For the 15th straight year, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team is preparing to play a football game over the Thanksgiving holiday. The Cru will host Berry (GA) College in an NCAA Division III National Championships Second Round Game Saturday at 12 pm at Crusader Stadium.
UMHB is 11-0 on the season and qualified for the postseason as champions of the American Southwest Conference. The Cru entered the postseason ranked #2 in the country by both the American Football Coaches Association and D3football.com. The Cru knocked off conference rival Hardin-Simmons 27-6 last Saturday to move into the Second Round for the 15th consecutive season. The Cru is 37-15 all-time in the NCAA Division III National Championships.
Berry College is 10-1 on the season and is playing in the Second Round of the NCAA Division III National Championships for the second consecutive season. The Vikings won their third consecutive Southern Athletic Association title to qualify for the postseason and advanced to the Second Round with a 31-0 win over Maryville (Tenn.) last Saturday. The sixth-year program entered the playoffs ranked 18th in the country by the AFCA and D3football.com has Berry ranked 20th in the country.
“We get a chance to play somebody different and it is exciting to watch them on film,” Cru Head Coach Pete Fredenburg said. “They throw the ball really well and do it a lot. They move around a lot on defense and try to confuse so we really need to be focused this weekend. Berry presents a significant challenge for us. Hardin-Simmons really came out and attacked us last week. They did some things on both sides of the ball that caused us concern. I think playing them was a real blessing because we can learn so much from what they did against us and I think we are going to get better as a football team because of what they did in last week’s game.”
The Cru and Vikings are meeting for the first time on the football field and UMHB has only played two games against SAA schools at the time they were in that conference. The Cru is 2-0 against Millsaps. UMHB has also faced SAA affiliate members Trinity University and Austin College, but those games were all played when those schools were members of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference and American Southwest Conference respectively.