34-8 walloping of No. 9 Bethel in their season opener a week ago.

Saint Francis front seven vs. William Penn offensive line: The Statesmen’s potent triple option begins up front, where a young offensive line composed of J.T. Dotson, Jarrett Rogers, Hea Tuifua, Jake Adams and Travis Blecher cleared the road for 292 rushing yards last week. The Statesmen were 5 for 5 inside the red zone, 3 for 3 on fourth down and 9 for 18 on third down. To reduce those numbers, the Cougars will rely on a rebuilt defensive front anchored by end Zach Bruce (8 tackles for loss, 3 1/2 sacks last year) and a deep linebacker corps anchored by Kyle Mathewson, Mike Brevard, Devon Rush, Cale Tabler and Koree Terrell.

Saint Francis offense vs. the clock: If the Cougars’ defense can gum up William Penn’s grind-the-clock running game, it’ll give Josh Miller, Antoin Campbell and Akeim Kelsaw time to do their thing on offense. If it can’t, all of the above will be compelled to score quickly and a lot in the time allotted it. Last week, William Penn ruled time of possession, 39 minutes to 21.

– Ben Smith, The Journal Gazette