Top Division III Matchups

Who: No. 24 Cortland State Red Dragons at No. 7 Montclair State Red Hawks
When: Oct. 8 at 1 p.m. ET 


Who: Frostburg State Bobcats at No. 12 Wesley Wolverines 
When: Oct. 8 at 1 p.m. ET


Who: Washington-St. Louis Bears at No. 13 Wabash Little Giants
When: Oct. 8 at 1 p.m. ET


Who: No. 17 Bethel (Minn.) Royals at St. John's (Minn.) Johnnies  
When: Oct. 8 at 2 p.m. ET


Who: No. 21 Wartburg Knights at No. 20 Dubuque Spartans   
When: Oct. 8 at 5 p.m. ET


Who: Augustana (Ill.) Vikings at No. 9 North Central (Ill.) Cardinals
When: Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. ET

Watch Them Now

47 Willie Hayes
North Central (Ill.)
6-0 | 230 | Sr. | LB

Key Notes: After leading the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin with 13 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks in 2010, Hayes is back at it again this year. On Saturday against Carthage, he had a season-high seven tackles to go with 1.5 sacks and two TFLs as the Cardinals earned their first shutout in two years. On the season, he is among the team leaders with 3.0 TFLs including 2.5 sacks and four quarterback hurries. Behind Hayes, the Cardinals are only giving up 234.0 yards of total offense per game, including just 96.0 rushing yards. The push from the front seven has led to 10 interceptions and only three opponent passing TDs as well. 

Other Players to Watch this Week: Michael Bates, Illinois College (Fr., QB); Sam Cox, McDaniel (Sr., DL); Jarrad Craine, Mississippi College (Sr., DB); George Ka'ai, Puget Sound (Sr., QB); Preston Lumzy, Monmouth (Ill.) (Fr., LB); Brandon Marquardt, Bethel (Minn.) (Fr., RB); Kyle Vance, Hampden-Sydney (Sr., WR).

Keep Your Eyes on This

• Three teams jumped into the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Top 25 this week, including two which knocked off previously ranked teams to get there. Adrian appeared at No. 22 after rolling by then-No. 12 Trine 26-7 last weekend while Cal Lutheran, which is No. 25 this week, improved to 2-1 with a 28-24 come-from-behind victory against then-No. 18 Redlands. Cortland State came in at No. 24 this week after trouncing Morrisville 55-14.

• Cortland State will put its ranking on the line right away as the No. 24 Red Dragons hit the road to face No. 7 Montclair State on Oct. 8. Cortland brings a 3-1 record into the matchup, winning its last two games by an average of 43-21. Last week, sophomore WR John Babin propelled the offense as he tied the school record with three receiving touchdowns and added seven catches for 139 yards. Defensively, the Red Dragons have allowed just 68.2 rushing yards per game to rank ninth nationally while giving up only one rushing TD this fall.

• Dubuque earned its first ranking in program history last week and will add another mark to the historic 2011 ledger as it plays its first game between ranked teams on Saturday. The No. 20 Spartans play host to their biggest Homecoming game as they face No. 21 Wartburg. The only unbeaten team in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Dubuque has posted more than 530 total offense yards in three of its five game this fall and will pose a challenge to the Knights' defense, which has allowed just 319.6 yards per game.   

• Also in the rankings for the first time last week, Illinois Wesleyan made a quick statement as it defeated then-No. T6 Wheaton (Ill.), keeping one of the top offenses in the country in check as it won 24-19. Despite facing a different defense than it had expected to see all week, the Titans still gained 375 total offense yards while racing to their second shutout of the year.

• Five teams still have yet to allow a rushing touchdown this fall. Trinity (Conn.), Muskingum, Amherst and Wesley rank Nos. 4, 5, 7 and 10 in rushing yards allowed per game while holding foes out the of the end zone on the ground. Washington-St. Louis is the lone team outside the top 10 which hasn't given up a rushing score, holding teams at bay despite ranking 49th in rushing defense at 112.5 yards per game. The Bears will need the stellar defensive effort to continue this week as they travel to take on No. 13 Wabash, which has averaged 36.3 points per game. 

• Wesley jumped four spots in the coaches' poll this week to No. 12 after becoming the second Division III team this season to defeat an FBS or FCS opponent. The Wolverines used a lethal rushing attack as they posted 334 yards on the ground, including 100-yard performances by Askia Jahad and Steven Koudossou in a 13-point victory against Charleston Southern. This week, the Wolverines will face a similar opponent as Frostburg State has a pair of running backs averaging more than 100 yards per contest. Senior Patrick Pinchinat has gained 142.0 yards per game and three TDs while freshman JD Hook has added another dimension to the Bobcats' offense by bringing 110.7 rushing yards and two scores in three contests.