The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team will renew what is turning into an annual tradition of facing Linfield College in the NCAA postseason when the two programs square off this Saturday. The Cru will host the Wildcats for a 12:00 PM kickoff at Crusader Stadium in an NCAA Division III National Championship Second Round Game on November 25th.
UMHB and Linfield will be playing for the fifth time since December of 2015 and are meeting for the fourth consecutive postseason. Linfield leads the all-time series 4-3, but the Cru has won the last three meetings, including a 24-3 victory in McMinnville, Oregon on September 16th. UMHB is coming off a 50-6 victory over Chapman University in the playoff opener last Saturday and the Cru has won 26 consecutive games overall. That streak dates back to a 38-35 loss at Linfield in the Quarterfinals of the 2015 NCAA Division III National Championships. UMHB is 33-14 all-time in the NCAA Division III National Championships and is the defending NCAA Division III National Champion. The Cru is 11-0 overall on the year and advanced to the postseason after winning the American Southwest Conference championship with a 9-0 league record. UMHB entered the playoffs ranked #1 by both the American Football Coaches Association and D3football.com.
Linfield is 9-1 overall this season with that only loss coming to the Cru in September and the Wildcats are on an eight-game winning streak. Linfield topped UMHB’s ASC rival, Hardin-Simmons University 27-13 in the playoff opener last Saturday in McMinnville. The Wildcats won the Northwest Conference title by going 7-0 in conference played and entered the postseason ranked #8 in the nation by both the AFCA and D3football.com. Both UMHB and Linfield have changed quarterbacks since the regular season meeting and both teams featured defenses ranked in the top ten in the country. The regular season meeting will not mean much, now, other than to reinforce the challenge the Cru finds itself facing in Saturday’s football game.
“It is almost like playing a brand new football team,” Cru football coach Pete Fredenburg said. “They have a new quarterback, a new feature back, some new receivers and the concepts of what they are doing are new. They are so well-coached and attack you in so many ways and they are very experienced and talented on the defensive side of the ball. It is hard to beat a team like Linfield once in a season and it is just that much harder to have to try to beat them twice in a season.”
For more information on parking, traffic flow and game day events, please visit the following link: http://www.umhb.edu/stadium/directions-and-parking. Linfield College fans are encouraged to enter the stadium through ticket window #3 at the southeast corner of Crusader Stadium. The winner of Saturday’s game will advance to face the St. Thomas (MN)/Berry College winner in the NCAA Quarterfinals.