The Setup: Denison and Wabash will meet for the 26th time on Saturday at 2 p.m. from Hollett Little Giant Stadium in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Wabash holds a 19-5-1 advantage in the series. Last season, Denison defeated #22 Wabash, 34-10 at Piper Stadium. It marked the first win against Wabash since 1990, it also set the table for what would be a three-way tie for the 2018 North Coast Athletic Conference championship.
How to Watch: The gates to Hollett Little Giant Stadium will open at noon. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children (17 and under). If you can't make it to Crawfordsville, Wabash College will provide a webcast available at https://team1sports.com/Wabash/
The Rankings: Wabash and Denison are both in the "others receiving votes" section of the D3Football.com and AFCA top-25 polls. In the D3Football.com poll, Denison has 18 votes and Wabash has nine. In the AFCA poll, Denison has 44 votes and Wabash has 17.
Early Report Card: Through two games Denison's play has been spectacular on both sides of the football. The offensive line has not allowed a sack and the defense ranks ninth in Division III allowing only 213.5 yards per game. Sophomore quarterback Drew Dawkins leads the nation in passing efficiency and the offense ranks second in the nation in third down conversion rate at 62.5 percent. The offense is averaging 54.0 points per game which ranks them third in the country.
Scouting the Little Giants: Wabash enters with a 1-1 record and is coming off a 48-35 win over Allegheny last Saturday in Meadville, Pennsylvania. The Little Giants suffered a 31-28 loss to Wisconsin-Stevens Point in their opener on Sept. 14. This is the 18th season that Wabash has been a member of the NCAC. They have won or shared eight conference titles over the past 14 seasons. Head Coach Don Morrell is in his fourth season as the head coach at Wabash and his 16th season, overall. He boasts a 26-6 record as the head coach of the Little Giants. Wabash was picked to win the NCAC in the annual preseason coaches' poll. They received seven first-place votes. Senior tailback Ike James leads the nation in rushing yards per game (196.5).
High Efficiency: Sophomore quarterback Drew Dawkins will be making his third career start on Saturday. He currently leads the nation in passing efficiency with a 225.7 rating. He is 24-of-35 for 419 yards and six touchdowns. He has not thrown an interception and has not been sacked this season.
It's Been a Minute: Denison's last win over Wabash in Crawfordsville came in 1969 by a final score of 27-6. The Big Red went 7-2 that season with their only losses coming to Mount Union and Muskingum. Denison Hall of Famer Ed Exler '73 was a freshman on the 1969 squad. He went on to rush for 3,953 yards in his career, which ranks him second all-time at Denison.
Over the Top: Junior wide receiver Peyton Vining leads Division III in yards per reception at 36.8 yards per catch. With only five receptions this season he has totaled 184 yards and scored three TDs highlighted by a 63-yard touchdown catch against Ohio Northern.
Climbing the ladder: Senior running back Alex Minton continues to rise among Denison's rushing leader. He is averaging 110 yards rushing per game in 2019. In only 23 career games since transferring from Division I Drake, Minton has totaled 2,589 yards rushing with 31 touchdowns. He currently ranks eighth all-time and is only 56 yards away from passing Fred Lee '07 for seventh place.
Stout: Denison ranks ninth in the nation in total defense, holding opponents to 213.5 yards per game. They also lead the NCAC in sacks with eight on the season.
Break on through: Denison's share of a conference title in 2018 marked the program's third NCAC championship and first since back-to-back titles in 1985 and 1986. Overall, Denison has won seven conference championships in football thanks to four Ohio Athletic Conference championships in 1914, 1947, 1948 and 1957. The back-to-back titles in '47 and '48 came under legendary coach and Denison alum, Woody Hayes.
Twin Killing: The Denison offense boasts a pair of twins in their starting lineup. Sophomore Trey Dawkins is in his first year as a starter at right tackle and his brother, Drew, is in his first year as a starting quarterback. The siblings were both starters at Evanston (Illinois) in 2016 and 2017.