The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team will close out the 2017 regular season with a home game against East Texas Baptist University this Saturday. The Cru and Tigers will meet in a 1:00 PM kickoff at Crusader Stadium.
UMHB can clinch an outright American Southwest Conference championship and close out the eighth undefeated regular season in school history with a victory over ETBU on Saturday. The Cru improved to 9-0 overall and 8-0 in ASC play with a 51-20 victory over Louisiana College last Saturday. That win also clinched a share of UMHB’s 15th ASC title in 20 seasons of play. Freshman quarterback Carl Robinson III made his first collegiate start and led the Cru to 503 yards of total offense. The UMHB defense surrendered season-highs of 20 points and 435 yards of total offense to the Wildcats and Cru Head Coach Pete Fredenburg is looking for continued improvement on both sides of the ball in Saturday’s game.
“Our players were disappointed in the way things went last Saturday,” Fredenburg said. “You look at the composite of the season and its hard to keep up that level of intensity against a team you feel like you should beat. The positive thing is that our players have and will continue to respond to this. We will turn that disappointment into a positive and we will get better from that experience as our players understand the level of focus and intensity it takes to reach the goals we have set for this program.”
East Texas Baptist is 7-2 overall and has a 6-2 mark in ASC play on the season. The Tigers are led by a high-powered offense that ranks among the national leaders in total offense and scoring offense on the year. ETBU has scored 28 or more points in all nine of its games this season as it prepares to face a Cru defense that is only giving up 200 yards of total offense per game and has allowed just 61 total points in nine contests.
UMHB leads the all-time series between the two teams 16-1 and the Tigers only win in the series came in a 27-20 overtime win in 2003 at Tiger Field in Belton. That loss kept the Cru out of the playoffs for the only time since the 2000 campaign. The Cru enters Saturday’s game ranked #1 in the country by both the American Football Coaches Association and D3football.com. ETBU is receiving votes in the AFCA Top 25 Poll again this week.
Saturday’s game will be Military Appreciation Day with veterans, active-duty military and their families receiving free admission to the game. Military members will also be participating in several events during pre-game and at halftime. The UMHB football program will also recognize the 2017 senior class during pre-game activities.