Pitt State aims to stay undefeated with tough test at Central Oklahoma

The Gorillas (8-0) face the Bronchos (5-3) Saturday afternoon.

PITTSBURG, Kan. – The Pittsburg State Gorillas will be on the road against Central Oklahoma on Saturday in week 9 of the MIAA season.

Pitt State is aiming to remain unbeaten, heading into the weekend at 8-0 overall. Central Oklahoma is 5-3, including big wins over Northwest Missouri and Emporia State.

It will be a big test for the Pitt State offense, facing a UCO defense that is #3 in the MIAA against the run and has a league-leading 11 interceptions in 8 games.

“Each level of the defense compliments one another,” says Pitt State head coach Brian Wright, “They’re very solid up front. They’re very strong and very physical. Sometimes they can get away with playing just a three man front up there and using one more guy in coverage, and that makes it harder to throw the ball. Their defense also allows them to add a guy from the second level up to the front end and help with the run game. They’re always going to try to one-up you as far as a numbers game goes.”

“They definitely have a good front seven and they have some good guys in the secondary, too,” says Pitt State wide receiver Jack Roberts, “We have to find some ways to get the ball out quickly. That will be a challenge for us, but I think we can handle it.”

On the other side of the ball, the Gorilla defense has been dominant all season long.

Pitt State is the #1 scoring defense in the MIAA, and is #2 in the league in sacks and total defense.

“They’re coached very well,” says Pitt State LB Dubem Okonkwo on the UCO offense, “They run a lot of screens, so we’re going to be doing a lot of retracing and running to the ball. That’s going to be imperative this week. UCO is going to have nothing to lose. They’re going to give us everything they have. It’s imperative that we’re prepared for everything they throw at us.”

“Offensively, they present you with some tough formations,” Wright says, “The run game and the screen game that they have is on another level in my opinion.”

“I’m very thrilled with how our defense has been playing, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement,” Okonkwo adds, “We’ve been playing complimentary football. We have a bent don’t break mentality. Wherever we get the ball on the field we look forward to stopping the opponents from putting points on the board.”

Saturday’s game kicks off at 2 PM in Edmond, Oklahoma.