D2football.com’s Tony Nicolette: Weekly Gliac Column

“Co” Game of the Week
Hillsdale (4-2, 5-2) at #24 Northern Michigan (5-1, 5-1)

When Hillsdale traveled to Findlay a couple of weeks ago after their impressive thumping of Ashland, the Chargers put forth a rather lackluster performance. They look to avoid the “letdown” again this week after the huge win over Grand Valley. The SuperiorDome has been a form of kryptonite for a lot of teams, and HC is no exception. The ‘Cats will be ready and this game pits two of the league’s more physical clubs.

Hillsdale Keys:
– Pass Protect – While Northern is near the top of the league in almost every statistical category (especially on defense), they have yet to face a passing attack with the overall potency possessed by the Chargers. If HC can give Troy Weatherhead time they should be able to move the ball.
– Throw salt over your left shoulder with your right hand – Or use whatever voodoo hex remover you want (you know, like in Tin Cup when KC and Cheech were on the driving range trying to get rid of the chili dips?). With all due respect to Northern, I’ve seen a ton of teams over the years go up to that Dome and not play their game. HC can’t afford a let down in this one and needs to play like they know they can.

Northern Keys:
– One-two Punch – Northern always looks to establish the run first. Getting Bossuah and Wallace going early has worked all year and will bode well for the ‘Cats if those two get cranked up in this one.
– Trap Troy – Getting pressure on HC’s QB is a key. Findlay was very successful at it, and for the most part GV wasn’t. If NMU can keep him running and un-settled it throws the HC offense of the rails.

Prediction – This one has the looks of a brawl, as these are two of the more physical clubs in the league. While I think everyone knows that the ‘Cats are “for real” at this point with a couple of the quality wins they’ve had, their overall schedule hasn’t been the strongest to date. They are in the middle of a four week gauntlet and passed the first test, but can they continue their fine play? Despite the question marks and the firepower Hillsdale brings in, NMU has been the more consistent of the two to this point. In addition, until someone proves to me this year that they can beat the ‘Cats at home it’s pretty darn hard for me to pick against them. Northern 33, Hillsdale 27.
Player Profile
Fresh off the program’s biggest win in years, this week we chat with Hillsdale’s DT Mark Yassay. The senior from Northville is a three-year starter and a mainstay up front for the Chargers.
What is your major?
What’s your favorite class?
International Business
Other than your home field, what are your favorite and least favorite places to play in the GLIAC?
My favorite place is Michigan Tech, while my least favorite is Findlay.
How is life on the road in the GLIAC? How do you pass the time on the long trips?
I enjoy life on the road. You are with your team and you have a job to do, you have 55 guys with one goal, and that is a special situation to be a part of. On long road trips I talk to my teammates.
Who is the hardest hitter on your team? In the GLIAC?
On my team and the GLIAC it is (HC LB’s) Joe Stempien and Matt Szula.
How many text messages do you get/send in a day?
Around ten.
What’s your favorite food?
My moms stuffed cabbage.
What’s your favorite TV Show?
Ultimate Fighter–Heavy Weights
What influenced your decision to choose Hillsdale/playing in Division II?
My dad played a large role. He explained to me that I only have one chance at college and I should do something that I enjoy. I chose Hillsdale for the education, and the opportunity to play Charger Football.
What do you hope to do after graduation?
Go to Law School.
Thanks, Mark, and congrats again on the great win this past weekend and a great career in Charger Blue.
GLIAC Trivia
Last week, I wanted to know who coached Indianapolis to its only unbeaten season. Dave Shaw led the Greyhounds to an 8-0 mark in 1953. Congrats to Brad (Findlay ’03) for being the first in with the correct response. Your copy of the D2 Preview Mag will be on its way soon.
This week, we’re looking for the last Hillsdale defensive lineman to earn an All-American plaudit. Let me know who it was and what year he earned the honor. Of course, a copy of our fine publication is up grabs to the first one to get me the fella’s name at tony.nicolette@d2football.com.

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