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PSU Football faces huge task at Bentley

GAME #7: Plymouth State University (0-6, FFC 0-4) at Bentley College (7-0, NE-10 7-0)

Saturday, Oct. 25, 2003, 2:00 p.m., Bentley Field, Waltham, Mass.

PLYMOUTH, N.H. -Plymouth State University will face an undefeated team for the second straight week this Saturday as the Panther football team travels to Bentley College for a non-conference match-up.

The Panthers and Falcons will kick off at 2:00 p.m. Saturday at Bentley Field as part of Homecoming Weekend on the Waltham, Mass. Campus. This appears to be a mismatch, as Bentley, ranked 19th in the nation in Division II, comes into the game with a perfect 7-0 mark while PSU is still searching for its first win of the season after six games.

Saturday's game will mark the end of an extremely challenging month for the Panthers. PSU's four October opponents (Western Connecticut, Kings Point, Springfield and Bentley) are a combined 24-3 and all four are or have been nationally ranked this season.

While the Plymouth State offense is averaging only 174.2 yards a game, the Panthers have made a big improvement from last year in the turnover department. PSU has only 15 giveaways this year (5 INT, 10 fumbles) compared to 31 through six games last season (15 INT, 16 fumbles). The Panthers have also been stung by injuries, with several key players suffering from injuries.

Bentley has another powerhouse squad this season, sitting atop the Northeast-10 Conference at 7-0 and ranked second in the NCAA Northeast Region poll. The Falcons have won 22 straight games against New England opposition, including last weekend's 37-20 victory over previously once-beaten Southern Connecticut. Bentley averages 445 yards of offense and 42 points a game, while the defense surrenders only 276 yards and 19 points an outing. The Falcons are led by the record-setting duo of QB Marc Eddy and WR Dallas Mall, former high school teammates who are now dominating opponents for Bentley.

This will be the sixth straight year that Plymouth State and Bentley have met in football, and the Falcons own a 4-1 advantage in the series. PSU's only win came in 1999, 17-12. Bentley won last year's game 35-7, and ran away with the last game at Bentley in 2001, 41-21.

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