Tiffin University closes season against explosive Storm

Expect points.

That’s the first thing that comes to mind when writing about today’s Tiffin University season finale at Lake Erie. A look at the Storm’s record (3-7, 2-6 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) indicates that it’s been something of a struggle this year.

A look at the team’s statistics says that that struggle is on one side of the ball.

Despite its record, Lake Erie leads the GLIAC in yards per game – it’s averaging 559. It’s quarterback, Brendan Gallagher, is first in the league in completions, second in yards. The Storm also have players that are among the league leaders in rushing and receiving.

“They’re averaging scoring over 40 points a game,” said Tiffin coach Gary Goff. “However, they’re also averaging giving up over 40 points a game. [Today’s game] is probably gonna be a shootout, I would guess. I think five of their last games have been a combined 100 points or something.”

On defense, Goff said TU’s goal is simple.

“You’ve got to contain ’em,” he said. “I still think everything starts up front with their run game, and their running back [Anthony Bilal] is having a great season.”

Bilal has 1,346 yards so far this season.

“I think we’ve got to do a good job of mixing things up, and it starts with our run game,” Goff said.

Goff said he can relate to the Storm’s situation. He said it’s similar to when he was an assistant earlier in his career.

“They’re giving up too many points, obviously,” Goff said. “We were exactly like that at New Mexico State. We had the No. 1 passing offense in the country, yet we didn’t win a lot of games because we were giving up the most points in the country.”

Tiffin lost 49-30 to Ashland last week, but scored 23 points in the final quarter. Now they will look to keep that offensive momentum going against a struggling defense.

“Last week we did a good job moving the ball,” Goff said. “We still didn’t do a good job of protecting the football.

“We did have about 500 yards of offense last week, and we did score, so that was encouraging. We’re trying to build off the momentum a little this week.”

Goff said it’s important to end this year with a win.

“I think the team wants to send the seniors out with a win,” he said, “and send them out with a sense of accomplishment. We’re nowhere near where we want to be, but we’re still going down the right path.”

Kickoff is at 1 p.m.