Findlay will travel 423 miles to play their first ever NCAA Division II Playoff game on Saturday, Nov. 18. The game, which kicks off at noon, will take place in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. The Oilers will take on the No. 2 team in the nation, the Shepherd University Rams.
This will be the first ever meeting between Findlay and Shepherd on the gridiron. It is the fifth time this season that the Oilers have faced an opponent for the first time. Findlay is 4-0 in those games this season.
All Oilers football games can be heard on 88.3 FM "WLFC" or on the internet via their web site. You can listen to the broadcast by clicking on the following link:
Video streaming for the contest will be provided by Shepherd University and the Mountain East Network.
Coach Keys Weekly
Don't forget to tune into 88.3 FM "WLFC" for Coach Keys Weekly. The show is aired at 7:00 pm on Tuesdays.
Fans are also encouraged to send questions in for coach Keys through Twitter. Please send questions throughout the week on Twitter Tim Montgomery @Oilersonair.
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Head Coach Rob Keys
Head coach Rob Keys is in his seventh season at the helm of the Oilers football program in 2017. He has recorded a 47-29 record with the program as a head coach, which includes a 37-27 mark in conference games. With the Week 7 win over Hillsdale, Keys secured his sixth winning season in seven years as head coach at Findlay.
For Findlay's 2017 coaching staff, please click on the following link:
The Oilers (9-2, 6-1 GMAC)
The Oilers will continue their historic season with their first ever trip to the NCAA Postseason and will play their first postseason game since Dec. 12, 1997 when Findlay defeated Willamette in the NAIA National Championship.
The 2017 Findlay Oilers have spent three weeks in the AFCA Top-25, have tied the record for most wins in the NCAA era of Findlay football, have scored the second-most points in a single season at Findlay, and have spent much of the year ranked in the top-ten in the nation in multiple offensive statistics.
Findlay will enter the game sporting one of the nation's top offenses and defenses. The Oilers are currently ranked first in the nation in first downs offense (298), third in the nation in scoring offense (47.5 ppg), sixth in total offense (510.3 ypg), and seventh in rushing offense (274.1 ypg). All of that is made possible by a talented offensive line that is allowing just 0.64 sacks per game, sixth-best in the country.
On the other side of the ball, the Oilers have had big play ability all season, scoring five defensive touchdowns this year, seventh-best in the nation. Those big plays often come as a result of turnovers, of which the Oilers get plenty. Findlay has 28 takeaways this season, eighth in the nation, and rank second in the nation with a turnover margin of +17. The team's total defense ranks 34th in the country at 312.8 yards allowed per game and is allowing 17.1 points per game, 18th in the country and best in the G-MAC.
No. 2 Shepherd Rams (10-0, 10-0 MEC)
There haven't been many programs in the country with as much recent success as Shepherd University. The Rams have a record of 95-21 (.819) in the last ten seasons and have qualified for the DII National Playoffs in five of the previous six seasons. In 2017, they were one of just eight Division II teams to finish the year undefeated.
Coached by Monte Carter, the 2017 MEC Coach of the Year, the Shepherd Rams have been fueld all season by one of the best offenses in the country. The Rams rank second in the country in total offense (527.4 ypg), second in scoring offense (48.5 ppg), fifth in passing offense (333.9 ypg), and fifth in passing efficiency (172.9).
With all that success on offense, the Rams' defense ranked 70th in the country in scoring defense at 25.6 ppg. However, with 8.5 tackles-for-loss per game (15th in country), 3.3 sacks per game (5th in country), and just 86.2 rushing yards per game allowed (9th in country), Shepherd can stall drives in a hurry.
Senior quarterback Connor Jessop, the MEC Offensive Player of the Year and potential Harlon Hill candidate this season, is the unquestioned leader on offense. Jessop is the nation's active leader in passing efficiency with a career QBR of 184.3. He ranks second in the country this season with 38 touchdown passes, second in passing yards pergame (330), fourth in passing yards (3,300), and is responsible for more points than any player in the nation this season (270).
His favorite target is junior wide receiver Ryan Feiss, a first team all-MEC selection who has 1,326 receiving yards and eight touchdowns this season. His receiving yards are third-most in the country this season while his receiving yards per game of 132.6 rank second.
When the ball isn't going to Feiss through the air, senior Jabre Lolley, also a first team all-MEC performer, has been a force out of the backfield. Lolley has picked up 1,085 yards on the ground this year at 108.5 yards per game. He is picking up 6.5 yards per carry and has scored 15 touchdowns on the ground.
On defense, senior Myles Humphrey leads the Rams and was recently named MEC Defensive Player of the Year. He led the MEC with 11 solo sacks and is second on the DII active list with 38.5 sacks in his career, a school record. He is also second among active DII players with nine forced fumbles in his career.
Behind Humphrey is a trio of first team all-MEC performers including linebacker James Gupton and defensive backs Tre Anderson and DeJuan Neal. Gupton has 71 tackles, 13.5 tackles-for-loss, and 5.0 sacks this season while Anderson and Neal have combined for five interceptions, six pass breakups, and 54 tackles.
Oilers In Week 12
Findlay has played a twelfth game in a season on seven occasions. The Oilers are 5-2 in those games.
Findlay has scored 60+ points in four games this year, the most 60+ point games in a season in school history. With all the high scoring games, Findlay owns the top four scoring games in Great Midwest history.
On Thursday, Nov. 16, Findlay placed 24 players on an All-Great Midwest team, the most of any team in the league. Andrew Alten was named Offensive Lineman of the Year, Johnny Hopkins was named Defensive Lineman of the Year, and Aaron Ivory was named Defensive Back of the Year.