|Head coach Craig Candeto|
|Sophomore, DB Joe Rodriguez|
WHAT: #2 Mount Union (3-0, 2-0 OAC) vs. Capital (2-1, 2-0 OAC)
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 3, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Mount Union Stadium -- Alliance, Ohio
THE LAST TIME THEY MET ...
... the Purple Raiders ran up and down the field to post 75 points on the Crusaders' defense. Mount Union, then ranked No. 3 by D3Football.com, ran for 500 yards and posted 700 total yards of offense. Capital did generate one "first" by stopping Mount Union on its first offensive drive, marking the first time any team had done so to that point. The Crusaders' workhorse, running back Brent Walton, was held to 24 yards on nine carries.
SCOUTING THE PURPLE RAIDERS
The Purple Raiders return their entire defense from 2014, which helped guide them all the way to the Stagg Bowl, once again. That defense has caught the eye of many, shutting out each of its first three opponents this year. Mount Union has outscored its opposition 164-0, to date. They are currently ranked No. 1 in Division III in total defense (93.3 ypg), pass yards allowed (51.7 ypg), and scoring defense. They've yet to allow an opponent to convert a fourth down opportunity and has only allowed opponents one trip into its red zone.
Taurice Scott leads the Purple Raiders offense under center with a line of 44-73-0 and seven passing touchdowns. He also averages 49.7 yards per game on the ground and has two rushing touchdowns. Look out for standout wideout Roman Namdar, who is averaging 96.7 yards per game receiving. He has caught six of Mount's seven passing TDs. Tim Kennedy leads the aerial attack with 17 receptions.
The defense's leading tackler is linebacker Jonathan Gonell (7-14-21), but the man to watch coming off the line is Tom Lally. Lally leads the team with 2.5 sacks this season and has 24.5 over the course of his career. Mount Union has yet to pick off an opposing quarterback, but has sacked them 27 times this year.
HISTORY WITH MOUNT UNION
Capital seeks its first win over Mount Union since the 1987 season when they defeated the Purple Raiders 26-25 en route to becoming OAC Champions. Mount Union has won the last 29 meetings and holds a 37-12 advantage over Capital in the all-time series.
WALTON CLOSING IN ON RUSHING RECORDS
Just starting his third season as the Crusaders' B-back, junior Brent Walton is quickly approaching Capital career rushing records. He is now just 106 yards away from becoming Capital's all-time leading rusher. The current record holder is Rayshaun Gales (2000-02) at 2,287 yards. With his 2,181 yards (in just 23 games) to date, Walton recent passed Dominic D'Andrea (2007-10), and is nine yards away from taking second overall from Ed Garver (1954-57).
Walton is also creeping up on another single-season mark for rushing touchdowns. The junior currently has nine on the year after posting three in each game this season. The single-season record holder is Al White, who in 1959 found the endzone 14 times.
CAPITAL AMONG THE NATION'S BEST
Capital's triple-option ground attack is well-known in the OAC, but the nation is getting to see just how good it is too! Per this week's national ranking summary, Capital is currently ranked the No. 5 rush offense based on team rush yards (371.3).
Other top-ranked Capital numbers include:
Fumbles lost: 21st (1)
Turnovers lost: 3rd (1) *Mount Union and Middlebury College are the only schools with 0
Passes intercepted: 1st (0)
Punt return defense: 9th (0.00)
3rd Down Conv.: 8th (.553)
Fewest Penalties: 28th (13)
Fewest Penalties per game: 26th (4.33)
Time of Possession: 39th (32:44)
Rush TDs: Brent Walton, 2nd (9)
Rush yards/game: Brent Walton, 9th (154.5)
Rush yards: Brent Walton, 7th (172.0)
Yards per carry: Brent Walton, 15th (7.59)
Scoring: Brent Walton, 2nd (18.0)
All purpose: Brent Walton, 21st (178.67)
A MATCHUP OF OAC UNBEATENS
The Capital/Mount Union matchup features two of the four unbeaten teams in OAC play. John Carroll and Otterbein are the other two teams currently with a 2-0 conference record. Otterbein plays at Heidelberg (0-2) while John Carroll hosts Ohio Northern (1-1).
ITS BEEN A FEW YEARS
The Crusaders' win over Muskingum last week helped the team achieve something not attained since 2011. With wins over Wilmington and Musky, Capital begins the season 2-0 in conference play, a feat last accomplished four years ago when Capital defeated Wilmington and Baldwin Wallace in succession. The last time Capital began the season 3-0 in OAC play was in 2009.
FIRST NIGHT GAME A SMASHING SUCCESS!
Capital University held its first home night football game last weekend and defeated the Muskingum Muskies 34-31 in a thrilling, fourth-quarter comeback. While the recap tells how the Crusaders won the game, the X-factor was a group of fans totalling more than 3,000 people that grouped in white in the "White the Night" festivities. Between a new atmosphere, thrilling win, and new technology introduced to produce a multiple camera, HD online broadcast (with instant replay) to viewers at home and on the Hartman Family video board, Sept. 26 will mark a shift in the culture of Capital Football OUTSIDE of the lines.