Gorillas prepare to face UIndy in first playoff game since 2014

Pitt State hosts UIndy Saturday at 1 PM.

PITTSBURG, Kan. – The Pittsburg State Gorillas are back in the Division II national football playoffs.

The Gorillas (11-0) will host the GLVC champion University of Indianapolis (9-1) in the first round on Saturday.

Pitt State heads into the weekend ranked #4 in the national poll, while UIndy is #13.

Saturday’s game will be a tough test for the Pitt State offense. The Greyhounds have the #1 rush defense in the nation, allowing just 54 yards per game on the ground.

“Their front 7 really attacks the ball,” says Pitt State offensive lineman Kory Woodruff, “It doesn’t seem to me like they’re really concerned about the back end. They give up a lot of explosive pass plays and stuff like that. They really try to sell out to stop the run, and that’s not really something that we’ve seen.”

“If you’re going to commit that much to stopping the run, there’s things you can do on the perimeter or through play action passing where you believe you may have an opportunity to make some plays,” says head coach Brian Wright on facing an aggressive UIndy front.

“I think it starts with dominating the line of scrimmage,” Woodruff adds, “They have a good defense and good linebackers. They blitz a lot. They play heavy run a lot. It just starts with dominating the line of scrimmage and letting our playmakers make plays.”

Saturday’s game will be Pitt State’s first appearance in the playoffs since 2014.

The Gorillas lack playoff experience – but they’re excited for the opportunity they have ahead of them – and happy to bring playoff football back to Pittsburg.

“It feels good to bring back what they expect,” Woodruff says on earning a home playoff game in front of Gorilla fans, “The standard is the standard. This is what we came here for. We came here to play in games like this. It feels good to be back at this point, but we’re not done yet.”

“It means a lot. I’m glad we could do it for our seniors this year,” says Pitt State LB Dubem Okonkwo, “Guys like PJ Sarwinski, Morgan Selemaea, Brandon Mlekus and Zeke Wall. The fact we get to do it with them…they came back another year and they put their jobs on hold and came back for us. It means a lot and I’m glad we could do it for them this year.”

“There’s nothing quite like The Jungle,” Woodruff finishes, “My opportunities are limited to play here. Any opportunity I have to play here, I’m excited about it and I’m ready to go.”

Kickoff for Saturday’s game is at 1 PM at Carnie Smith Stadium in Pittsburg.