No. 4 UMHB to face No. 3 Wesley Wolverines
Monday, 24 September 2012 by Matthew Girard
Motivation won't be hard to come by this week for No. 4-ranked University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
After posting its 25th consecutive regular season win with a 34-7 win against Kean University last Saturday, UMHB will travel to Dover, Dela. this week to take on the No. 3-ranked Wesley Wolverines, who have handed the Cru their only two losses the past two seasons. Both losses came in the NCAA Division III playoff quarterfinals. The last time the Cru lost a regular season game was Oct. 17, 2009 in a 17-14 loss to Mississippi College.
"We want to react, but not over react," UMHB coach Pete Fredenburg said about playing Wesley. "I think that our football team knows that this is going to be a tough contest. But the fun thing is the game coming early in the year like this, it really makes everything so much more enjoyable."
Wesley, who fell in the semifinals of the 2011 playoffs to Mt. Union, leads the all-time series 4-2, but this will be the first regular season meeting between the two perennial national championship contenders.
Fredenburg said playing the Wolverines earlier in the season will be different for his players and coaches.
"It was 14 weeks into the season when we've played them, so they did a lot of different things just like we do, but playing early like this you don't have to deal with all of those things," Fredenburg said.
UMHB (1-0) will be the second straight top 10-ranked opponent for Wesley (2-0), who defeated No. 6-ranked Salisbury 17-7 last week.
Quarterback Justin Sottilare has thrown for 525 yards and 6 TDs in the first two games, but has also been picked off four times. Sottilare will look to his big-play receivers in Steve Koudossou and Matt Barile. Koudossou has 15 catches for 171 yards and 2 TDs, while Barile has 9 catches for 136 yards and a TD. Runningback Askia Jahad handles the ground game and has 159 yards on 37 carries and a TD.
Defensively, the Wolverines are allowing just 10.5 points per game, but allowing 333 yards of offense.
"They went against Salisbury, who have a really good offense and East Texas Baptist kind of surprised them with a couple of things, but facing them in the third week is so different for us," Fredenburg said. "In order for us to beat Wesley, we've got to be able to execute our offense and defense."
The Cru are coming off a dominating 37-7 win in which they racked up 517 yards of total offense. Runningback Darius Wilson had an impressive day with 165 yards rushing and 3 TDs. Quarterback LiDarral Bailey was also impressive as the senior was 20-of-24 passing for 193 yards and 2 TDs. Bailey also rushed for 30 yards. First-year starting receiver had a breakout game with 6 receptions for 72 yards.
"It was good to get a win out of that," Fredenburg said. "You always worry about the first game and I was particularly worried because of Kean having a game under their belt.
"We made a ton of mistakes as you would expect, but by in large, they did a nice job of executing our offense and defense."
Saturday's game will mark the first of three straight road games for UMHB. Kickoff for the game is scheduled for 11 a.m. with 1400 AM KTEM broadcasting the game.
"We are just thrilled to have a game like this and to see our team grow and develop," Fredenburg said.