The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team has accomplished a long list of firsts in the program’s 20-year history and the Cru will add to that list this Saturday with its first gridiron meeting with Southwestern University. UMHB will take on the Pirates in a 6:00 PM kickoff at Birkelbach Field in an American Southwest Conference tilt.
The Cru brings a 3-0 overall record and a 2-0 mark in ASC play into Saturday’s game. UMHB is coming off its most complete performance of the season to date with last Saturday’s 50-7 win over Texas Lutheran University. The Cru is ranked #1 in the country in both national polls. Southwestern is 2-2 overall and 2-1 in conference play in its first season as a football only affiliate member of the ASC. The Pirates won the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference title last season and run a “flex-bone” type offense that has allowed the team to roll up an average of more than 300 yards per game rushing this year.
“It is a real throwback to the way offenses used to play before everyone started spreading the field the way teams do now,” Cru Head Coach Pete Fredenburg said. “It is going to be a real challenge for us because it will be such a different look than what we usually have to prepare to face. They execute their offense very well and have a lot of things they can counter with when you adjust. It is going to be a lot of fun to match up with a team that harkens back to the wishbone days.”
The Cru relied on a two-quarterback system last Saturday with T.J. Josey and Kyle Jones both getting snaps. Josey threw for 115 yards and a touchdown and added a rushing touchdown. Jones threw for a career-high 156 yards and a score of his own. UMHB posted a season-high 436 yards of total offense, and the Cru coaching staff is looking for continued improvement with a few tweaks to the lineup this week.
“I think both of our quarterbacks did a good job and we will keep looking at ways we can get them involved,” Fredenburg said. “Offensively, we want to keep gaining consistency and take advantage of the opportunities the defense gives us.”
Fredenburg will be gunning for a milestone victory of his own as he looks to become just the seventh active NCAA Division III Head Coach to reach 200 career victories. Fredenburg is 199-38 in his coaching career going into Saturday’s contest. The Cru also has won 18 consecutive games as a program, dating back to a 38-35 loss at Linfield College in the Quarterfinals of the 2015 NCAA Division III National Championships.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on K Rock 101.7 FM and through the station’s web site with the pre-game show starting at 5:30 PM. UMHB will also offer a free video stream of the contest and Southwestern University will offer live statistics for the game. Links to all live coverage available on the Cru Athletic Department web site at www.cruathletics.com.