Saturday, November 16, 2013

John Carroll-Mount Union postgame observations

Some observations and notes following Mount Union's 42-34 victory over John Carroll in Alliance:

-- Both teams produced startling offensive numbers against outstanding defenses.

John Carroll entered Saturday allowing 3.7 points and 190.9 yards per game. Mount Union entered Saturday allowing 10.2 points and 192.4 yards per game.

So what happened?

The teams combined for 76 points and 1,100 offensive yards. The game included six punts. Mount Union didn't punt until the second half against the nation's top-ranked defense.

Here's the part defensive aficionados won't like: Low-scoring college games are a thing of the past.

-- John Carroll allowed a sack.In fact, the Blue Streaks allowed two.

If the game was played on grass, John Carroll quarterback Mark Myers would have left the field with a dirty uniform for the first time since a Week 2 win over Baldwin Wallace. Myers was only dropped three times in the Blue Streaks' first nine games.

-- Tommy Michals is John Carroll's best running back.

The Blue Streaks lost senior starter DaQuan Grobsmith to a shoulder injury in the first half. The injury had little impact on their offense as Michals, a Lake Catholic graduate, rushed for 81 and two touchdowns on 18 carries. Michals also caught six passes for 57 yards.

Michals is the type of back you frequently encounter in Division III. He's a run-between-the-tackles bruiser. Watching him absorb hits is painful. Hitting him also must be painful.

-- The game featured a festive atmosphere.

A standing-room-only crowd of 8,104 fans packed Mount Union Stadium. Both sides were jammed, with Mount Union fans wearing purple and John Carroll fans waving yellow towels. Mount Union's students sat in bleachers behind one end zone.

The pregame scene in the lot closest to the stadium resembled one found at a Big Ten venue. RVs took up multiple prime parking spaces, music blasted and hamburgers and hotdogs scorched on grills. And, yes, alcohol flowed freely.

-- The NCAA Division III selection show is 6 p.m. Sunday. Look for a scathing column in The News-Herald if John Carroll doesn't receive one of the five at-large bids.

-- Guy Cipriano | @newsheraldguy


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