Division III Championship: Preview, Spread for Mount Union vs. Wisc-Whitewater
For the seventh straight time, Mount Union and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater will meet in the Division III National Championship Game.
This is a rivalry unlike any other. We've seen great programs like Michigan-Ohio State, Texas-Oklahoma and Auburn-Alabama go at it year after year, but no two teams have decided the championship of their respective leagues like this.
And, the rivalry has never been this close.
Dating back to 2005, these two teams have met each and every year to decide the title and this is a true game seven. Each program has won three times and the overall points total for the last six years is Mount Union 171, UW-Whitewater 170.
It doesn't get any closer than this.
Where: Salem Stadium; Salem, Virginia
When: Friday, Dec. 16, 7 p.m. EST
Watch: ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3
Betting Line: OFF
What's At Stake?
The Amos-Alonzo Stagg Bowl Championship. Mount Union and UW-Whitewater don't need anyone to tell them the importance of this game.
This unprecedented seventh meeting could be the last of this classic rivalry and the winner of this will always be able to say they won the Game 7 of the seven-year Stagg Bowl rivalry.
What They're Saying
The NCAA.com release on this game summed up the level of ridiculousness this game really is saying:
But over the last seven seasons, the Warhawks have been making their own mark on Division III football. UW-Whitewater is riding a 44-game winning streak into the Stagg Bowl -- the longest current winning streak in college football on any level, and the fifth-longest in NCAA history ... Whitewater's championship game wins in 2007, 2009 and 2010 are Mount Union's only losses in the last five years.
Again, it doesn't get much closer than this.
Player to Watch for Mount Union: Jasper Collins, WR
The Purple Raiders wide receiver missed four games and is still the team's leading receiver. He caught 58 balls for 776 yards and 13 touchdowns. The junior receiver will be a key player in this game when quarterback Matt Piloto drops back to pass.
If the Purple Raiders can get something going on the ground with Jeremy Murray (who scored 20 touchdowns this season) Collins should have more room to operate on the outside.
Player to Watch for Wisc-Whitewater: Levell Coppage, RB
Coppage is quite the star when it comes to the Stagg Bowl and he loves the opportunity to show off. The junior running back has combined for 410 rushing yards and six touchdowns in the last two meetings and is the reigning two-time Most Outstanding Player in this game.
The Warhawks running back ran for over 2,000 yards and 27 touchdowns this season.
Key Matchup: Mount Union D-Line vs. Levell Coppage
Who Will Win "Game 7" of the Mount Union vs. UW-Whitewater Rivalry?
This matchup will dictate the outcome of the game. We know that Coppage is a production machine in the Stagg Bowl and the Purple Raiders have to find a way to stop him.
If they can limit his production, they'll force Warhawks quarterback Matt Blanchard to throw into a secondary that has forced 29 interceptions this season.
If the Purple Raiders can stop Coppage, they can stop this UW-Whitewater winning streak.
Prediction: UW-Whitewater 31, Mount Union 28
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