October 29, 2012

#1 Football Heads to OAC Showdown at #15/23 Baldwin Wallace

2012 University of Mount Union Football
#1 Mount Union Purple Raiders (8-0, 7-0 OAC) vs
#15/23 Baldwin Wallace University Yellow Jackets (7-1, 6-1 OAC)
Sat., Nov. 3 - 1:30 pm - Finnie Stadium (Berea, Ohio)

Complete Mount Union Game Notes in PDF Format: CLICK HERE

THE GAME

No. 1 ranked Mount Union goes on the road for its final two regular season games starting next week at No. 18 ranked Baldwin Wallace at 1:30 pm in Berea.

A Mount Union win would clinch the Purple Raiders their 21st consecutive and 24th overall Ohio Athletic Conference title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Football Playoffs.

It marks the second-straight week that Mount Union plays a nationally ranked team after the Raiders knocked off then No. 14 ranked Heidelberg, 33-14. Sophomore quarterback Kevin Burke (Westlake/Lakewood St. Edward) threw for three touchdowns and ran in another to lead the offense. Senior Blair Skilliter (Curtice/Genoa) had a rushing touchdown as part of a career-best 97 yards rushing while fellow senior Jasper Collins (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva) haf five catches for 81 yards. Mount Union's defense held Heidelberg, a team coming in that averaged over 500 yards per game, to 295 total yards. All-American seniors Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood) and Charles Dieuseul (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) along with sophomore Ted Rosalva (Boynton Beach, Fla./American Heritage) each had nine stops to lead the defense.

Baldwin Wallace won its fourth straight game with a 66-14 victory over Marietta. Quarterback Ryan O'Rourke completed 11-of-14 passes for 210 yards with four TD's and one interception. He also ran for 41 yards in five attempts with a TD. Sam Gordon led the defense with five tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

MOUNT UNION FOOTBALL ON TV, RADIO AND ONLINE

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

The four regular season home games will be shown on television via tape delay on regional sports cable channel SportsTime Ohio and WIVM TV39 (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 Harry Paidas along with hall of fame broadcaster Joe Tait. Tait spent 39 years as the radio voice of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers and was recently awarded the Bill Nichols Media Service Award by the Ohio Athletic Conference for his now 26 years of doing Mount Union football and basketball on radio and television.

THE SERIES

This is the 51st meeting between the teams with Mount Union holding a 28-21-1 lead in the series that dates back to a 10-0 Mount Union win in 1896. The Raiders have won 17-straight meetings dating back to a 23-10 Baldwin-Wallace win in 1994 in Alliance.

THE COACHES

Larry Kehres (Mount Union '71) is 325-24-3 (.927) in his 27th season as head coach and is one of the most successful coaches in college football history as he is one of only 10 coaches in college football history to win at least 300 games. His teams have won 23 OAC Championships, including the last 20 in a row, along with 10 of the last 18 NCAA Division III National Championships. He is a past president of the American Football Coaches Association and was the offensive coordinator for Team USA as they won the gold medal in the IFAF World Championships in 2011.

John Snell (Baldwin Wallace '87) is 71-39 (.645) in his 11th season at his Alma mater. Snell spent eight seasons as an assistant coach for the Jackets before taking over as head coach in 2002. In his first season, he won OAC Coach of the Year honors leading B-W to an 8-2 season, then nine years ago he led B-W to a 10-2 mark with its first NCAA Playoff berth since 1991.

SCOUTING THE JACKETS

Baldwin Wallace is ranked fourth in the OAC in offense (379.4 yds/game) and fifth in defense (314.1 yds/game). A year ago, Mount Union converted a fourth down with 2:14 to play with a 29-yard touchdown pass from Matt Piloto to Chris Denton as the Raiders beat BW 25-20 in Alliance.

Senior quarterback Ryan O'Rourke is second in the OAC with 17 passing touchdowns. He has completed 56.6-percent of his passes (94-of-166) for 1,395 yards and his top target is junior Josiah Holt with 32 catches for 551 yards with five touchdowns. Holt is third in the OAC in receiving (78.7 yds/game) but did not play last week and status is unknown for this week. Senior Tyler Lohr is the top runinnnig back with 391 yards on 88 carries with two touchdowns.

On defense, junior linebacker Michael Stacchiotti has 60 tackles which is fifth-best in the OAC. Senior defensive end Joe Fitch is sixth in the OAC with a team-best 4.5 sacks while junior safety Zach Barley has three interceptions that ranks third in the conference.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • 175-7 - 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
  • 71 - game regular season win streak for Mount Union dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern in Alliance on Oct. 22, 2005.
  • 63 - game home winning streak for Mount Union dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern in Alliance on Oct. 22, 2005.
  • 108 - consecutive regular season road victories for Mount Union dating back to a 21-18 loss at Baldwin-Wallace on Sept. 28, 1991.
  • 124-0 - Since 1996, the Raiders record when winning the turnover battle.
  • 169-1 - 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 Alliance. In that game, the Raiders had a +1 turnover margin.
  • 420 - points scored by Mount Union this season which is most through eight games since 2007 when the Raiders had 432 at this point on their way to an NCAA record 778 points scored.
  • 22 - games since Mount Union trailed at the end of the first quarter when it was down 7-0 to Heidelberg last week. The last game the Raiders trailed at the end of the first quarter was the 2010 Stagg Bowl when it was 7-0 UW-Whitewater.

UP NEXT ...

Mount Union closes out the regular season next Saturday at John Carroll. Kickoff from University Heights is slated for 6 pm.

OFFENSE TOPPING THE CHARTS

Mount Union leads the nation in scoring after eight games with a 52.5 per game average. The Raiders have scored at least 50 points in six games which marks the first time since 2009 that a Mount Union team has done that. Sophomore quarterback Kevin Burke (Westlake/Lakewood St. Edward) leads the offense and is the No. 1rated quarterback in the nation with a passer rating of 196.84. Last week against Heidelberg, he accounted for four touchdowns (3 passing and 1 rushing) along with 283 yards (passing+rushing) of total offense.

PUTTING THE D in DEFENSE

Mount Union's defense saw its shutout streak end at 377 minutes 27 seconds as Heidelberg scored on its first possesion. In fact, the Raiders found themselves down 7-0 at the end of the first quarter and had surrendered 149 yards. The Mount Union defense hunkered down from that point and allowed only 71 yards until a 75-yard scoring drive in the game's final two minutes. The defense enters this week ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defense (140.88 yds/gm), scoring defense (2.63 pts/game), pass defense (98.75 yds/gm), rushing defense (42.13 yds/gm) and pass efficiency defense (63.98). All-American seniors in safety Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood) and linebacker Charles Dieuseul (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) lead the unit with 46 and 37 tackles respectively.

NEW YORK NICK

Senior safety Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood) will head to New York City in December as he will be one of 15 players from all levels of college football to receive an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship from the National Football Foundation. An Exercise Science major with a 3.77 grade point average, Driskill is the third Raider to ever win the honor joining offensive lineman Eric Safran in 2007 and quarterback Greg Micheli in 2008. Driskill was the D3football.com National Defensive Player of the Year, an AFCA and AP Little All-America selection, a CAPITAL ONE Academic All-American and the OAC's Lee Tressel Award winner as the conference's top defensive back in 2011.

MAD SKILLS

Senior Blair Skilliter (Curtice/Genoa) has started every game at defensive back this year and last week against Heidelberg had two tackles and a pass breakup. Skilliter has also played running back in every game this season (the position he has played the last three years) and had a career day last week with 19 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown.

PUNT MOST IMPORTANT PLAY IN FOOTBALL

Baldwin Wallace alum and former football coach Jim Tressel stated that "the punt is the most important play in football." Well this season for Mount Union punt returns and last week punting has had some important plays. Senior Chris Denton (Plantation, Fla./South Plantation) has four punt returns for touchdowns this season and is 11th in the nation in punt returns with a 14.0 average per return. For the season, he has 378 punt return yards which is 17 from the Mount Union single season record of 395 that Justin Wray had in 2007. Just in case you were wondering the NCAA record for punt return touchdowns in a season is five that Chris McKinney of Guilford (N.C.) had in 2001. Mount Union also leads the nation in kickoff returns averaging 31.0 yards per return on the season. Senior Brandon Mathie (Louisville/Louisville) also kicked the longest punt in Mount Union history last week with a 78-yarder that topped the previous mark of a 77-yard punt that Randy Biery had vs. Albion (Mich.) in 1976.

PURPLE RAIDERS IN THE PROs

Wide receiver Pierre Garcon was a sixth round draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2008 signed an off-season free agent deal with the Washington Redskins missed this past week's game with a foot injury. Cecil Shorts III, a fourth round pick in by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011, had a career-best eight catches for 116 yards in a 24-15 loss at Green Bay. Kyle Miller is currently a tight end on the practice squad for the Colts. Two Raiders in the NFL coaching ranks are Dom Capers, the defensive coordinator of Green Bay Packers and Nick Sirianni as the wide receivers coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.

NEW LOCKERS/PRESS BOX PROJECT

Fans will notice some dust behind the opens stand east of the stadium as a pair of locker rooms are under construction to house Mount Union's men's and women's soccer and new men's and women's lacrosse programs. A new facade will be added to the back of the open stands and the plan is to expand and renovate the main press box will be a second phase done later. As a result of the expansion, Stadium Drive will no longer exist.

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