Week 15 Preview
After picking up a loss-by-forfeit last Friday night in Cleveland, the Pittsburgh Power are raring to get back out on the field and prove to the league they can earn a win, too. On the schedule this week for the Power: division foe Milwaukee.
“It feels as if we had a bye week,” Power Head Coach Derek Stingley said this week. “Some of the players made mention that they feel like caged animals and can’t wait to get out there.”
Last week’s win pulled the Power within a game of the Mustangs in the division, so Coach Stingley expects a dogfight this Saturday night.
The first time these teams met, Milwaukee took advantage of three Power turnovers to earn a lopsided victory. This week, Milwaukee rolls into Pittsburgh with a record of 4-8 and have dropped four of their last five. What may be most impressive about the Mustangs is that two of their wins have come against two of the league’s best teams: Philadelphia and San Jose.
Despite being the league’s fifth best quarterback in passing efficiency, Gino Guidugli has thrown seven interceptions in the team’s past five games. Guidugli was solid in the first meeting between the two teams throwing for 170 yards and three touchdowns.
Even though the ‘Stangs have been struggling, Coach Stingley says his defense can’t take them lightly.
“This team has been scoring a lot,’ he said. “We need to stick to our game plan and not play outside of ourselves as a secondary.”
One player who will be ready come Saturday is fullback Tyre Young. Young scored 20 touchdowns playing with the Mustangs last season and found paydirt twice in their last meetings.
“I know those guys over there are coming to play just like us,” Young, who is also coming off a two-score game against Arizona said. “We just have to keep be fundamentally sound and get back to the basics and get a little bit more grittiness about us, we’ll be perfect.”
Although the record looks grim now, with the rest of the conference lingering around .500, a late push from the Power could translate into a possible playoff berth. The players hope that this is the week the push finally starts.
“We’ve just got to play,” Young said. “I know the grind all these guys are putting in. It’s just not rolling our way. We’re going to figure something to change our luck.”
After last week’s strike in Cleveland, team President Peter Hill and GM Michael Gorham met with the team on Tuesday to discuss the League’s final offer to the Player Union. The details of the deal can be read here.
Earlier in the season, the team’s offensive woes were visible at practice as one of the league’s best defenses continually shut them down. As the season has progressed, the offense has began to roll making for some exciting competition during practice.
Quotes of the Week
Both quotes of the week involve the league’s labor situation. The first is from Coach Stingley and the second is Tyre Young.
“I think our players suffered enough. I know that they’re going to be ready. This is not a team that will sit on their hands and say ‘I don’t want to play.’ These guys are all in.”
“I’ll come in and out the door every day as a member of the Pittsburgh Power. Whether it be practice, game time or whatever. I’m here full force.”
Milwaukee Mustangs (4-8)
Last Game: L vs. Philadelphia 69-62
Previous Meeting: March 29, 2012 – Mustangs won 63-40 in Milwaukee
Player to Watch: Kelvin Rodgers – Rodgers has been phenomenal returning kickoffs as of late. The Power will have to maintain lane responsibilities on Saturday to hold back a player Coach Stingley says reminds him of P.J. Berry.
Game Time: Kickoff from CONSOL Energy Center will be Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. This week’s game is Wish Night, and portions of the game’s ticket sales will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The game will also be broadcasted on TribLive Radio, the Pittsburgh CW and our Ustream page.