Emotions should be running high this afternoon when IUP concludes its season against California (Pa.) at Miller Stadium.

The Indians, who already knew the PSAC West championship hung in the balance with this game, received a little extra motivation on Wednesday when coach Frank Cignetti announced that he would be retiring after the game. With a win, IUP (5-4, 4-1) can send Cignetti off with not only a share of the division championship, but also his 200th career coaching victory.

The task won’t be easy. California (7-2, 4-1) brings one of the top offenses, something Cignetti is very aware of.

“The part of their game that really scares you is their offense,” Cignetti said.

“From an offensive standpoint, I think Cal is one of the two top teams we have faced all year. If they’re hot, they can be explosive.”

The Vulcans’ statistics back that up. California is ranked 10th in total offense in Division II, averaging more than 467 yards of total offense per game. Points haven’t been scarce or the Vulcans, either. Their 42.6 points per game are top in the PSAC and sixth in the country.

“You don’t stop (California’s offense),” Cignetti said. “You have to be able to control the run. Hopefully you can keep their runs under 10 yards and make the plays when you have the opportunities to make the plays.”

Cignetti said ball control will be important for his offense to keep California’s offensive unit off the field, but time of possession with no points won’t help at all.

“You have to control the tempo,” Cignetti said, “plus you have to score points.

“We’ve played teams that you want to back up because they can’t make big plays or drives. Well this is a team that you want to back up, but they’re explosive enough to make big plays and change field position around real quick.”

Cignetti said that it’s hard for him to evaluate how good the California defense is, but he feels it will be good enough to frustrate the Indians if they’re not on their game.

The offense has been a huge question mark for the Indians all year, and has been inconsistent to say the least.

Freshman quarterback Andrew Krewatch leads the unit, which has rushed and passed for the same total – 1,411 yards this season.

He may need to play his best game of the year this week for IUP to be successful. Krewatch isn’t the only young starter on this team though, and Cignetti is interested in seeing how his squad will respond with everything on the line.

“They know this is an important game and they understand that Cal will be ready to play,” Cignetti said.

“I think it’s like taking a final exam. We have nine games under our belt and we know what this is all about, now let’s see if we can go out there and put it all together.”

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

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