GAME PREVIEW - #1 Football Hosts #2 Mary Hardin-Baylor in NCAA Semifinals Saturday

2012 University of Mount Union Football

NCAA PLAYOFFS - Semifinals

#1 Mount Union Purple Raiders (13-0) vs
#2 Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) Crusaders (13-0)
Sat., Dec. 8 - 2 pm - Mount Union Stadium (Alliance, Ohio)

  • TV: ESPN3 - Dan Gutowsky, play-by-play; John Gregory, color - WATCH LIVE

Complete Mount Union Game Notes in PDF Format: CLICK HERE

THE GAME

No. 1 ranked University of Mount Union will host No. 2 ranked University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) in an NCAA Division III National Semifinal Playoff Game Saturday at 2 pm Saturday, Dec. 8 at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance, Ohio.

Mary Hardin-Baylor is 13-0 overall and in the tournament after winning the American Southwest Conference title and its automatic bid. The Crusaders or "The Cru" are making their 11th NCAA Playoff appearance over the last 12 seasons. They are in the semifinals for a fourth time and advanced to the Stagg Bowl in 2004 where they fell to Linfield (Ore.) 28-21. Overall, Mary Hardin-Baylor has a 21-11 record in the playoffs including a 59-20 win over Louisiana College in the first round, a 63-17 win over Franklin (Ind.) in the second round and a 32-20 win over Wesley in the quarterfinals.

The Purple Raiders are 13-0 overall and one of 24 conference champions to claim an automatic bid as Mount Union won its 21st straight and 24th overall Ohio Athletic Conference championship with a 9-0 record.

Mount Union has a 76-13 record in NCAA Playoff games including a 72-14 win over Christopher Newport (Va.) in the first round, a 55-13 win over No. 15 Johns Hopkins (Md.) in the second round and a 72-17 win against Widener in the quarterfinals. The 199 combined points in three games is a Mount Union playoff record.

The Raiders have advanced to the Stagg Bowl 15 times and have won a record 10 National Championships.The Purple Raiders are 12-0 overall and one of 24 conference champions to claim an automatic bid as Mount Union won its 21st straight and 24th overall Ohio Athletic Conference championship with a 9-0 record. Mount Union has a 75-13 record in NCAA Playoff games including a 72-14 win over Christopher Newport (Va.) in the first round and a 55-13 win over No. 15 Johns Hopkins (Md.) in the second round. The 127 combined points in two games is a Mount Union playoff record. The Raiders have advanced to the Stagg Bowl 15 times and have won a record 10 National Championships.

THE SERIES

This is the second-ever meeting between the two schools.  The first was a national semifinal game in 2004 at Mount Union Stadium that saw Mary Hardin-Baylor beat the Raiders, 38-35.  Mount Union has only played one other team from the state of Texas -- Trinity -- where the Raiders posted a pair of wins in 1998 and 2002.

THE COACHES

Larry Kehres (Mount Union '71) is 330-24-3 (.928) in his 27th season as head coach and is one of the most successful coaches in college football history.  He is one of only 10 coaches in college football history to win at least 300 games and with the recent retirement of John Gagliardi at St. John's is the winningest active football coach in the nation. His teams have won 23 OAC Championships, including the last 21 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 for a record 17th time the AFCA has named him Regional Coach of the Year.

Pete Fredenburg (Southwest Texas State) is the only head coach the Cru has had in the 15-year history of the program. He has guided UMHB to a 146-33 record and 11 NCAA Division III National Championships appearances during his tenure. The Cru has won or shared ten ASC championships in that time. This is the sixth AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honor for Fredenburg. He was also named Region III Coach of the Year following the 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2010 seasons. Fredenburg also won ASC Coach of the Year honors for the seventh time in his career this season.

UP NEXT ...
The winner of this game advances to play the winner of the St. Thomas-UW-Oshkosh game at the national championship game -- the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl next Friday, Dec. 14 at 7 pm at Salem Stadium in Salem, Virginia.  The game will be broadcast LIVE on television on ESPNU and online at ESPN3. 

SCOUTING THE CRU
Mary Hardin-Baylor has a high powered offense led by a mobile quarterback with a defense that is strong against the run and gets turnovers.  The Cru have the nation's No. 4 total offense (542.31)that is No. 2 in scoring (50.0) and No. 5 in rushing (306.54) while No. 68 on total defense (325.46) but No. 5 rushing defense (63.38).

Senior quarterback LiDarral Bailey is nation's No. 2 rated passer behind Kevin Burke.  He has thrown for 2,529 yards with 30 touchdowns and just three interceptions while rushing for 937 yards on 133 carries with 13 TD's.  Senior Darius Wilson (135 carries, 841yds, 10 TD's) and junior Elijah Hudson (110 carries, 664yds, 10 TD's) compliment Bailey in the backfield while senior Geoff Myles is the top receiver with 50 catches for 736 yards with five TD's.

The Cru's powerful defense has 36.0 sacks, 26 interceptions with 14 forced fumbles.  They have a plus-19 turnover margin.  Senior linebacker Javicz Jones has a team-best 121 tackles along with seven interceptions -- two of those he has returned for touchdowns.  Junior defensive tackle Silvio Diaz has a team-best 16 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks.

BY THE NUMBERS

180-7

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

73

Mount Union ended the regular season on a 73-game regular season winning streak dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern on Oct. 22, 2005

66

Mount Union has won 66 straight home games dating back to the 2005 loss to Ohio Northern.

129-0

Since 1996, the Raiders record when winning the turnover battle.

174-1

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

716

points scored by Mount Union this season which is most through 13  games since 2007 when the Raiders had 695 at this point on their way to  an NCAA record 778 points scored.

10

The Raiders 10 National Championships (1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008) are a record for college football teams in a playoff format. Notre Dame has the most college football titles (11) for teams playing in a non-playoff format.

56

Mount Union has hosted 56-straight playoff games dating back to 1996. The Raiders are 54-2 in those games with losses in 1999 to Rowan (N.J.) in the national semifinals and in 2004 to Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) in the national semifinals.

300
Larry Kehres is one of 10 coaches in college football history to win at least 300 games. Here are the others.

•489 John Gagliardi (Carroll, Mont., St. John's, Minn.)
•408 Eddie Robinson (Grambling State)
•377 Bobby Bowden (Samford, West Virginia, Florida State)
•330 Larry Kehres * (Mount Union)
•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)
•305 Frosty Westering (Parsons, Lea, Pacific Lutheran)
•300 Tubby Raymond (Delaware)
* Active

RECORD RUN

Mount Union will play its 90th NCAA playoff game on Saturday and have had countless outstanding performances but the last three weeks the Raiders have re-written a few lines in the books ...

Playoff - Single Game Individual Records

  • Most TD's: 5 - Jasper Collins vs. Johns Hopkins
  • Most TD Receptions: 5 - Jasper Collins vs. Johns Hopkins ** also a school-record

Playoff - Single Game Team Records

  • Most First Downs: 40 vs. Widener ** also a school-record and NCAA Division III record
  • Most Points Scored: 72 vs. Christopher Newport and Widener, 2012
  • Fewest Rushing Yards Allowed: -29 vs. Widener ** also NCAA Division III playoff record

Tournament Records

  • TD Passes Caught: 9 by Jasper Collins, 2012 ** also NCAA Division III playoff record

Mount Union Single Game Individual Records

  • Total Offense: 495 - Kevin Burke vs. Widener, 2012

Mount Union Single Season Individual Records

  • Punt Returns For TD's: 5 - Chris Denton, 2012 (had #5 in playoff game vs. Christopher Newport)
  • Punt Return Yards: 507 - Chris Denton, 2012

THIS DRISKILL KID IS SPECIAL

Senior safety Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood) blocked two punts in the second quarter -- one he returned for a touchdown that sparked a 30-point second quarter against Widener last week.

This past Tuesday Driskill was in New York City as one of 15 football players in all levels of college football to receive a Scholar Athlete Award and an $18,000 post-grad scholarship from the National Football Foundation. The group of Scholar Athlete winners included USC quarterback Matt Barkley and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o. The two-time OAC Outstanding Defensive Back, All-American, Academic All-American. He is also the CAPITAL ONE Academic All-American of Year for Division III football selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. He is the second-ever Mount Union player to receive the award joining Greg Micheli in 2008.

DIEUSEUL FUELING THE DEFENSE

All-American senior linebacker Charles Dieuseul (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) had five tackles with 2.0 for loss against Widener last week. Over three playoff games, Dieuseul has a team-best 22 tackles, 5.5 for loss and 2.0 sacks for a defense that enters this week ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defese (172.31). The Raiders are also No. 1 in scoring defense (6.85 pts/game), pass defense (135.15 yds/gm), rushing defense (37.15 yds/gm). Dieuseul is also Mount Union's career leader in tackles for loss with 53.5.

BURKE BETTER AND BETTER

Sophomore quarterback Kevin Burke (Westlake/Lakewood St. Edward) followed up a career-high 388 yards passing and five touchdown passes against Johns Hopkins with a performance of 495 yards of total offense including his first 100-yard rushing game against Widener. Burke threw for 380 yards and ran for 115 and his 495 yards of total offense is a Mount Union single-game record besting the mark of 456 by College Football Hall of Famer Jim Ballard's 456 vs. John Carroll in 1993. He enters this week as the nation's No. 1 rated passer (196.61).

COLLINS CATCHES ON

Mount Union wide receiver Jasper Collins had his fourth straight 100-yard recieving game and fourth straight multi-TD game with six catches for 102 yards and two scores against Widener. His two TD catches gives him an NCAA tournament record nine touchdown catches. The old record of eight was done by Reiko Gollate in 1997.

BRACKETOLOGY

For the 8th year the NCAA Division III Football Championship consists of a 32-team field. For perspective, in Mount Union's first appearance in the playoffs in 1985, the field was 16 teams. This year's field breaks down like this: Automatic bids will be given to 24 conference champions, one spot is reserved for teams that are independents or in conferences not granted automatic bids and the final seven spots are national at-large bids. Each team is allowed to only dress a total of 58 players for a game.

PURPLE RAIDERS IN THE PROs

Wide receiver Pierre Garcon, a sixth round draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2008, signed an off-season free agent deal with Washington and had eight catches for 106 yards and the game-winning TD in a 17-16 win against the NY Giants. Cecil Shorts III, a fourth round pick in by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011, had seven catches for 77 yards with a TD in a 34-18 loss at Buffalo. Kyle Miller made his NFL debut as a TE for the Indianapolis Colts, three weeks ago, was waived then signed by the Miami Dolphins. Two Raiders in the NFL coaching ranks are Dom Capers, defensive coordinator of Green Bay Packers and Nick Sirianni 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.