A Centre win might not carry the same historical significance as the Colonels' victory over then-No. 2 Trinity in 2000, but it would certainly be meaningful to this year's team.
Trinity comes to town as the 15th-ranked team in Division III and on pace to win its 12th consecutive Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championship.
Two straight tough losses
Centre's loss last week at Maryville was its second straight two-point defeat, and the Colonels (3-4, 1-2 SCAC) faced double-digit deficits in both of those games before getting on the scoreboard.
They can't afford to do that against Trinity (5-1, 2-0), which is outscoring its opponents by an average of 37-23 even after last week's 30-14 loss. The Tigers are averaging 477 yards per game with a proven offensive formula.
"They haven't really changed, and why would they?" Frye said. "They'll try to establish a little bit of a running game, then they'll try to challenge you on the perimeter using their wide receivers on screens. They do a good job of getting their speed to the perimeter when they can."
Trinity's offense is driven by quarterback Dan DesPlaines, a fifth-year senior who has thrown for 1,561 yards . Junior running back Jerrold Jones has 630 yards and an average of 7.7 yards per carry.
The Tigers will provide a stiff test for a Centre defense that ranks last in the SCAC in points allowed (25.7 per game) and rushing defense (172 yards per game).
"We're working on some things trying to utilize our quickness in our down linemen and linebackers," Frye said.
Centre offense should test Tigers
Frye said the Centre offense might make some headway against a Trinity defense that has allowed 27 points or more in four of its six games.
"Defensively, they're always going to be good," he said. "But our offense has been putting up yardage and putting up points. I really do believe our offense can give them a test."
Centre quarterback Brian Behrendt has thrown for 2,199 yards - no other SCAC quarterback has even reached 1,600 yet - with 19 touchdowns, and wide receiver David Crowley leads the conference in receptions (48), yards (726) and receiving touchdowns (seven).
Centre's ground game generated only 29 yards last week and is averaging a league-low 89 yards per game.
But there are three fewer offensive starters wearing red vests - which signify injured players who aren't ready for contact - this week: running back Jeremy Britt, who missed last week's game and almost all of the game before; center Brian Martinko; and tackle Tyler Davidson.