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Wittenberg opens NCAC play against DePauw

Two weeks after their first game, a 49-24 loss at Butler, Wittenberg’s players have moved forward. Their coaches are still pushing around the disappointment in their minds like it’s a blocking sled. It’s going to take time to get it out of their minds.

“Our first week back, we had those really hot days,” Fincham said. “Our guys came out with an edge and found out they had something to prove. They were disappointed in how they played. Kids bounce back quicker than coaches do. They’ve got class. They’ve got girlfriends. They’ve got video games, or whatever those guys are doing. I think coaches kind of carry the brunt a little bit.”

A win at 1 p.m. Saturday would ease their pain. It’s a meeting of Tigers in Greencastle, Ind., as Wittenberg plays DePauw. Each team seeks its first victory after not playing on the second Saturday of the season.

DePauw lost its opener 10-7 at Sewanee (Tenn.). Quarterback Justin Murray completed 17 of 29 passes with two interceptions. DePauw had 227 yards of total offense.

This will be Wittenberg’s first game in Greencastle since 1989, when it lost 14-10. Wittenberg leads the all-time series 5-2 and won 52-14 last season.

DePauw will have a different look because it has a new head coach. Bill Lynch coached at DePauw for one season in 2004. He later coached four seasons at Indiana.

Lynch was hired in the offseason after DePauw went 2-8 last season and 1-6 in the NCAC, losing three straight games in league play by four points or less. That was its second straight losing season after five straight winning ones.

“They’re going to get better,” Fincham said. “You don’t hire Bill Lynch and Jay Hood as your defensive coordinator, who was the coordinator at Miami and Miami State, and Scott Srnka, who has been a coordinator at a whole bunch of D-III schools, and not get better. They’re redoing their facilities right now. They’ve got tremendous resources. They’re going to get a lot better, and they’re going to get a lot better fast.”

Notes: Wide receiver Desi Kirkman (knee) and offensive lineman Aaron Coeling (illness) didn’t play in the opener for Wittenberg, but both returned to practice and should play this week. … Butler played another Division III team a week after facing Wittenberg and almost lost. Franklin led 14-0, and it was tied at 21 in the fourth quarter, but Butler won 31-28. Franklin also almost upset Mount Union in week one, losing 30-27.

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