Amos alonzo stagg bowl preview No. 1 Mount Union vs. No. 3 St. Thomas
When: 7 p.m., Friday.
Where: Salem Stadium in Salem, Va.
Radio: WDPN 1310 AM/WRMU 91.1 FM
Mount Union: The Purple Raiders are 14-0 overall and one of 24 conference champions to claim an automatic bid as Mount Union won its 21st straight and 24th overall Ohio Athletic Conference championship with a 9-0 record. Mount Union has a 77-13 record in NCAA playoff games.
St. Thomas: The Tommies are 14-0 overall and in the tournament after winning the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title and its automatic bid. The Tommies are making their fifth overall and fourth straight NCAA playoff appearance with their first-ever trip to the Stagg Bowl. St. Thomas has an 11-4 record in the playoffs.
This is the first-ever meeting between the two schools. Mount Union has a 5-1 record against members of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a 3-1 record versus St. John’s and a 2-0 mark against Bethel.
Larry Kehres: (Mount Union, 1971) is 331-24-3 (.928) in his 27th season.
Glenn Caruso: (Ithaca, N.Y.1996) is 57-7 (.890) in his fifth season.
SCOUTING THE TEAMS
Mount Union: Sophomore QB Kevin Burke has passed for 3,550 yards and 37 touchdowns in 14 games. He has completed 228 of 331 passes, with just seven interceptions. WR Jasper Collins in the Purple Raiders’ top receiver with 84 catches for 1,574 yards and 22 TDs. Collins averages 18.7 yards per catch. RB T.J. Lattimore leads Mount Union with 1,018 yards and 14 TDs on 151 attempts. Burke is the team’s second-leading rusher with 748 yards and nine TDs. Blair Skilliter has rushed for 631 yards and 13 TDs as a backup to Lattimore. ... Strong safety Nick Driskill leads Mount Union with 90 tackles, including 14 tackles for loss. He has three sacks, three forced fumbles and nine pass breakups.
St. Thomas: Sophomore quarterback Matt O’Connell has passed for 2,655 yards (199-of-340) with 22 TD’s and 15 interceptions. He is also the team’s second leading rusher with 795 yards on the ground with five TD’s. His top target is another sophomore as Dan Ferrazzo has 54 catches for 788 yards with 4 TD’s. Senior tight end Logan Marks has a team-best seven TD catches. Even more youth is in the backfield as freshman Brenton Braddock has rushed for 1,125 yards on 207 carries with 16 touchdowns. ... The Tommies stout defense has 44 sacks, 19 interceptions with 16 forced fumbles. Junior linebacker Tremayne Williams has a team-best 56 tackles.