SaberCats head to Iowa in search of second straight win

SaberCats head to Iowa in search of second straight win
June 15, 2013, 9:30 am
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The SaberCats boast a record of 8-3 and are ranked third in the National Conference. (ABC)

Nick Laino

Programming Note: Watch the San Jose SaberCats take on the Iowa Barnstormers at 5 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

Season Records
SaberCats
8-3, last week defeated Pittsburgh 68-54
Barnstormers
5-7, last week defeated New Orleans 37-33

Stat Matchup (AFL Ranking)
SaberCats
Points per Game: 53.5 (6th)
Points Allowed:  50.3 (5th)
Total Offense:  274.7 Yds/Gm (8th)
Total Defense:  247.8 Yds/Gm (1st)
Turnover Margin -3 (Gained 23, loss 26) (7th)

Barnstormers
Points per Game: 46.9 (10th)
Points Allowed:  46.8 (2nd)
Total Offense:  248.2 Yds/Gm (12th)
Total Defense:  276.4 Yds/Gm (8th)
Turnover Margin +10 (gained 27, loss 10) (2nd)

Key Matchups
SaberCats
QB – Russ Michna (1,341 yards passing, 24 TDs, 5 INT in 6 games this season)
Barnstormers
QB – J.J. Raterink (2,768 yards passing, 56 TDs, 7 INT this season)

SaberCats
WR – Jason Willis (77 receptions, 935 yards, 21 TDs this season)
WR – Fred Williams (59 receptions, 788 yards, 12 TDs this season)
WR – Huey Whittaker (49 receptions, 564 yards, 12 TDs, this season)
Barnstormers
WR – Marco Thomas (82 receptions, 914 yards, 17 TDs this season)
WR – Marcus Harris (64 receptions, 900 yards, 17 TDs this season)
WR – Jesse Schmidt (53 receptions, 521 yards, 12 TDs this season)

SaberCats
DB – Clevan Thomas (45.5 tackles, 8 INT, 15 pass breakups this season)
Barnstormers
DB – De’Mon Glanton (63.5 tackles, 5 INT & 8 pass breakups this season)

SaberCats
LB – Huey Whittaker (37.0 tackles, 4 INT and 1 sack this season)
Barnstormers
LB – John Mohrning (48.0 tackles, 1.5 TFL & 2 INTs this season)

Keep an eye on…
SaberCats
QB Russ Michna has been activated from IR this week and should be behind center on Saturday.  The SaberCats are 6-1 since the acquisition of Michna.   WR/KR Fred Williams continues to shine in his 2nd season with San Jose.  Williams scored three times Saturday against Pittsburgh and has scored at least two touchdowns in six of his first eight games played in 2013. Williams also ranks third in the league in all-purpose yardage, with 1,440.   The SaberCats defense remains ranked #1 in total defense allowing 247.8 yards per game.  Darren Arbet is one win away from his 150th career win as a head coach.

Barnstormers
QB J.J. Raterink will be looking for his first ever win against San Jose with two losses last season with Iowa and once in 2011 with Kansas City.  In those three games he has thrown 16 touchdowns and only two interceptions. WR Marco Thomas who played for San Jose in 2011 leads the receiving corps with 82 catches for 914 yards and 17 touchdowns.  WR Marcus Harris is second with 64 catches for 900 yards and 17 touchdowns.  Harris is 5th in the AFL with 168 all-purpose yards per game.  DE Mike Lewis is the AFL sack master this season with 10.5 sacks so far in 2013.  In his last two games he has racked up 5.5 sacks. Head Coach Mike Hohensee is 3rd on the AFL all-time regular season wins list with 146.

Series History
San Jose leads the all-time series 5-4. San Jose won their first ever meeting in June 24, 1995, 33-17. The SaberCats are 4-1 in Iowa with their only loss coming on Aug. 8, 1997, 68-59. San Jose swept the season series last season.

Quotable
“He is a great player. Have a lot of faith in our guys here, they are working hard this week and getting ready to play against him.”
–- Head Coach Darren Arbet on Barnstormers DE Mike Lewis.
“It’s very important, we can’t start off slow like this past week and pick it up in the second half. The emphasis is to start early and play SaberCat football and take it one play at a time” –- WR Fred Williams on how important it is for San Jose to get off to a quick start this week against Iowa.

Nick Laino works in studio operations at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and is the Public Address announcer for the San Jose SaberCats.

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