UPLAND, Ind. – Taylor and Anderson will square off for the 26th Wagon Wheel game and the 65th all-time meeting on the gridiron between the two former Indiana Collegiate Athletic Conference rivals. The night will also feature a pregame dedication of Turner Stadium.
SCOUTING TAYLOR – The Trojans enter the 2015 campaign looking to ride a deep and experienced roster to their first winning season since 2010. Taylor returns 51 players from the 2014 squad that went 3-3 in league play. That group includes 18 seniors and 15 returning starters, highlighted by All-MSFA performers Adam Sauder, Brandon Haan, Shawn Lashbrook, Hans Lundberg, Jay Johnson, Jake Venable, Tyler Mills and Dovi Gamble.
SCOUTING ANDERSON – The Ravens ended a 29-game losing streak with a 45-15 win at Earlham in 2014 and added a second Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory over Hanover to end the season with a 2-8 clip. The rebuilding process continues in Head Coach John Sala's second-season, with a young roster consisting of 61 freshmen and sophomores and only 25 juniors and seniors.
LAST MEETING – Taylor bolted to a 21-0 lead at Anderson one year ago and cruised to a 56-10 victory over the Ravens. TU racked up 30 first downs and averaged 6.5 yards per snap, led by 241 yards and four touchdowns through the air by Jonathan Keith. The Trojan defense limited AU to 178 total yards of offense and picked up nine hits for lost yardage.
SERIES HISTORY – Taylor has won seven-straight games against Anderson but trails the all-time series with the Orange and Black by a 37-25-2 margin. The series started with a 31-12 Trojan victory at Anderson on October 19, 1949 and evolved into the Wagon Wheel Game in 1990. Taylor has won the Wagon Wheel 13 times, while Anderson has claimed it 12 times. The series has slanted in TU's favor of late, with the Trojans not facing a deficit against the Ravens since early in the 2008 game and outscoring AU by a 160-17 gap in the last three meetings.
PRESEASON HONORS – After being tabbed as a 2014 American Football Coaches Association First-Team All-American selection, Adam Sauder has continued to rack up the honors entering his senior campaign. The strong safety has made the Preseason All-American lists for InstantScouting.com and USA College Football, while also being named to the College Football America Starting Lineup. Sauder has not been alone in the preseason spotlight for TU, as Shawn Lashbrook and Hans Lundberg were also named as Preseason All-Americans by USA College Football.
WHAT'S ON DECK? – The Trojans will open their Mid-States Football Association portion of the schedule next Saturday, when they host RV Saint Francis (0-0) at Turner Stadium for a 7:00 pm clash. The game will be the first of six MSFA Mideast League contests for Taylor during the 2015 season.
AROUND THE MSFA – Top-ranked Marian stole the national headlines last Saturday, toppling No. 4 Saint Xavier by a 45-13 margin on SXU's home field. MSFA play will open this week, with Lindenwood hosting Siena Heights and No. 4 Saint Xavier looking to bounce back at Saint Francis (IL).
JOIN THE TROJAN CLUB – The Trojan Club is Taylor University's athletics booster organization that is comprised of alumni, supporters and friends of TU, with the purpose of raising funds to further advance the development of Taylor's intercollegiate athletics program. If you have not already, please consider joining by going to http://athletics.taylor.edu/trojanclub, or calling 765-998-5311.
FOLLOW THE TROJANS ONLINE – Be sure to 'Like' the Trojans on Facebook and 'Follow' TU on Twitter to catch all of the latest news, scores, videos, photos and more! Simply search TaylorTrojans on Facebook and Twitter to join one of the largest social media networks in the NAIA. You can also download TU's free mobile app by searching Taylor Trojans, or sign up for customized text and email alerts by going to the Fan Zone tab on http://athletics.taylor.edu.
ONLINE WEBCASTS AND REPLAYS – Taylor University is pleased to offer a free live video webcast of a wide variety of home athletics events throughout the 2015-2016 year. If you are not able to come to the event, simply go to http://portal.stretchinternet.com/taylor to catch the action. Contests are also archived for viewing on demand.