Football: #3 Mount Union Makes Final Regular Season Road Trip Saturday To Baldwin Wallace

Alex Kocheff (photo by Dan Poel, OhioSI.com)
Alex Kocheff (photo by Dan Poel, OhioSI.com)

2014 Mount Union Football 
#3/3 University of Mount Union Purple Raiders (8-0, 7-0 OAC) vs Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets (5-3, 4-3 OAC)
Saturday, November 8 - 1:30 pm - George Finnie Stadium (Berea, Ohio)

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THE GAME
No. 3 ranked Mount Union plays its final regular season road game Saturday at 1:30 pm against Baldwin Wallace at George Finnie Stadium in Berea.
 
Mount Union (8-0, 7-0 OAC) blew past Otterbein 66-7 on a blustery Saturday in Westerville last week.  Bradley Mitchell had a career-high four rushing touchdowns along with 180 yards on the ground to pace an offense that gained 565 total yards.  The defense held the Cardinals to just three first downs, 11 rushing yards and 74 total yards on the day.

Baldwin Wallace (5-3, 4-3 OAC) has won three of its last four games including a 48-14 win over Capital last week.  Quarterback Tyler Moeglin threw for two scores on 11-of-15 passing for 172 yards, ran for two more scores and caught a 65-yard touchdown pass while Issac Reed had 197 yards rushing to lead the BW offense.  The Yellow Jacket defense got three turnovers including two interceptions from Nelson Candelario.      
 
THE SERIES
This is the 53rd meeting between the teams with Mount Union holding a 30-21-1 lead in the series that dates back to a 10-0 Mount Union win in 1896. The Raiders have won 19-straight meetings dating back to a 23-10 Baldwin-Wallace win in 1994 in Alliance.

THE COACHES
Vince Kehres (Mount Union '98) is 22-1 (.955) in his second season as head coach.  He went 14-1 in his first season in 2013 to set an NCAA record for most wins (14) by a first year college football coach.  He earned OAC Coach of the Year and Lee Tressel Ohio College Football Coach of Year awards.  Kehres spent 13 years, eight as defensive coordinator, on the Raiders coaching staff for his father Larry Kehres.  As either a player of coach, Vince Kehres has been part of 10 of Mount Union's 11 national championships.

John Snell (Baldwin Wallace '87) is 82-48 (.631) in his 13th 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 11 years ago he led B-W to a 10-2 mark with its first NCAA Playoff berth since 1991.

STORYLINES
Mount Union leads all of NCAA Division III in total offense (628.8 yds/gm), scoring offense (64.8 ppg), first downs (239) and pass efficiency (196.4).  

For the first time in school history, Mount Union has started a season with eight-straight games scoring 50 or more points in each game.  The Purple Raiders are one of eight teams in college football history to score over 500 points in the first eight games of a season.

The Purple Raiders enter the week with NCAA Division III No. 1 rated defense allowing opponents just 168.4 yds/gm.  Mount Union's first eight opponents are averaging 2.7 yards per play and the Raiders are third in the nation in defensive third down conversions as opponents are converting just 20.9-percent on third down.

Two Mount Union starters -- defensive back Nick Rodriguez and center Mitch Doraty each have family connections to BW.  Both of their fathers -- Bob Rodriguez and Bill Doraty -- played football for the Yellow Jackets.

SCOUTING THE YELLOW JACKETS
Baldwin Wallace is third in the OAC in total defense (356.5 yds/gm) and fifth in total offense (380.9 yds/gm).  The Yellow Jackets have had the lead at the half in six of their eight games this season.

The Yellow Jacket defense is led by linebackers in senior Dan O'Brien and junior Tyler Burdoff as both have a team-best 62 tackles.  Senior defensive lineman Luke Riemenschneider has 6.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks while senior defensive back Nelson Candelario has two interceptions and six pass breakups.

On offense, senior Kyle Ohradzansky was projected to be the starting quarterback but suffered a season-ending surgery days before the opener.  Junior Tyler Moeglin -- a St. Thomas Aquinas High School grad -- has stepped in and competed 57-percent of his passes for 1,260 yards with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions.  He also has a team-best seven rushing touchdowns and is second on the team with 436 yards on the ground.  Junior Issac Reed leads the team averaging 97.4 yards per game rushing while senior Kyle Dunne has 491 yards receiving with seven touchdowns.    

BY THE NUMBERS

  • 736    Mount Union has an NCAA III best 736 wins as a program.
  • 203-8    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
  • 119    consecutive regular season road victories for Mount Union dating back to a 21-18 loss at Baldwin-Wallace on Sept. 28, 1991.
  • 142-0    Since 1996, the Raiders record when winning the turnover battle.
  • 187-1    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.
  • 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. Notre Dame has the most college football titles (11) for teams playing in a non-playoff format.
  • 91    game regular season win streak for Mount Union dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern in Alliance on Oct. 22, 2005.
  • 79    game home winning streak for Mount Union dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern in Alliance on Oct. 22, 2005.

SPECIAL K
Nicknamed "#PaulBunyan" by ESPN's QB guru George Whitfield -- Mount Union senior quarterback Kevin Burke (Westlake/Lakewood St. Edward) threw for a touchdown and ran for touchdown last week at Otterbein to improve to 37-1 as a starting quarterback at Mount Union.  If you include his 15-0 year as a starter for Lakewood St. Edward in its state championship season in 2010, Burke is 52-1 as a starting quarterback.

Burke, an All-American and reigning Gagliardi Trophy winner, has completed 66.7-percent of his passes (126-of-189) for 2,130 yards with 24 TD's and one interception while also has seven rushing touchdowns this season.

His 68 rushing yards last week gives him 2,171 career yards on the ground which is ninth-best in school history.  He enters this week 195 yards shy of 10,000 career passing yards and is 106 career passing touchdowns is three behind Gary Smeck (1997-2000) for third-most in school history.    

FOUR OF A KIND
Mount Union sophomore running back Bradley Mitchell (Detroit, Mich./South Lake) had a career-best four touchdowns as he ran for 180 yards on 16 carries at Otterbein.

Mitchell's first touchdown last week came on an 87-yard scamper that was the Raiders' longest play from scrimmage this season.  It was the longest run of his career and longest run for a Mount Union back since Nate Kmic matched a school-record with a 95 yard carry against UW-Whitewater in 2005.

In 22 career games, Mitchell is already ninth on the school's all-time rushing list with 2,171 yards tied with his quarterback Kevin Burke and Ralph Roberts (1959-62).    

PUTTING THE 'D' IN DEFENSE
Mount Union's defense got three turnovers against Wilmington and now has a turnover margin of plus-15 on the season.  That plus-15 is the sixth best turnover margin in NCAA DIvision III so far this season.

Junior defensive lineman Tom Lally (Fairview Park/Lakewood St. Edward) leads the OAC with 13 tackles for loss and three fumble recoveries. For his career, Lally has 36.0 tackles for loss which ties him with B.J. Payne (1995-98) for 10th on the school's all-time list while his 19.5 career sacks is 9th all-time at Mount Union.

Fellow juniors in safety Alex Kocheff (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) and linebacker Hank Spencer (Greencastle, Ind./North Putnam) each have a team-best 31 tackles on the season.  Kocheff had his second career interception and first interception return for a touchdown last week at Otterbein.

GREAT SCOTT
Mount Union junior wide receiver Taurice Scott (Alliance/Alliance) had his second 100-yard receiving game of the season and second in three weeks with 107 yards on seven catches last week at Otterbein.

Scott leads the Raiders with 38 catches and his eight touchdowns is just behind the nine of fellow junior Roman Namdar (Southlake, Texas/Carroll).  Namdar is second in the OAC averaging 97.5 yards per game.

UP NEXT ...
Mount Union hosts No. 6 ranked John Carroll in the final regular season game of the season next Saturday, Nov. 15 at 1:30 pm at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance.  The ticket and will call windows will begin selling and handing out tickets at 10 am while the gates will open at 12 pm.

TITLETOWN
Mount Union claimed three Ohio Athletic Conference titles last weekend.  The women's volleyball team, ranked No. 7 in the nation, won the OAC regular season title and is the No. 1seed in this week's conference tournament, while the men's and women's cross country teams swept both conference titles last weekend.  The women's cross country team  is currently ranked No. 20 in the nation.