Crawfordsville, IN â€“ Wabash College (12-1 in 2011) opens the 2012 football season on Saturday afternoon at Hanover College (0-1) in a renewal of a familiar in-state rivalry. Kickoff at L.S. Ayers Stadium (SEATS; artificial surface) in Hanover, Indiana is set for 1:30 p.m.
The Little Giants begin their 126th season of football with an overall record of 625-377-59. Wabash ranks sixth among Division III schools in all-time victories and 23rd in winning percentage with a mark of .613.
Wabash is 74-43-8 in season-opening contests. The College played its first game â€” the first college football game in the state of Indiana, in fact â€” against Butler at Indianapolis Baseball Park on October 25, 1884. Wabash won that game 4-0.
The Little Giants have won 10 of their last 11 season-openers including a 19-7 at Wooster last year. The last time Wabash lost a season-opening contest was a 45-38 overtime defeat at Franklin College on September 9, 2006.
Â Wabash Preview
Wabash is coming off a 12-1 season and a sixth North Coast Athletic Conference title in 2011. The Little Giants advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Football Playoffs with a 38-20 victory over Illinois College and thrilling, come-from-behind 29-28 win against sixth-ranked North Central College. Wabash lost its quarterfinal contest against national runner-up Mount Union 20-8.
The 2012 squad features 13 returning starters from last yearâ€™s team. Seven of those players line up on the defensive side of the football, a unit that finished in the top-15 in the nation in points allowed per game (12.92 ppg), rushing defense (78.08 ypg), and total defense (249.46 ypg).
Â Captains For the 2012 Football Season Named
Wabash has named five players as football captains for the 2012 season. Weston Kitley, Chase Belton, Pat Clegg, Former Plymouth Rockie running back Austin Hodges, and Nate Scola were voted by the players as captains over the weekend.
The Hodges brothers â€”former Â Plymouth RockiesÂ senior Austin (Plymouth, IN/Plymouth) and sophomore Houston (Plymouth, IN/Plymouth) both earned All-NCAC honors last year and will start once again at cornerback.Â Former Rockie Brock Smith is expected to see some action at outside linebacker and back-up Kicker.