Football: #8 Mount Union Meets #6 Johns Hopkins in NCAA Second Round in Baltimore

Jared Ruth (Photo by Rich Barnes)
Jared Ruth (Photo by Rich Barnes)

University of Mount Union Football

 #8 Mount Union Purple Raiders (10-1) vs #6 Johns Hopkins Blue Jays (11-0)

Nov. 26, 2016 - 12 PM - Homewood Field - Baltimore, Maryland

  • Radio: WDPN 1310 AM (Alliance), WRMU 91.1 FM (Alliance)

The Matchup: Mount Union travels to Johns Hopkins (Md.) for a second round game in the NCAA Division III Playoffs.

#RoadRaiders: Mount Union is playing its team record eighth road game in a single season this week. Including this weekend, the Raiders have logged almost 3,700 miles on the road in 2016.

The last time Mount Union played a second round game on the road was Nov. 26, 1994 at Albion College in Albion, Michigan. Albion won the game 34-33 on its way to a national title and it was the last time Mount Union lost a road game.

How They Got Here: Mount Union (10-1) earned one of the six at-large bids to the playoffs and won 38-21 at Hobart (N.Y.) in the first round. Johns Hopkins (11-0) earned the Centennial Conference's automatic bid to the playoffs and topped Randolph-Macon (Va.), 42-21, in the first round.

Series History: This will be just the second all-time meeting between Johns Hopkins and Mount Union in football. The Purple Raiders topped the Blue Jays, 55-13 in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Playoffs at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance.

Playoff History: Mount Union has won 12 NCAA Championships since winning its first in 1993. The Raiders have played in the national championship game 19 times since then and sport an all-time record of 92-15 in NCAA play. Mount Union has appeared in the tournament a record 28 times and appeared in the Stagg Bowl every year since 2005.

Johns Hopkins is making its sixth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Playoffs and the eighth appearance in school history; all eight trips have come since 2005. The Blue Jays are in the second round for the third consecutive year, the fourth time in five years and fifth time in eight years.

Up Next: The winner of the Johns Hopkins-Mount Union game will play the winner of the Alfred-Western New England second round game on Saturday, December 3. The location of that game will be announced on Sunday, November 27.

Bracketology: For the 12th 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 were given to 25 conference champions, one spot was for a team that was an independent or in conferences not granted automatic bids and the final six spots are national at-large bids.

Each team is allowed to only dress a total of 58 players for a playoff game.

Raiders in National Rankings: Mount Union is second in the nation in both scorng defense and defensive touchdowns. Here are some highlights in the NCAA rankings in a variety of catagories.

No. 2 in defensive touchdowns (6)
No. 2 in scoring defense (10.7 ppg)
No. 3 in scoring offense (48.2 ppg)
No. 3 in sacks (44)
No. 5 in red zone offense (91.7%)
No. 5 in first downs (286)
No. 6 in pass efficiency (174.3)
No. 7 in third down offense (50.8%)
No. 9 in total offense (513.3 yds/gm)
No. 9 in third down defense (25.4%)
No. 10 in rushing defense (70.6 yds/gm)
No. 10 in red zone defense (52.4%)
No. 10 in blocked kicks (6)
No. 10 in blocked punts (3)

** Out of 244 NCAA Division III teams ranked

Scouting the Blue Jays: Like their mascot, Johns Hopkins operates in the air as it has the nation's eighth best total offense and defensively sixth in the nation in interceptions.

On offense, the Blue Jays are No. 10 in the country in scoring (43.3 points), led by quarterback Jonathan Germano, who is eighth in Division III with 3,238 passing yards. Germano, who passed for 418 yards and four touchdowns last week, is 13th in the nation with 30 TD passes. Germano shares the ball with his receivers in the team's spread offense. Four Blue Jays receivers have more than 500 yards in receptions. Six pass catchers have 300 or more yards in receptions. And four receivers have six or more touchdowns.

Defensively, Johns Hopkins has 21 interceptions as Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Year Jack Toner leads the team with eight. The Blue Jays also get pressure up front with 30 sacks and 10 of those from Kyle Bonci.

Fantastic Four: Freshman Dom Davis is nation's fourth rated passer with a passer rating of 182.2. He is also fourth in the nation in passing yards per completion at 16.21 yards. On the season, Davis has completed 66-percent of his passes for 1,670 yards with 16 touchdowns and is an All-OAC honorable mention selection.

Lucky 13: Senior Bradley Mitchell is 13th in the nation in rushing yards this season with 1,288 yards. He is now third all-time at Mount Union with 4,635 yards. Mitchell is on the All-OAC team for a fourth straight year and second time he is a first team pick.

Line Items: Four of Mount Union's five offensive lineman earned All-OAC accolades from the conference's head coaches headlined by senior left tackle Brooks Jenkins. Jenkins won the Ken Wable Award as the conference top offensive lineman and was an All-OAC first team pick. The award is named after the former Mount Union head coach, who was on the sidelines for 24 years (1962-85) and led the Raiders to their first OAC title.

Jenkins was joined on the first team by fellow senior in center Mitch Doraty. Junior right guard Cole Parrish is on the All-OAC second team while junior right tackle Matt Fitchet is an honorable mention selection.

Many Happy Returns: Senior Tim Kennedy made the All-OAC first team as a returner. Kennedy is Mount Union's all-time leader in punt returns (110) and punt return yards (1,257).

Mike and Mike: Senior defensive lineman Mike Vidal and senior "mike" linebacker Charlie Dear both were named All-OAC first team. Vidal was an honorable mention selection a year ago, has a team-best 12 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. Dear is second on the team in tackles (64) and has 5.0 quarterback sacks.

The Other Guys: Three other members of the defense earned All-OAC second team honors in junior defensive lineman Adam Mihoci, sophomore linebacker Danny Robinson and safties in junior Brian Groves and sophomore Austin White.

On the Air: 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. You can also hear the WRMU 91.1 FM feed on any phone by calling (330) 445-7900.