Purchase photos

FHSU notes -- Tigers have lost four straight to Washburn

9/13/2013

By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

As a coach, Chris Brown first made his mark as Washburn University's defensive coordinator for nine seasons. He helped turn the Ichabods into a national power before he took over at Fort Hays State University three years ago. Brown remains close to longtime Washburn coach Craig Schurig, On Saturday, FHSU (0-1, 0-1 MIAA) matches up with Washburn (1-0, 1-0 MIAA). Game time is 6 p.m. in Topeka.

"It's kind of got past that point of 'Oh, it's a big rivalry, got to go beat Schurig at his squad, ' " Brown said. "Now, it's just, 'We just got to go play football the way we can play and be good at it.' "

FHSU has lost four straight to Washburn, which is receiving votes in the NCAA Division II poll. The Tigers have dropped six straight in Topeka dating back to 1987. Since the Tigers switched to the MIAA, FHSU is 1-6 with the lone win a 17-7 victory in 2008 in Hays.

"They need to believe in themselves, and and believe they can go on the field and play with anybody," Brown said.

Washburn defeated University of Nebraska-Kearney 58-13 last week. Quarterback Mitch Buhler completed 16 of 29 passes for 273 yards and a 3/1 TD/INT ratio.

Redshirt freshman kicker Justin Linn was MIAA Special Teams Athlete of the Week after he made three of three field goals and seven of seven extra points. His 51-yard field goal was one shy of the school record.

Better on road

Brown is 9-14 as the Tigers' coach, but is 3-9 at home and 6-5 on the road. It's a marked difference from FHSU several years ago when the Tigers didn't win a road game from Week 3 of the 2005 season to the 2009 season opener. Brown said FHSU seems to be a little more focused on the road.

"We are pretty structured," Brown said.

Everything is scheduled, including pregame meals and bed checks. Brown said the captains lead well, too. For Saturday, the Tigers will leave in the morning.

"Not much time for them to do anything else," Brown said.