Mount Union gets defensive
Also: Terps take down No. 2; Magee nets fifth game-winner
The scoreboard operators at the No. 1 Mount Union football team’s games are getting full-time pay for doing part-time work. It’s not their fault – opponents have just not been able to put points on the board against the Purple Raiders because of Mount Union’s incredibly stingy defense.
The Purple Raiders have dominated foes, allowing just seven points total on the season, and posting a NCAA-record six consecutive shutouts since opening the season with a 45-7 victory against Franklin.
|487||John Gagliardi*||Carroll (Mont.), St. John's (Minn.)|
|408||Eddie Robinson||Grambling State|
|377||Bobby Bowden||Samford, West Virginia, Florida State|
|324||Larry Kehres*||Mount Union|
|323||Paul "Bear" Bryant||Alabama, Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A&M|
Against Otterbein on Saturday, the Purple Raiders notched a 51-0 shutout, matching Mount Union’s 2007 squad and Plymouth State’s 1982 team which also strung together six consecutive shutouts. During the six-game streak the Purple Raiders have allowed just 101.8 yards of total offense per game. They lead Division III in all defensive statistical categories -- rushing, passing, total and scoring.
"Our defense has experience, quickness and tackles very well,” Mount Union head coach Larry Kehres said after the Otterbein game. “When you have all those things you can be successful."
Successful? Coach, your defense gave up one touchdown in the fourth quarter of your first game this year. (One touchdown and no field goals on just one attempt – in seven games!) For Raider opponents, it is like playing against a brick wall.
Mount Union boasts a Division III-leading scoring defense, surrendering just an average of 1.0 point per game this season. If the Purple Raiders keep up the pace, they will surpass the three Mount Union teams that having won the Division III scoring defense crown since 2007. The 2007 squad – also owner of the season shutout record with seven – still gave up 6.9 points per game, while the 2008 and 2010 teams allowed 8.7 and 8.9 points per game, respectively.
The Division III record for scoring defense has been on the books since 1980 – Millsaps gave up just 3.4 points per game that season.
The Otterbein win was not only significant for the consecutive shutouts mark. With Saturday’s victory against Otterbein, Kehres collected his 324th career win moving him past Paul “Bear” Bryant for fourth on college football’s all-time wins list. Kehres, who owns a 324-24-3 career record and has guided the Raiders to 22 NCAA appearances and 10 Division III titles, is always humble despite his team’s accomplishments.
"Bear Bryant is a legendary football coach and I am honored to be included in any list that he is on," Kehres said. "Anything like this is a result of so many young men over the years working hard and being dedicated to our program and this is as much about all of them as anything."
• Princeton ended Harvard’s nation-best 14-game winning streak with a thrilling come-from-behind 39-34 victory in FCS football on Saturday. The Tigers scored 39 points in the second half, including 29 in the fourth quarter, after being held scoreless in the first half of play. Quinn Epperply’s 36-yard TD pass with 13 seconds left capped off the win for the Tigers. Princeton was held to just 51 yards of total offense in the first half, and then exploded for 419 yards in the second half as the Tigers remained the lone unbeaten in Ivy League play at 3-0.
With Harvard losing to the Tigers and Tennessee State falling to Jacksonville State in overtime, only two teams remain perfect in FCS football – No. 14 Cal Poly (7-0) and No. 7 Lehigh (8-0).
• The Maryland-North Carolina men’s soccer game on Friday night lived up to its’ billing as the No. 1 Terrapins outlasted the No. 2 Tar Heels 2-1 in overtime. Schillo Tshuma netted the game-winning tally with an assist from Patrick Mullins as the Terps remained perfect in Atlantic Coast Conference play, and unbeaten on the season.
"This was a great game," Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski said. “It was a great advertisement for college soccer. This was a real classic 1 vs. 2 game and this is one of those nights I'll always treasure.”
• No. 7 Pittsburg State suffered its worst home loss since 1914, falling 63-14 to No. 16 Missouri Western in Division II’s Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association action on Saturday. Michael Hill ran for 116 yards and three rushing touchdowns, while quarterback Travis Partridge threw for 213 yards and four touchdowns as the Griffons handed the Gorillas their second consecutive loss. The Griffons will not have a lot of time to celebrate their victory against the defending NCAA champions – they travel to undefeated Emporia State on Thursday.
• Richmond redshirt sophomore Michael Strauss had an impressive performance in the Spiders’ 35-29 victory against No. 2 James Madison in his first career start at quarterback after senior John Laub went down with a broken ankle in last week’s FCS game at New Hampshire. Strauss threw for four touchdowns, marking the first time since 2009 that a Spider signal-caller has thrown for four scores.
• In the biggest Division III football match-up of the week, No. 13 UW-Oshkosh upended three-time defending NCAA champion No. 5 UW-Whitewater 28-13 on Saturday, snapping the Warhawks’ 27-game winning streak in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play in front of the largest crowd in league history (12,318).
"We built for this one moment," UW-Oshkosh head coach Pat Cerroni said after the game. "We recruited kids that want to beat champions.”
The Titans remained perfect on the season with a 7-0 mark, and currently are on top of the WIAC standings with a 4-0 record.
• It did not take very long for the No. 1 Florida State women’s soccer team to bounce back after suffering their first loss of the season on Thursday to No. 24 Boston College (3-2). The Seminoles downed No. 5 Maryland 1-0 thanks to a game-winning goal by Tiffany McCarty in the closing minutes of play on Sunday afternoon. The win against the Terrapins clinched the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title for the Seminoles, their second in the last four years and first since 2009. FSU (15-1-0, 8-1-0) also tied a single-season school record with eight league victories.
• It took surviving a pair of five-set matches, but the No. 2 Stanford women’s volleyball team improved to 10-0 in Pac-12 action with wins against No. 5 Washington and Washington State during the weekend. The Cardinal is riding a 16-match winning streak, including three consecutive five-set matches against league opponents.
• The No. 12 Georgetown women’s soccer team suffered its first loss of the season, falling to Villanova 1-0 on Friday in the Hoyas’ Big East Conference finale. It was the first time the Wildcats have defeated the Hoyas since 2007 thanks to the lone goal of the contest by freshman Emily Damstrom. Despite the loss, Georgetown earned the No. 1 seed in the National Division for the Big East Tournament and a bye into the quarterfinals.
• Connecticut field hockey’s streak of 26 consecutive regular season victories ended on Sunday as No. 2 Princeton handed the Huskies their first loss, 4-1, of the 2012 season. The Tigers are now 6-1 against ranked teams this year, including a pair of wins against top-five opponents.
• The No. 8 Pepperdine men’s water polo team posted its second top-five victory in as many weeks, upsetting No. 5 Pacific 9-6 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action on Sunday. Spencer Hamby scored a season-high four goals for the Waves in the contest.
|THE DIGIT||THE 4-1-1|
|93.3||Coe College senior quarterback Jared McNutt completed 28-of-30 passes in a 47-7 win against Simpson on Saturday, setting a NCAA Division III record for highest percentage of passes completed with 93.3. The Kohawks improved to 7-0 and are the lone unbeaten team in the Iowa Conference.|
|105||Albany State (Ga.) junior defensive back Quintory Braswell returned an interception 105 yards for a touchdown on the last play of the game in a 36-9 victory versus Clark Atlanta on Saturday. It is the longest interception return in Division II football this season.|
|250||Saint Rose head coach Laurie Darling Gutheil notched her 250th career victory with the Golden Knight’s 2-0 win against Stonehill in Division II’s Northeast-10 Conference action on Saturday. She is one of only 10 active NCAA Division II women’s soccer coaches to have reached the milestone.|
|333||North Dakota receiver Greg Hardin set a school and Big Sky record with 333 receiving yards in a 40-34 victory against Montana on Saturday. Hardin broke the conference record with a 32-yard touchdown reception with 12 seconds remaining in the contest to lift UND to the win. With three TD receptions against Montana, he currently ranks second in the FCS with 12.|
|435:17||The No. 1 Middlebury field hockey team has shut out its last six opponents, not giving up a goal since Sept. 29 – a scoreless string of 435:17 minutes. The Panthers are 12-0 on the season – the lone unbeaten team in Division III field hockey.|
|13,467||A crowd of 13,467 fans witnessed Cal Poly’s 2-1 overtime win at No. 16 UC Santa Barbara for the Mustangs first victory against the Gauchos in 15 attempts. The attendance was the seventh-largest regular season crowd in NCAA men’s soccer history.|
• The Northeastern men’s soccer team set the program record for longest unbeaten streak with a 2-1 victory versus UNC Wilmington. The Huskies have posted an 8-0-2 mark in the last 10 games, including a six-match winning streak.
• The No. 22 West Florida women’s volleyball team upset No. 2 Tampa on Friday 3-1, ending the Spartans’ 35-match home winning streak which dated back to the 2010 season. It was UWF’s third win against a ranked opponent this season.
• More than 2,200 fans watched No. 4 Calvin sweep No. 2 Hope College in Division III women’s volleyball on Saturday in a battle of first place in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The Knights remained unbeaten in league play, defeating the Flying Dutch for the second time in the regular season.
• Rockhurst junior forward Mark Magee netted his fifth game-winning goal of the season as the No. 16 Hawks edged No. 5 Drury 1-0 in a Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference match on Friday. Rockhurst moved into a tie for first place in the league standings with the victory. Magee is the GLVC leader with 30 points and eight assists on the season.
• The No. 1 Eastern Washington football squad is off to its best start in Big Sky Conference play after escaping a pesky Sacramento State with a 31-28 victory. The Eagles are 5-0 in league play.
Follow Amy Farnum on Twitter: @NCAA_Amy