|Top Division III Matchups|
Who: No. 2 Mount Union Purple Raiders at No. 25 Ohio Northern Polar Bears
Who: St. John’s (Minn.) Johnnies at No. 3 St. Thomas (Minn.) Tommies
Who: UW-Platteville Pioneers at No. 1 UW-Whitewater War Hawks
Who: No. 10 Alfred Saxons at St. John Fisher Cardinals
Who: No. T6 Wheaton (Ill.) Thunder at No. 22 Illinois Wesleyan Titans
Who: No. 18 Redlands Bulldogs at Cal Lutheran Kingsmen
|Watch Them Now|
24 Jeremy Murray
Key Notes: No. 2 Mount Union makes its first trek away from home as the Purple Raiders face No. 25 Ohio Northern in Ida, Ohio, on Saturday. Luckily for Mount Union, it has the nation’s No. 1 rusher on its side of the line of scrimmage as Jeremy Murray brings in a 182.0 yards-per-game average and eight touchdowns through three contests. Want a more impressive stat? He’s averaging 10.5 yards per carry as his 546 rushing yards have come on just 52 rushes. Murray will face a Polar Bears’ defense that is ranked 130th nationally in rushing yards allowed, giving up 154.0 yards per game.
Other Players to Watch this Week: Nick Clark, Alfred (Sr., LB); Chris D’Andrea, Montclair State (Sr., RB); Ja Vontae Hence, Trine (Jr., WR); Leon Jones, Wesley (So., DB); Travis Lane, Hampden-Sydney (Sr., QB); Brandon Marquardt, Bethel (Minn.) (Fr., RB); Jake Mullin, McMurry (Sr., QB); Jason Shupp, Wartburg (Jr., LB); Chris VanFechtmann, Kean (Jr., DB); Erik Westerberg, Augustana (Ill.) (So., LB); Michael Zweifel, Dubuque (Sr., WR).
|Keep Your Eyes on This|
• Dubuque continued its blistering start to the season as it went to 4-0 — its first perfect start through four games since 1979 — on Saturday with a 56-28 win against Central. The win propelled the Spartans into the AFCA Coaches’ Poll at No. 24, its first ranking in program history. The victory was also memorable as it was the first for Dubuque against the Dutch since 1987 and it was the most points Central had allowed in a game since 1951. The scoring outburst came as the Spartans put up 550 yards of total offense, the most ever allowed by Central.
• Despite being idle last week, Illinois Wesleyan also jumped into the AFCA Coaches’ Poll, taking the No. 22 spot. The Titans have allowed only nine points in three games, including two shutouts, this season but will put the top-ranked scoring defense in the nation on the line this week against No. 6 Wheaton (Ill.), which ranks 11th in the country with 484.0 total offense yards per game.
• No. 3 St. Thomas (Minn.) is on a crash course with its top rival this weekend as the Tommies face the St. John’s (Minn.) Johnnies for the 80th time, including the 60th consecutive season. The battle for the Holy Grail Trophy could lead to a record in the stands as the stadium attendance record (8,541 in 1982) may be challenged.
• Mount Union’s offensive attack has been lethal at times this year, especially in the first half. Last week in the opening two quarters, the Raiders put up 49 points and gained the bulk of their 671 total yards. It was the second consecutive week it posted at least 600 total offense yards, but the bigger story was the defense that allowed just 16 rushing yards and 115 total yards. That might be troublesome news for Ohio Northern, which allowed seven sacks and was held to 4 of 19 on third downs. That came a week after its first overtime game — a 34-33 victory — in program history.
• Alfred moved into the top 10 this week largely behind the play of senior LB Nick Clark, who has been named the Empire 8 Conference Defensive Player of the Week each of the past two weeks. In a 30-22 win against Springfield on Saturday, Clark had 19 tackles including one TFL while helping the Saxons hold Springfield to 254 yards below its average, including just 27 yards in the second half. Clark also logged 15 yards and two TDs as the team’s short-yardage back.
• North Central (Ill.) will look to bring its high-flying offense the past two games on the road with it as it heads to Carthage. The Cardinals have averaged 78 points the past two games, including the third-highest scoring total in school history with 86 points against Bethel (Tenn.) two weeks ago.
• Senior WR Wes Chamblee has gotten back into the swing of things for No. 17 Wabash since missing 2010 with a knee injury. An All-American in 2009 as a return specialist, Chamblee is again showcasing his skills as he has already set the Wabash and North Coast Athletic Conference punt return record after taking one back 94 yards for a touchdown last week. His return broke the previous school mark (93 yards) that had stood since 1946. Chamblee ranks third nationally in punt returns (24.8 ypr) and is 14th in kickoff returns (30.5 ypr).
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