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Muhlenberg College

Sunday, November 11, 2007

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football to open postseason at home

The Muhlenberg football team will try to stake its claim as one of the best in Division III when it begins the NCAA Tournament with a home game.

The Mules (10-0), the third NCAA football seed in the Washington & Jefferson Region, will host fifth-seeded Salisbury (9-1) in the first round on Saturday, November 17. The winner will face the winner of the game between second-seeded Wesley (9-1) and seventh-seeded Hampden-Sydney (8-2) the following Saturday.

The region is the toughest
Doyle Named Player of the Week

Junior cornerback Brandon Doyle was named defensive player of the week by the Centennial Conference.

Doyle and his secondary mates held Moravian's Marc Braxmeier to just 7-of-24 passing for 95 yards in the Mules' 35-7 win. Braxmeier entered the game first in the CC and 22nd in Division III in pass efficiency (149.9) but was held to a 12.5 rating by Muhlenberg.

Doyle had an interception (the third of his career), three pass breakups and four tackles.

of the four in the 32-team NCAA field, at least when the national poll is considered. Of the eight teams in Muhlenberg’s quadrant, six were ranked in the top 15 in last week’s poll, including Salisbury at No. 11 and the Mules at No. 15.

Muhlenberg is making its fourth trip to the NCAAs, all since 2002. The Mules won their first NCAA game at home against Mass.-Dartmouth. Since then, they have lost three straight, to John Carroll in the 2002 second round and to Christopher Newport (2003) and St. John Fisher (2004) in the first round.

Salisbury is in the NCAA playoffs for the sixth time. The Sea Gulls were the national runners-up in 1986 but have lost their only two NCAA games since, to King’s in 2002 and to Christopher Newport in 2004.

Muhlenberg is one of seven undefeated teams in Division III and has tied a school record with 10 wins this season. Salisbury’s lone loss was a 20-13 setback at Atlantic Central Football Conference rival Wesley in Week 9.

The game matches Salisbury’s high-powered rushing attack against Muhlenberg’s tough defense. Entering the last week of the regular season, the Sea Gulls were second in Division III in rushing, averaging 348.8 yards per game, and sixth in scoring, at 42.6 points per game. The Mules were second in the country in total defense (166.0 yards per game), scoring defense (7.6 points per game) and pass efficiency defense (74.8 rating) and seventh in rushing defense (62.7 yards per game).

Muhlenberg has allowed 75 points all season. Salisbury scored 79 points in one game (a 79-20 win against Becker).

Muhlenberg and Salisbury have never met in football.

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