For the second consecutive year Chapman is 4-1 to start the season which equals the team's best five-game start to a season since 1996. Last year Chapman began the year 4-1 but then dropped the season's final four games to end the year 4-5 with one of the losses coming to Redlands. In 1996, Chapman began the year 6-1.
'We're Going Streaking!'
The Panthers are in search of their fourth consecutive win, a feat that has not been done since 2007. That year Chapman won four in a row on its way to a 6-3 record overall, its best season under head coach Bob Owens. Prior to that, you'd have to go back to 1995-96 when the Panthers won 13 in a row and were ranked in the national top-25.
On the Road Again
Chapman's victory in Whittier on Sept. 29 was a bit of a relief as it snapped a three-game road losing streak dating back to last year. But the Panthers will have to shake a bigger monkey if they hope to finish the season strong with three of their final four SCIAC games on the road. Chapman has won just three of its past 11 away games and five of 15 dating back to 2009.
Getting Off on the Right Foot
Part of Chapman's early-season success and 4-1 record is because Chapman has scored first in all five games including the team's win over Occidental. Chapman is 56-25 all-time when scoring first, but when an opponent scores first, the team's record is an abysmal 22-62-1.
Offense + Defense = First Place
Cal Lutheran and Chapman currently sit atop the SCIAC standings, each 4-1 overall, 3-0 in SCIAC. Both teams are also the top two teams in the SCIAC in scoring offense and scoring defense. Cal Lutheran averages 39 points while its defense has held opponents to 22.2 points. Chapman's offense is averaging 37.2 points while its defense has held its opponents to 24.4 points per game.
Head of the Class
Chapman is at the top of the SCIAC in seven different statistical categories, including rushing offense, turnover margin and pass efficiency. The Panthers also lead the conference in quarterback sacks allowed and are No. 5 in all of Division III in that category, averaging just 0.4 sacks allowed per game.
It's hard to imagine a back in the nation that's having a better season than McKibbins. But there is - his name is James Clay, a senior at Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) who has already gained over 1,300 yards in six games (218.3/game). McKibbins is currently No. 2 in the nation with 175 yards per game on the ground and No. 4 in Division III in all-purpose yards 209.8 per game. His 875 rushing yards this season is already the third-highest total in school history and with 125 more he'll become just the second Panther ever with over 1,000 yards rushing in a single season.
Owens Earns 50th Career Win
Saturday's win over Occidental marked the 50th career win for Coach Owens. In 13 years as a head coach – six at Whittier and seven at Chapman – Owens has a 50-63 overall record including a 41-33 record against SCIAC opponents. Owens is 31-28 since taking over at Chapman. His .525 winning pct. is tops for a Chapman head coach.
Chapman vs. Redlands
Redlands has won five in a row against Chapman and owns a 12-3-1 all-time record against the Panthers, although the last three meetings have gone down to the wire. In fact, the average margin of the last three Bulldogs wins over Chapman is just 4.3 points, the widest of which was last year when Redlands won 19-13 and stopped a potential game-winning drive by Chapman on the 4 yard line. Prior to that, the two teams met in Redlands in 2010 when the Bulldogs won 21-17. In that game, Chapman had a touchdown taken away in the first quarter when a fumble was ruled on goalline. The last time the Panthers won in Redlands was 2006, earning a 13-7 win in Owens' first year.
Redlands in 2012
Don't be fooled by their 2-3 record, the Bulldogs are a force to be reckoned with. Their three losses have come against No. 8-ranked Cal Lutheran, No. 9 North Central (Ill.) and always tough Pacific Lutheran (Wash.). Redlands' bread-and-butter this year has been in special teams where it ranks second in the SCIAC in both punt and kick returns. The Bulldogs are also second in turnover margin (behind Chapman), including boasting the national leader in interceptions senior DB Brandon Morris who has five picks in five games.
Chapman Football on Air
For the sixth-straight year, Chapman has partnered with the school's on-campus radio station, Chapman Radio, to broadcast eight of the nine Panthers' football games in 2012, including all four home games. The games will be streamed live on the internet at http://www.chapmanradio.com/sports. A rotation of on-air student talent will provide play-by-play and commentary for every down of Chapman football. KCAA 1050 AM will also offer play-by-play for Redlands at http://www.kcaaradio.com/
Redlands will provide live stats and video via Presto Sports which can both be found at http://livestats.prestosports.com/redlands/
by Doug Aiken & Chris Watts
Sports Information Director & Sports Information Assistant