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2018 Monon Bell Predictions

BRYCE BRIDGEWATER ‘19 |THE BACHELOR EDITOR-IN-CHIEF • Since September 10th, Wabash has been missing something. Maybe not something, but someone. It’s hard to put into words how we much we’ve longed for Evan to be with us today, especially on the most important game in the year. Wabash might only line with 11 tomorrow, but there will be 12 on the field tomorrow.

The Monon Bell Classic might be the medicine that this campus needs. It won’t be a cure, maybe some slight closure to the season. So far, Wabash is 8-1 with more to prove. With Wabash’s dominant nature in the previous three games, the team will be rolling into
the Classic with an enormous amount of confidence. After a season-defining win at Wittenberg University paired with two commanding wins against Allegheny College and Oberlin College, a Monon win will cap off a fantastic season, being named Co-Champions of the NCAC with Denison University and Wittenberg.

Isaac Avant ’20 took over the primary running back roles after Ike James ’20 got hurt during the second game of the year. Avant ran for 1,031 yards, averaging 6.4 years a carry and scoring ten touchdowns. Along with Austin Hoover ’19, the running game looks strong going into the game.

Compared to last year, the passing game revolutionized an offense reliant on the running game. New quarterback Jake Reid ’21 threw for 1,627 years through nine games, adding 16 touchdowns with only five interceptions, none in the last three weeks. It is 300 more passing yards through one less game from last year’s season. Oliver Page ’19, Ra’Shawn Jones ’20, Ryan Thomas ’19, and Matt Penola ’19 each have 300 yards and all of Reid’s touchdowns. Coupled with the running game, Wabash will make it hard for DePauw to stop the offense.

 

Similarly, Wabash’s defense is strong. Lead by a young and fast secondary; the team only conceded more than 21 points once, its only loss of the season to Denison. A defense that named NCAC Players of the Week three times, they have the talent to stop any team in DIII. They have 23 sacks on the year with 12 interceptions through nine games.

Still, with all the success this team had, Monon is a different game. DePauw will get everything they have. As far as each side is concerned, the season accomplishments account for nothing for this game. Wabash has an NCAC championship on the line; DePauw has their pride on the line. Each team will bring their best.

Wabash will come out flying and fierce with little stopping them. With Evan watching over, Wabash rolls.

WABASH: 28

DEPAUW: 17

CHARLIE NASH | THE DEPAUW STAFF WRITER • The last time the Monon Bell game was played at Wabash, DePauw broke a seven year long losing streak in the rivalry and took the bell back to Greencastle. The game was one of the most exciting football games that I

have seen during my four years at DePauw, and I expect this meeting to be no different.

This time around, the 4-5 DePauw Tigers enter the game as an underdog to the 8-1 Wabash Little Giants. DePauw is coming off of a 38-6 drubbing on Kenyon University, while Wabash rides into the Bell game on a four game winning streak that has shot them up to #22 in the most recent AFCA coaches poll.

For DePauw to upset the Little Giants, they need to stop Wabash’s running attack, lead by junior Isaac Avant. Avant, the NCAC’s second leading rusher, is Wabash’s greatest weapon on offense and will look to have a big day in his third appearance in the Monon Bell. However, Avant will face a DePauw- run defense that has yielded a mere 49 yards per game this season, the lowest in the NCAC. Taking Avant out of the game will force Wabash to throw, which has been one of their weaknesses this season.

On offense, DePauw will need a big day from sophomore quarterback Chase Andries, a dual threat who has recently earned the bulk of DePauw’s snaps at

the quarterback position. Andries comes off of a three touchdown performance in last week’s match- up against Kenyon, and will look to build off of his breakout game. Andries is surrounded by talent on offense as well, most notably senior wide receiver Andy Hunt, who caught the game winning touchdown during the Monon game two years ago.

For DePauw to pull off the upset, Andries needs to establish his connection with Hunt early in the game, and get DePauw’s offense moving. On defense, DePauw needs to control Wabash’s running attack, and force Wabash to throw, allowing DePauw’s turnover inducing defense to force mistakes.

I believe that DePauw head coach Bill Lynch will be able to fire up his team to play to their fullest potential, and ruin Wabash’s opportunity to play postseason football. This game will be a very close, low scoring battle between two great defenses, but the senior leadership of DePauw will be the difference in this match-up. Get up Tigers. It’s Bell Week.

WABASH: 13

DEPAUW: 17