2012 playoffs: Mount Union bracket

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Mount Union Purple Raiders
Seed: No. 1, Mount Union bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 1, Week 11, 2012
Location: Alliance, OH
Enrollment: 2115
Stadium: Mount Union Stadium (5450)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: OAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 2
Head coach: Larry Kehres (Mount Union '71)
Career record: 327-24-3 (.932)
Base offense: Multiple
Base defense: 2-4-5
Record in NCAA playoffs: 73-13 (1985-86, 1990, 1992-present)
Championships: 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, OAC champ
You'll know they're playing well if: The offense gets into a rhythm quickly. In Week 11 against John Carroll, the Purple Raiders ran 86 plays.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: Well not that anyone's actually seen them play poorly, but if they're allowing pressure on the quarterback, who leads the nation in passing efficiency, that could be a problem. They've had injury issues at left tackle.
This season's turning point: Making the call in the preseason to go with Kevin Burke at quarterback. Twenty-four touchdowns and four interceptions later, it looks like a good call.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 261.1/269.3
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 37.7/119.0
How far can they go? To the postgame celebration in Salem.
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Widener Pride
Seed: Likely No. 2, Mount Union bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 9, Week 11 2012
Location: Chester, PA
Enrollment: 2632
Stadium: Leslie C. Quick Jr. Stadium (4000)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: MAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 25
Head coach: Isaac Collins (Rochester '94)
Career record: 23-7
Base offense: Multiple
Base defense: 4-3
Record in NCAA playoffs: 15-10 (1975, 1977, 1979-82, 1988, 1994-95, 2000-01, 2007)
Championships: 1977, 1981
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, MAC champ
You'll know they're playing well if: Chris Haupt is distributing the ball to all his weapons, particularly wide receiver Anthony Davis in space. Widener runs a lot of plays where Haupt selects a target from multiple receivers running short routes. Davis is always a great option, particularly if he can get the ball with enough room to put his ankle-breaking moves on an overmatched safety or linebacker.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: Haupt is distributing the ball to the other team. He threw four interceptions against Lycoming, three against Delaware Valley and three against Lebanon Valley. Widener had the offensive fire power to overcome those mistakes in the regular season, but that won’t be the case after the first round of the playoffs.
This season's turning point: Widener erased a nine-point deficit with less than five minutes remaining to beat Lycoming 28-23. That road victory proved to be the decisive game in the MAC title chase. Widener converted a third-and-21 on the first scoring drive and a third-and-22 on the second one, showing the Pride’s penchant for getting in and out of tough spots.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 154.0/336.3
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 124.9/188.9
How far can they go? Out of their foursome and to Ohio, perhaps.
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Johns Hopkins Blue Jays
Seed: Likely No. 3, Mount Union bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 19, Week 11, 2012
Location: Baltimore, MD
Enrollment: 5385
Stadium: Homewood Field (8500)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: CC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 50
Head coach: Jim Margraff (Johns Hopkins '82)
Career record: 156-80-3 (.661)
Base offense: Spread
Base defense: 4-4
Record in NCAA playoffs: 2-3 (2005, 2009, 2011)
Championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, Centennial champ
You'll know they're playing well if: If they are running the ball successfully with Jonathan Riguad (1,262 yards, 20 TDs) and converting third downs on offense, and pressuring the quarterback on defense. Fourteen players have made the Blue Jays' 33 sacks.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: They are forced to settle for field goal attempts (only four all year) and are turning the ball over. JHU is minus-8 in turnover margin on the year.
This season's turning point: Trailing 35-28 early in the fourth quarter of a Friday night game against Gettysburg, a 63-yard run by Rigaud sparked a 21-point fourth quarter and a 49-35 win. That helped the Blue Jays build a big enough lead in the CC standings that a Week 10 loss at Franklin & Marshall didn't cost them a playoff spot.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 262.6/232.4
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 94.5/177.9
How far can they go? To Ohio for the second round.
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Salisbury Sea Gulls
Seed: Likely No. 4, Mount Union bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 11, Week 11 2012
Location: Salisbury, MD
Enrollment: 6657
Stadium: Sea Gull Stadium (2500)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: E8
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 135
Head coach: Sherman Wood (Salisbury State '84)
Career record: 121-86-1 (.584), 100-48 at Salisbury
Base offense: Spread option
Base defense: 3-4
Record in NCAA playoffs: 7-8 (1983, 1985-86, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2010-11)
Championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, E8 champ
You'll know they're playing well if: They are running the ball and getting to the third level of defenders. When the Sea Gulls get through to the linebackers and secondary consistently, they are hard to keep off the scoreboard.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: They are committing a lot of penalties. There have been a handful of games this season where that's been an issue.
This season's turning point: Bouncing back from a loss at Ithaca with a 42-point first half against Utica in a game that decided the Empire 8. The Sea Gulls rushed for touchdowns on their first eight drives, getting back to what they do best.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 293.7/88.3
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 90.3/183.5
How far can they go? As far as the option takes them. A trip to Alliance for the quarterfinals is plausible.
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Rowan Profs
Seed: Likely No. 5, Mount Union bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 25, Week 11 2012
Location: Glassboro, NJ
Enrollment: 7821
Stadium: Coach Richard Wackar Stadium (5000)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: NJAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 32
Head coach: Jay Accorsi (Nichols '85)
Career record: 87-31 (.737)
Base offense: Multiple spread
Base defense: Multiple 4-3
Record in NCAA playoffs: 28-12 (1991-93, 1995-99, 2001, 2004-06)
Championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool C
You'll know they're playing well if: The Profs win the battles along the offensive and defensive line. The Rowan offense is most effective when the Profs can run the ball to set up the pass. The Profs’ stingy run defense opens with an enormous test from the option offense of Salisbury.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: The Profs have to rely on their offense to win a shootout. Rowan went 1-2 in games when its opponent scored at least 20 points and the lone win came in a 30-24 rally over a Western Connecticut team mired in a two-year losing streak.
This season's turning point: Rowan scored 14 points in the span of two minutes to pull away from Brockport for a 17-3 win in week 5. That victory pulled the Profs into the upper tier of the NJAC so that their playoff hopes could sustain a loss to Cortland State two weeks later.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 183.0/199.0
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 101.7/210.2
How far can they go? They should be considered a possible upset pick in your bracket to make it to Alliance.
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Bridgewater State Bears
Seed: Likely No. 6 seed, Mount Union bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: Never ranked
Location: Bridgewater, MA
Enrollment: 7094
Stadium: Swenson Field (2000)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: NEFC Bogan
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 154
Head coach: Charles Denune (Heidelberg '98)
Career record: 58-22 (.725)
Base offense: Spread
Base defense: 4-3
Record in NCAA playoffs: 0-2 (1999-2000)
Championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool C
You'll know they're playing well if: Running back Mike Gentili is getting significant carries and Jake Scott can become involved in the passing game early.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: They are unable to run the ball effectively and forced to go strictly to their passing attack.
This season's turning point: Hearing their name called on Selection Sunday.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 237.2/152.8
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 97.4/149.9
How far can they go? To get out of the first round, they'll have to be able to win in a shootout.
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Washington and Jefferson Presidents
Seed: Likely No. 7, Mount Union bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 20, Week 1 2010
Location: Washington, PA
Enrollment: 1477
Stadium: Cameron Stadium (4000)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: PAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 46
Head coach: Mike Sirianni (Mount Union '94)
Career record: 93-20 (.823)
Base offense: Spread
Base defense: 4-2-5
Record in NCAA playoffs: 21-21 (1984, 1986, 1987, 1989-96, 1999, 2000-02, 2004-09)
Championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, PAC champ
You'll know they're playing well if: Matt Bliss is on target.  He has three TDs against seven interceptions in two losses in 2012; 10 TD, five interceptions in the eight victories. St. John Fisher returned one of three interceptions 100 yards for a TD.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: The Presidents are losing the turnover battle. In the eight losses since their last NCAA appearance, W&J has turned the ball over 27 times. In that span, W&J has only forced 10 turnovers.
This season's turning point: Regrouping after the killing of senior captain Tim McNerney to edge Westminster (Pa.) and go on to win the conference title.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 158.5/207.3
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 146.4/182.9
How far can they go? With the right inspiration, the Presidents could win their first-round game.
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Christopher Newport Captains
Seed: No. 8, Mount Union bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 20, preseason 2010
Location: Newport News, VA
Enrollment: 4,583
Stadium: Pomoco Stadium (4,200)
Playing surface: Grass
Conference: USAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 60
Head coach: Matt Kelchner (Susquehanna '82)
Career record: 82-44
Base offense: Multiple
Base defense: 4-3
Record in NCAA playoffs: 2-8 (2001-04, 2006, 2008, 2010-11)
Championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, USAC champ
You'll know they're playing well if: They are masters of the turnover battle. CNU has excelled -- and, more importantly, followed through to win -- games in which the secondary picked off passes two or three or four times on a Saturday. In fact, in the Captains' six victories, they've hauled in 15 picks. The run defense, at times, has shone, too, with CNU holding three of its last four opponents to under 100 rushing yards.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: They fall behind fast and early in the game. In the Captains' four losses this season, their opponent notched the first two scores in each of those games, and even if CNU was able to battle back, this team lacked the stamina to hold on for wins.
This season's turning point:  The wins against Maryville and Ferrum to open conference play. Those two teams, along with CNU, finished 5-2 in the USAC, and those wins gave the Captains the lift into the postseason. That was also that point in the season where running back-turned-quarterback Marcus Morrast took the reins as the starter and showed himself a solid dual threat signal-caller.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 185.5/151.8
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 189.2/181.2
How far can they go? A chilly trip to Alliance and back.
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Mount Union bracket | Mary Hardin-Baylor bracket | UW-Whitewater bracket | Bethel bracket

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