Playoff Preview - Wesley vs. Mount Ida
GameDay Preview - No. 5 Wesley vs. Mount Ida
Where: Scott D. Miller Stadium - Dover, Delaware
When: 12:00pm (EST)
Broadcast: 1150AM WDEL, WDEL.com and WDEL Mobile App - Sean Greene and Jason Bowen
What: NCAA Division III Football Tournament 1st Round - UMHB Bracket
Who: #7 Mount Ida (8-2, ECFC Champs) at #2 Wesley (8-1, Independent)
On the Line: 2nd round game with winner #3 Cortland State and #6 Framingham State
Series History: 2nd on-field meeting (43-6 Wesley at Mount Ida on September 18, 1999)
NCAA Tournament History: Wesley 18-8, Mount Ida 0-0
Coaches: Wesley - Mike Drass (175-48-1, 20th year), Mount Ida - Mike Landers (28-25, 5th year)
Wesley begins at home for the 7th time in their eight straight appearances in the Division III tournament. During the run Wesley has only lost at home to Mary Hardin-Baylor (2007) and Wisconsin-Whitewater (2010). The Wolverines have only lost in the opening round once in the NCAA tournament, their first ever Division III appearance at Trinity (Tex.) back in 2000. Mount Ida earned it's first ever tournament appearance by claiming the ECFC title thanks to a highly efficient pass game that is complimented by fine running back production and a ball-hawking secondary.
Players to Watch:
Steve Koudossou (WR - 5'9" Sophomore - 41 catches for 516 yards, 7TDs - 1 rushing TD) - Wesley's speedster is expected to be back in full action after a hand injury suffered before the Menlo game. He made one catch against Apprentice, but expect the Wolverines to find different ways to get him the ball in space. Can be extremely elusive, and has the ability to break off tackles despite his 177 pound frame.
Jared Morris (Strong Safety - 5'11" Junior - 6 interceptions - 4 vs. ETBU) - A converted wide receiver, Morris has shown the ability not only to excel at breaking on passes and creating interceptions, but also has proven effective in the run game with 8.5 tackles for loss. He played some defense in last year's loss to Mount Union, so playoff football is nothing new. Scott Drosendahl of Mount Ida must account for him.
Scott Drosendahl (6'2" Senior - 2,388 yards passing, 28 touchdowns) - Drosendahl has thrown every pass for the Mustangs this year and is 4th in Division III in passing efficiency. While he's only rushed for 79 yards, he does have 6 touchdowns, so is a threat that Wesley must respect when they get into the red zone. Experienced senior quarterbacks have given Wesley trouble at times this year, and will need to show his poise despite playing on the tournament stage for the first time.
Wesley Will Win If: They get the big plays going. Koudossou, Matt Barile, Matt Bundy, and Jeremiah Howe give the Wolverines four speedy weapons on the outside. Over the years the 50+ yard play has helped Wesley get out of tough situations, and any of those four players could provide it with a quality throw from quarterback Justin Sottilare.
Wesley Will Lose If: They get turnover happy. Wesley was minus-5 in turnovers against Hobart last year in the 2 vs. 7 game and it nearly cost them. Justin Sottilare's turnover count has dropped late in the season, but he must be careful with the football to not give Mount Ida confidence on the road.
Mount Ida Will Win If: They score first, and then keep the ball. Wesley has trailed in 7 of their 9 games this season. If the Mustangs can get an early lead, and then keep Wesley off the field with either a turnover or a 3-out, perhaps they can keep Wesley from getting in rhythm.
Mount Ida Will Lose If: They allow Wesley to get a running game going. The Wolverines have only rushed for 88 yards a game, but Askia Jahad and Devar Robinson have shown the ability to have big games. If Wesley becomes 2-dimensional, it is hard to believe Mount Ida could stop them.
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