#2 Mount Union Wraps Up Regular Season Saturday at Muskingum

Charles Dieseul making a tackle against Baldwin-Wallace (Photo by JT Higgins)

#2 Mount Union Purple Raiders (9-0, 8-0 OAC) vs.
Muskingum Muskies (4-5, 3-5 OAC)
Sat., Nov. 12 - 1:30 pm - McConagha Stadium (New Concord, Ohio)

RADIO:

WDPN 1310 AM (Alliance): LISTEN LIVE
WRMU 91.1 FM (Alliance): LISTEN LIVE

LIVE STATS: http://livestats.prestosports.com/mountunion

Complete Mount Union Game Notes in PDF Format: CLICK HERE

MUSKINGUM:

THE GAME

No. 2 ranked Mount Union travels to Muskingum for the regular season finale Saturday at 1:30 pm at McConagha Stadium in New Concord.

The Purple Raiders claimed their 23rd overall and 20th straight OAC title along with an automatic bid to the 2011 NCAA Division III Football Championship with an exciting 25-20 win over Baldwin-Wallace. Mount Union held a 19-0 lead before B-W scored 20 straight points to take a 20-19 lead with just under six minutes to play.  The Raiders then moved 68 yards in 10 plays and on 4th and 11, junior quarterback Matt Piloto (Rotonda West, Fla./Lemon Bay) hit junior wide receiver Chris Denton (Plantation, Fla./South Plantation) on a 29-yard touchdown pass that turned out to be the game-winner.  Junior running back Jeremy Murray (Martins Ferry/Martins Ferry) rushed for 155 yards while the defense was led by junior safeties Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood) and Alex Nicholls (Galion/Galion).  Driskill had a career-high 14 tackles while Nicholls had a pair of interceptions. 

Muskingum entered the fourth quarter with a 19-14 lead at Capital but the Crusaders rallied with two scores and sent the Muskies to their fifth straight loss, 28-26.  Quarterback Dalton Smith passed for a career-best 300 yards with two touchdowns, but threw three interceptions.  His top target was James Washington, who had career-highs with nine catches for 141 yards.  Alex Thomas had 14 tackles for a defense that forced four tunovers.    

MOUNT UNION FOOTBALL ON THE RADIO, TV AND ONLINE

All Mount Union football games will be broadcast on the radio on WDPN 1310 AM and WRMU 91.1 FM and simulcast online along with a LIVE STATS game tracker at http://athletics.mountunion.edu. You can also here the WRMU 91.1 FM feed on any phone by calling (330) 445-7900.

Home games will also be shown on television via tape delay on regional sports cable channel SportsTime Ohio and WIVM TV52 (Stark County), WIVN TV29 (New Philadelphia), Time Warner Cable (ch. 989-Stark County, ch. 99-Tuscarawas County), Massillion Cable (ch. 21) and Clear Picture Cable (ch. 21-Wayne County). Image Video produces the broadcasts with Joe Tait, who just finished a 39-year run as the radio voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers, does the play-by-play and Harry Paidas handles the color commentary.

THE SERIES

This is the 66th meeting between the teams with Mount Union holding a 34-29-2 lead in the series that dates back to a 23-0 Muskingum win on November 3, 1906. The Raiders have won 22-straight meetings since a 17-17 tie in 1988 in Mount Union Stadium. The last Muskie win in the series came in a 24-19 victory in 1984 in Alliance.

THE COACHES

Larry Kehres (Mount Union '71) is 312-23-3 (.927) in his 26th season as head coach as one of the most successful coaches in college football history. His teams have won 22 OAC Championships, including the last 20 in a row, along with 10 of the last 18 NCAA Division III National Championships.

Al Logan (Muskingum '82) is 14-35 (.286) in his fifth season at his Alma mater. Logan came to New Concord after serving four years as the offensive coordinator at Wittenberg University. Logan also had assistant coaching stints at Davidson (NC), Sewanee (GA), John Carroll and Miami (OH). Logan's career head coaching record is 14-41 after serving as head coach for two seasons at Sewanee.

UP NEXT ...

Mount Union will find out Sunday afternoon at 2 pm via an Internet video selection show on NCAA.com who will be their first round opponent and where the game will be played in the 2011 NCAA Division III Football Playoffs.

SCOUTING THE MUSKIES

The Muskies jumped out to a 4-0 record including a 27-7 win over then No. 9 ranked Ohio Northern but Muskingum has since dropped five straight games -- three of those by 10 points or less.  Taking care of the football has been an issue as the Muskies are minus-12 in turnover margin over the current five-game skid.

Defense has been the name of the game for the Muskies are the OAC's No. 3 rated unit and they are among the nation's leaders with 37 sacks.  Junior Sean West and senior Donte Douglas have a team-best 5.5 and 5.0 sacks respectively has 15 different Muskingum players have a sack.  Linebacker Alex Thomas, a senior from Canton GlenOak grad, is tied for the OAC lead in tackles with 101.

Youth is the theme on offense as the unit is led by sophomore quarterback Dalton Smith and sophomore wide receiver James Washington.  Smith has thrown for 1,683 yards which ranks third all-time at Muskingum for a single season. He also has tallied 2,060 yards of total offense, as he leads the team with 103 rushing carries along with 377 yards and five TD's, that ranks third all-time at Muskingum.  Washington has 738 yards receiving this year which ranks second all-time for a season in the school record books.  Senior running back Palmer Smith (96 carries, 389 yds., 1 TD) will also see action in the backfield.  

BY THE NUMBERS

162-6
Mount Union's win-loss record since 2000

55, 54
The Raiders hold the NCAA's two longest consecutive college football win streaks -- 55 from 2000-2003 and 54 from 1996-99

62
game regular season win streak for Mount Union dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern in Alliance on Oct. 22, 2005.

55
game home winning streak for Mount Union dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern in Alliance on Oct. 22, 2005.

103
consecutive regular season road victories for Mount Union dating back to a 21-18 loss at Baldwin-Wallace on Sept. 28, 1991.

116-0
Since 1996, the Raiders record when winning the turnover battle.

161-1
The Raiders record since 1990 when winning the turnover battle. That lone loss was a 20-17 loss to Wisconsin-LaCrosse in a 1995 national semifinal game. In that game, the Raiders had a +1 turnover margin.

THE RAIDERS in 2011

Mount Union returns 16 starters and 48 letterwinners in 2011.

300 WIN CLUB

With a 49-0 win over St. Lawrence in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Playoffs, Larry Kehres became the 11th coach in college football history to win at least 300 games. Here is a list of the others.

  • 483 John Gagliardi * (Carroll, MT, St. John's, MN)
  • 409 Joe Paterno * (Penn State)
  • 408 Eddie Robinson (Grambling State)
  • 377 Bobby Bowden (Samford, West Virginia, Florida State)
  • 323 Paul "Bear" Bryant (Alabama, Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A&M)
  • 319 Pop Warner (Georgia, Carlisle, Pitt, Stanford, Temple)
  • 314 Roy Kidd (Eastern Kentucky)
  • 314 Amos Alonzo Stagg (Springfield, Chicago, Pacific)
  • 311 Larry Kehres * (Mount Union)
  • 305 Frosty Westering (Parsons, Lea, Pacific Lutheran)
  • 300 Tubby Raymond (Delaware)

* Active

DID YOU KNOW?

Baldwin-Wallace's Josiah Holt had an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown last week against Mount Union. It was the first kickoff return for a touchdown against Mount Union since Sept. 19, 2009 at Ohio Northern when J.J. Mihoci ran back a kick 88 yards in a 30-10 Raiders' win.

MURRAY ON THE RUN

Junior running back Jeremy Murray (Martins Ferry/Martins Ferry) ran  for  155 yards on 28 carries with a touchdown against Baldwin-Wallace.  He was first back to get over 100 yards on B-W on the season.  It was his eighth 100-yard rushing performance of the season and 15th of his career.  He is the OAC's leading rusher with 1,248 yards.   In 22 career games, Murray has 2,864 yards on 511 attempts with 36 TD's.  He is in fifth on the school's all-time rushing list and is 431 yards behind fourth place spot of Russ Kring (3,295 yds. 1983-84, 86-87).   

UNO MEANS NUMBER 1

Junior wide receiver Chris Denton (Plantation, Fla./South Plantation) handle on twitter is @ChrisUNODenton since he wears jersey No. 1 and he turned out to be the number one receiver against Baldwin-Wallace starting in place of injured junior Jasper Collins (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva).  Denton had a season-high seven catches for 111 yards with two touchdowns including the game-winner.  Denton played his first two years of college football at Norwich (Vt.) University -- which was the same school Pierre Garcon transferred from and he also wore No. 1 at Mount Union.  

A FOR ALEX

Junior Alex Nicholls (Galion/Galion) moved into the starting lineup at safety three games ago and has had four interceptions in those three games including two against Baldwin-Wallace.  He is tied for the team lead on the season with fellow junior safety, Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood) who had a career-best 14 stops last week against  B-W.  The duo has led a unit that now has a plus-21turnover ratio on the season.

PURPLE RAIDERS IN THE PROs

Wide receiver Pierre Garcon is in his fourth season as a member of the Indianapolis Colts and had three catches for 22 yards receiving in their 31-7 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.  In his rookie season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cecil Shorts III was on a bye this past week. Two Raiders in the NFL coaching ranks are Dom Capers, the defensive coordinator of Green Bay Packers and Nick Sirianni as the offensive quality control coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.

NEW TURF, NEW HOME UNIFORMS 

Mount Union replaced its 10-year old AstroPlay surface with a new FieldTurf playing surface this past summer.  Fans will notice that the football and soccer lines are permanent with two tones of alternating green and black end zones.  The black also carries over to new Nike home purple jerseys that the Raiders will wear this season.  Mount Union's newest teams -- men's and women's lacrosse will start varsity play in the spring of 2013 and their lines will be painted onto the field.  New turf was put in the South end zone which moved the students and band to the North end leading to Mount Union warming up on North side and entering the stadium from the Northwest corner of stadium. 

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