Football: #1 Mount Union Opens OAC Play Saturday at Muskingum

Joshua Scott (Photo by JT Higgins)
Joshua Scott (Photo by JT Higgins)

2013 Mount Union Football
#1 University of Mount Union Purple Raiders (1-0, 0-0 OAC)
vs Muskingum University Muskies (0-1, 0-0 OAC)
Saturday, September 21 - 1:30 pm - McGonagha Stadium (New Concord, Ohio)

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

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

COMPLETE NOTES IN PDF FORMAT - Click Here

THE GAME
No. 1 ranked Mount Union returns after a bye week to open up Ohio Athletic Conference play against Muskingum Saturday at 1:30 pm at McGonagha Stadium in New Concord.

Mount Union was picked in the OAC coaches and media preseaon polls to win the confernce title in 2013. The Raiders have won 24 conference titles overall including the last 21 in a row.

Two weeks ago, Mount Union opened its season with a 30-27 win over No. 19 ranked Franklin (Ind.). Quarterback Kevin Burke engineered a 79-yard drive capped by a one-yard touchdown run by Mason Minnich with just under five minutes to play and the defense held for the Raiders 26th consecutive season opening win. Burke threw for 266 yards and was the leading rusher with 72 yards, Jack Nicholls caught two touchdown passes as he had a career 109 yards receiving to pace the offense while Ted Rosalva had five tackles and 2.0 sacks to lead the defense.

Muskingum was a victim of a last minute rally two weeks ago as Waynesburg scored with 22 seconds left to beat the Muskies 22-17. Muskingum quarterback C.J. Snider had 157 yards passing and 141 yards rushing while James Washington had 122 yards receiving and Alex Adams and Chaney Fulton each had seven tackles on defense.

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.

Four regular season home games will be shown on television via tape delay on regional sports cable channel FSN 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 his now 27 years of doing Mount Union football on radio and television. The next TV game is the Oct. 26 game against Otterbein.

THE SERIES
This is the 68th meeting between the teams with Mount Union holding a 36-29-2 lead in the series that dates back to a 23-0 Muskingum win on November 3, 1906. The Raiders have won 24-straight meetings since a 17-17 tie in 1988 in Alliance. The last Muskie win in the series came in a 24-19 victory in 1984 in Alliance.

THE COACHES
Vince Kehres (Mount Union '98) is 1-0 in his in first season as head coach at Mount Union. Kehres played for the Purple Raiders and has spent the last 13 years on the coaching staff including the last eight as defensive coordinator before taking over for his father Larry Kehres this past May. As either a player or coach Kehres has been a part of 10 of the Purple Raiders' 11 national championships. His defenses have ranked among the nation's best for years including last year when Mount Union was ranked No. 1 in total defense, scoring defense and rushing defense in all of NCAA Division III.

Al Logan (Muskingum '82) is 17-44 (.279) in his seventh season at his Alma mater. Logan came to New Concord after serving for four years as the offensive coordinator at Wittenberg. Logan also had assistant coaching stints at Davidson (N.C.), Sewanee (Ga.), John Carroll and Miami (Ohio). Logan's career head coaching record is 21-56 after serving as head coach for two seasons at Sewanee.

SCOUTING THE MUSKIES
Muskingum returns 17 starters (10 on offense and seven on defense) from a team that went 3-7 a year ago.

Sophomore dual threat quarterback C.J. Snider is at the controls of the Muskies spread-option attack. Snider threw for 820 yards and rushed for 420 yards a year ago and in the opener he accounted for 298 yards (157 passing/141 rushing) of the Muskies' 396 yards of offense. Senior James Washington is the top receiver as the two-time all-conference selection entered the season third on Muskingum's career receiving yards list. Washington had nine catches for 122 yards against Waynesburg.

The Muskies play a 4-3 on defense and senior defensive back Alex Adams and sophomore linebacker Chaney Fulton each had a team-best seven tackles against Waynesburg. Two other key players on the defense are senior defensive backs and team captains Darell Jones and Hank Smith.

BY THE NUMBERS

182-7: 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 2000-03 and 54 from 1996-99

16: Mount Union has college football's longest active win streak at 16 games.

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

129-0: Since 1996, the Raiders record when winning the turnover battle.

174-1: The Raiders record since 1990 when winning to the turnover battle.  That lone loss was a 20-17 loss to Wisconsin-LaCrosse in a 1995 national semifinal game in Alliance, where the Raiders had a +1 turnover margin.

11: The Raiders 11 National Championships (1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012) are a record for college football teams in a playoff format.

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

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

UNDER MY THUMB
Junior defensive end Ted Rosalva (Boynton Beach, Fla./American Heritage) had a career-high 2.0 quarterback sacks with the last one coming on Franklin's final offensive possesion of the fourth quarter. Rosalva was an All-Ohio Athletic Conference honorable mention selection a year ago as he had a team-best 6.5 sacks.

START ME UP
Junior safety Joshua Scott (Hamilton/Fairfield) made his first career interception count as he ran it back 38 yards for a touchdown. Scott's older brother Isaiah played for Mount Union from 2009-12 and had 17 interceptions which is fourth-best in team history.

DIRTY WORK
Preseason All-American senior Matt Fechko (Twinsburg/Twinsburg) is not going to lack work as he is expected to see time both at defensive tackle and left tackle on the offensive line. Fechko had 50 tackles last year -- 12.0 for loss and was second on the team with 6.0 sacks. It is the second straight season that the Raiders have had a two-way player as Blair Skilliter played defensive back and running back a year ago.

FLIP THE SWITCH
All-American junior quarterback Kevin Burke (Westlake/Lakewood St. Edward) engineered the go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter against Franklin moving the Raiders 79 yards in seven plays in the 30-27 victory. In the fourth quarter against Franklin, Burke was 5-of-6 passing for 82 yards and ran four times for 37 yards. In the 16 games Burke has started -- his fourth quarter numbers are 32-of-37 (.864) passing for 478 yards and three touchdowns while he has rushed 16 for 63 yards (3.93 yards per carry) with a touchdown.

JUMPIN' JACK FLASH
Senior wide receiver Jack Nicholls (Galion/Galion) had career highs with eight catches for 109 yards against Franklin. It marked the seventh straight game dating back to last season that the Raiders had a receiver with at least 100 yards receiving. Nicholls, who is the brother of former Mount Union DB Jack Nicholls is one of four players on the team that had older brothers play in the program. The others are Joshua Scott (brother of Isaiah Scott), Matt McClain (brother of Drew McClain) and Josh Stewart (brother of Roger Stewart).

CONNECTION
Two former Purple Raiders are on the Muskingum coaching staff in defensive ends coach Joe Montgomery and offensive line coach Luke Summers. Montgomery, the son of former Mount Union assistant coach Don Montgomery, is in his seventh year with the Muskies and is also the head wrestling coach. Summers is in his second year on the Muskies staff.

UNDER COVER OF THE NIGHT
Mount Union returns home next Saturday (Sept. 28) to host conference foe Marietta in a night game at 7pm at Mount Union Stadium.