2013 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 2013
Location: Alliance, OH
Enrollment: 2115
Stadium: Mount Union Stadium (5450)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: OAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 1
Head coach: Vince Kehres (Mount Union '98)
Career record: 10-0 (1.000)
Base offense: Spread
Base defense: 4-2-5
Record in NCAA playoffs: 78-13 (1985-86, 1990, 1992-present)
Championships: 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012
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 running back du jour is churning up yardage, the defense can keep the quarterback contained and Kevin Burke has time to throw.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: The receivers can't get open deep or the opposing running game is able to move the chains.
This season's turning point: Kevin Burke led the offense on a 79-yard drive in the fourth quarter to stem the tide and lift the Purple Raiders to a 30-27 win vs. Franklin.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 283.0/262.7
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 70.2/157.5
How far can they go? To Salem.


Johns Hopkins Blue Jays
Seed: Likely No. 2, Mount Union bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 10, Week 11 2013
Location: Baltimore, MD
Enrollment: 5385
Stadium: Homewood Field (8500)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: CC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 17
Head coach: Jim Margraff (Johns Hopkins '82)
Career record: 167-81-3 (.671)
Base offense: Spread
Base defense: 4-4
Record in NCAA playoffs: 3-4 (2005, 2009, 2011-12)
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 Johns Hopkins can run the ball effectively with Brandon Cherry, Stuart Walters and JD Abbott, who average better than five yards per carry. This allows the Blue Jays to control the clock and open up the passing game. Defensively, when they get production from the defensive line. Hopkins posted 35 sacks and allowed just 2.8 yards per rush during the regular season on the strength of a line that returned all four starters.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: If they can't run effectively on first down, or if the line can't apply enough pressure to keep the pressure off a young secondary. There are no senior defensive backs and only two juniors on the two-deep.
This season's turning point: In Week 9, when Dan Wodicka scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to lift the Blue Jays to a 24-18 win vs. Ursinus.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 268.2/244.3
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 103.5/198.4
How far can they go? With this first-round matchup, a one-and-out is a distinct possibility.


Ithaca Bombers
Seed: Likely No. 3, Mount Union bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 24, Week 11 2013
Location: Ithaca, NY
Enrollment: 5966
Stadium: Butterfield Stadium (5000)
Playing surface: Grass
Conference: E8
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 37
Head coach: Mike Welch (Ithaca '73)
Career record: 152-62 (.710)
Base offense: Pro set
Base defense: 3-4
Record in NCAA playoffs: 27-14 (1974-75, 1978-80, 1985-86, 1988, 1990-92, 1994, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007-08)
Championships: 1979, 1988, 1991
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, Empire 8 champ
You'll know they're playing well if: Special teams allows them to flip the field and rely on their strong secondary to help win the field position battle, while freshman running back Evan Skea makes sure nobody pines for injured senior Rakim Jones (foot).
You'll know they're playing poorly if: Their opponent has even an average day. In all 10 games this season, Ithaca held its opponent below its scoring average. (Although for Cortland, it wasn't by much, as the Red Dragons scored 28 and average 29.5.)
This season's turning point: When Salisbury's nine-minute fourth-quarter drive finished with a Sea Gulls field goal attempt going wide left, allowing the game to go to overtime. Salisbury's PAT attempt in overtime failed as well, giving Ithaca the Empire 8 automatic bid.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 111.2/208.6
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 108.8/195.5
How far can they go? Could reach the quarterfinals, but will need more consistency.


Wittenberg Tigers
Seed: Likely No. 4, Mount Union bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 12, Week 11 2013
Location: Springfield, OH
Enrollment: 1842
Stadium: Edwards/Maurer Field (5,000)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: NCAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 10
Head coach: Joe Fincham (Ohio U. '88)
Career record: 163-36 (.819)
Base offense: Multiple I
Base defense: Multiple 4-3
Record in NCAA playoffs: 20-13 (1973, 1975, 1978-79, 1988, 1995, 1998-2002, 2006, 2009-10, 2012)
Championships: 1973, 1975
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, NCAC champ
You'll know they're playing well if: They are super-balanced on offense. Witt also has four receivers between 29 and 51 catches entering the playoffs and balances between run and pass, though a lot of running is to run out the clock with big leads. On defense, Victor Banjo or one of his cohorts on special teams blocks a kick, as Banjo has four of the team's eight this season.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: They can't get the running game going and/or struggle to win the field position battle.
This season's turning point: Back-to-back-to-back routs of non-contenders in the NCAC after the season-opening loss to Butler, which allowed Wittenberg to get things moving on the right path.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 224.5/293.0
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 81.6/192.9
How far can they go? Far enough to relive life in the old OAC for a Saturday.


Framingham State Rams
Seed: Likely No. 5, Mount Union bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: Never ranked
Location: Framingham, MA
Enrollment: 3038
Stadium: Bowditch Field (1500)
Playing surface: Grass
Conference: MASCAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 79
Head coach: Tom Kelley (Framingham State '76)
Career record: 53-46-1 (.535)
Base offense: One-back
Base defense: 4-3
Record in NCAA playoffs: 0-1 (2012)
Championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool B
You'll know they're playing well if: Melikke Van Alstyne has the room he needs to run and the opponent doesn't. Octavias McKoy had just 91 yards vs. the Rams.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: The defense can't get any pressure on the opposing quarterback and he can remain comfortably in the pocket.
This season's turning point: Stopping Westfield State's two-point conversion attempt with 46 seconds left in the game on Oct. 12. That ended a streak of three consecutive one-score games and the Rams finished with four blowouts.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 215.5/180.9
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 121.7/132.2
How far can they go? The Fighting Van Alstynes will go as far as the running back can carry them. And the ball.


Wesley Wolverines
Seed: Likely No. 6, Mount Union bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 15, Week 11 2013
Location: Dover, DE
Enrollment: 1812
Stadium: Scott D. Miller Stadium (2500)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: IND
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 5
Head coach: Mike Drass (Mansfield '82)
Career record: 185-51-1 (.783)
Base offense: Multiple pro
Base defense: 4-3
Record in NCAA playoffs: 20-9 (2000, 2005-12)
Championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool B
You'll know they're playing well if: Joe Callahan has time to throw, the running game is present and the defense stops the run.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: The offensive line isn't protecting and the defense can't manage to get off the field.
This season's turning point: It seems like almost every game has a turning point. The last was a comeback win at D-I FCS UNC-Charlotte.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 144.9/263.5
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 116.5/184.0
How far can they go? This is a team accustomed to travel, so trips to Baltimore, potentially New York and Alliance won' t be a bother.


Lebanon Valley Flying Dutchmen
Seed: Likely No. 7, Mount Union bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 22, Week 10 2013
Location: Annville, PA
Enrollment: 1592
Stadium: Arnold Field (2000)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: MAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff: 80
Head coach: Jim Monos (Shippensburg '72)
Career record: 99-109-2 (.471)
Base offense: Pro set
Base defense: 3-4
Record in NCAA playoffs: First trip
Championships: None
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: They're playing at home, where they're much better. Losing at Albright in Week 11 likely cost the Dutchmen that privilege, however.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: The defense can't carry them. That's the side of the ball that's an attention-grabber for the Dutchmen, so much so that they managed only one sustained scoring drive vs. Lycoming and needed three interceptions before one of them set them up on the Warriors' 27-yard line.
This season's turning point: Delaware Valley's 33-0 run in the second half, defeating Widener and handing Leb Val the automatic bid.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 207.5/170.3
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 111.6/211.2
How far can they go? Could win a first-round game


Washington and Jefferson Presidents
Seed: Likely No. 8, 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: 38
Head coach: Mike Sirianni (Mount Union '94)
Career record: 101-23 (.815)
Base offense: Spread
Base defense: 4-2-5
Record in NCAA playoffs: 21-22 (1984, 1986, 1987, 1989-96, 1999, 2000-02, 2004-09, 2012)
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: Freshman Pete Coughlin plays the game of his life at quarterback, starting in place of Matt Bliss, who has been ruled out for the playoffs because of a concussion.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: Dion Wiegand doesn't have space to run and there is not enough one-on-one tackling on defense.
This season's turning point: Wiegand's 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown vs. Thomas More, turning a back-and-forth game into a rout and ensuring W&J won the conference title.
Rushing/passing yards per game: 193.1/250.1
Rushing/passing yards allowed: 136.6/266.3
How far can they go? At least the journey is short and familiar.


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