#7 Pitt State prepares to host top-10 showdown against #9 Northwest Missouri

The Gorillas host the Bearcats Saturday at 2 PM.

PITTSBURG, Kan. – The Pittsburg State Gorillas host a top-10 showdown on Saturday afternoon, welcoming in the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats.

Pitt State (5-0) is ranked #7 in the nation heading into the weekend, while Northwest Missouri (4-1) is #9 in the latest AFCA Division II poll released on Monday.

Pittsburg State has sold out every seat in the stadium for Saturday, and is now only selling standing room only tickets for the game – so the Gorillas are expecting a home field advantage in Saturday’s game.

“We’ve used some social media to challenge our fans to get to the game by 1:40 and be in their seats and start that atmosphere right at kick off and be loud. We want them to be as loud as they’ve ever been at Carnie Smith Stadium,” says Pitt State head coach Brian Wright, “If we can do that, that home field advantage is certainly there and will be important for us.”

“I think that’s really what we should get every week, honestly,” says linebacker PJ Sarwinski on playing in front of a packed stadium, “This is a big week for the community. I expect it to be loud. I’m excited that we’re going to have a crowd like that.”

“I think it’s going to be a great atmosphere. Last year was pretty loud,” says Pitt State offensive lineman Trase Jeffries on playing in Maryville last year, “On our last drive, I could barely hear at their stadium. I think we’ll return the favor with all of our fans at this game.”

Saturday’s game will be a matchup of the two best defenses in the MIAA.

Pittsburg State and Northwest Missouri are the only two teams in the league allowing fewer than 15 points per game. They’re also the only two programs in the MIAA allowing fewer than 300 yards per week.

“We’ve talked about it a couple times this week on the defensive side. This may a 10-9 game. It may be that way,” Sarwinski adds, “As a defensive guy, I love that. I love seeing a low-scoring game. It’s tough and physical, and you have to get every inch. Football is about every inch.”

“Those guys understand the mindset and the mentality we need on that side of the ball,” Wright says of his defense, “Those guys have done a great job of coming through for us, and we’ll certainly need them again Saturday.”

Saturday’s game begins at 2 PM at Carnie Smith Stadium in Pittsburg.