Knights News
The #5 Knights and #3 Mustangs are making their first-ever trips to the NAIA national championship game.
The #5 Knights and #3 Mustangs are making their first-ever trips to the NAIA national championship game.
Football - Sun, Dec. 2, 2012
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GAME INFORMATION

FAN INFORMATION

When: Thursday | December 13, 2012 | 6:34 p.m.
Tickets: $25 | Order online at The Forum Civic Center or call 706.291.5281 or 800.858.7601
Lodging: Call Ann Hortman at 706.295.5576 or 706.266.4304 or email at ann@romegeorgia.org
Where: Historic Barron Stadium | Rome, Georgia

Television: CBS Sports Network

Channel Information:AT&T UVerse6431643 (HD)
 Bright House Networks1061137 (HD)
 Comcast2741721 (HD)
 DirecTV613613 (HD)
 Dish Network158158 (HD)

Live Statistics: DakStats Online

On the Air: Flagship stations - Catholic Radio 89.1 FM WSPM and 90.9 FM WSQM
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Marian University Game Notes | Morningside College Preview

NAIA Football Championship Series Home | NAIA Football National Championship Home


2012 Statistics: #5 Marian University | #3 Morningside College (Iowa)

MU All-Time Team Statistics in NAIA FCS Play | Marian University All-Time Statistics

2012 NAIA Statistics Leaders

PHOTO GALLERIES: Tuesday, Dec. 11


 



 




 
  
  
  
  
 



NAIA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP - TWO FIRST-TIMERS
The 57th Annual Russell Athletic-NAIA Football National Championship game will have a pair of rookies dueling for the title of national champion. The No. 5 Knights (11-1) and No. 3 Mustangs (13-0) have earned the right to play for the title for the first time in both programs' histories. Kickoff is at 6:34 p.m. on CBS Sports Network with Jason Knapp, Mark Tauscher and Peter Young calling all the action. The game will also air on the Knights Football Radio Network with Dr. David Pierce, Isaac Jean and Mark Erdosy calling all the action with the MU Pre-Game Show beginning at 6 p.m.

SCOUTING THE #3 MORNINGSIDE MUSTANGS
Third-ranked Morningside (Iowa) comes into the national title game on the heels of a 47-19 win over No. 5-ranked and defending national champion Saint Xavier last Saturday to earn the berth in the title game. MC is 10-8 all-time in the NAIA Football Championship Series and has scored 40 or more points in all three of its FCS games in 2012. MC is ranked in the top 10 in the nation in 16 different categories and leads the NAIA in pass efficiency, rushing defense per game and scoring defense per game. The Mustangs are also ranked second in total scoring offense and third in total pass offense, scoring offense per game and total offense per game. Joel Nixon leads MC from the quarterback position. He not only is completing 64 percent of his passes, but he also leads the Mustangs in rushing. He has 3,614 passing yards and 47 passing TDs to go with 770 rushing yards and four rushing TDs. Fred Jones leads the running backs with 11 rushing scores, while Jon Halvorson has 556 yards and nine rushing TDs. MC features a pair of receivers with the ability to break a game wide open. Joel McCabe has 80 catches for 1,224 yards and has 17 receiving TDs. Kyle Schuck has 63 catches for 986 yards and 19 receiving scores. MC defense is just as strong as its offense on paper. The Mustangs have 98 tackles for loss and 29 sacks to go with 24 interceptions. Aaron Roberg leads MC with 115 tackles and is third with 11.5 tackles for loss. He also has 2.5 sacks and two interceptions. Marcus Smith is the sackmaster for MC with 6.5 in 2012, while Jared Goforth has a team-high nine picks in 2012. MC features a potent offense to go with a strong defense and will be one of the stiffest challenges for the Knights in 2012. The Mustangs have made nine straight NAIA FCS appearances and are 10-8 all-time. However, the Mustangs are 0-2 all-time in NAIA FCS play against MSFA Mideast League opponents. They fell to Saint Francis (Ind.) in 2004 and 2005. Morningside is coached by Steve Ryan, who is in his 11th year and has led MC to each of its nine appearances in the NAIA Football Championship Series.

MU ALL-TIME IN POSTSEASON
In just six years, the Knights have amassed a 6-2 overall record in the NAIA Football Championship Series. The Knights have made three straight trips to the postseason and have come away with a 1-1 mark in 2010, a 2-1 mark in 2011 and are 3-0 so far in 2012. MU was just one win shy of the national title game a year ago. MU was the No. 1 team in the 2011 postseason and dispatched Grand View (31-0) and St. Francis (Ill.) (49-7) before falling in the NAIA semifinals 30-27 to Saint Xavier. In each of the past two seasons, MU has been defeated by the eventual national champion.

MARIAN ALL-TIME VS. GPAC OPPONENTS
The Knights are 1-0 all-time against Great Plains Athletic Conference teams. MU has played just one GPAC opponent and that came in the opening round of this year's NAIA FCS. The Knights defeated Northwestern College (Iowa) by a 42-32 score to earn a berth in its third straight NAIA FCS Quarterfinal.

MORNINGSIDE ALL-TIME VS. MSFA OPPONENTS
The Mustangs are 2-3 all-time against opponents from the MSFA. Morningside is 2-1 all-time against the MSFA Midwest League, but are 0-2 all-time against Mideast League foes. Both of MC's defeats came at the hands of Saint Francis (Ind.) in 2004 and 2005.

KARRAS EARNS SECOND STRAIGHT REGIONAL HONOR
For the second straight season, head coach Ted Karras Jr. was honored by the American Football Coaches Association. The AFCA named Karras the 2012 NAIA Region 2 Coach of the Year after he led the Knights to an 11-1 mark and the national title game in the NAIA in 2012.

HASTY NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN®
Senior wide receiver John Hasty was recently named to the Capital One Academic All-America® College Division Second Team. Hasty is the first MU football player to earn the honor, which is bestowed upon a student-athlete who maintains a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher, has achieved sophomore standing and is a contributor to the team's succes. He joins men's soccer player Grant Brackin as honorees in 2012 and is the sixth all-time student-athlete to earn the honor. The College Sports Information Directors of America nominate and vote on the Academic All-America® teams each season.

MAXEY AND HASTY HONORED BY COSIDA®
Senior wide receiver John Hasty and junior defensive back Taylor Maxey were honored late last week as the first-ever Capital One Academic All-District® first team selections in MU football history. Hasty is carrying a 3.76 cumulative GPA as a history major, while Maxey holds a 3.44 GPA as a management major. The two players are the first to earn the award in MU football history and are the eighth and ninth players to earn the award for the department of athletics.

BACK-TO-BACK MSFA MIDEAST TITLES
Even with the defeat to No. 4 Saint Xavier, the Knights clinched their second straight MSFA Mideast League title. MU, SXU and USF all shared the 2012 MSFA Mideast League championship.

TWENTY-SIX KNIGHTS HONORED BY MSFA
The 2012 MSFA Mideast tri-champion Knights had 26 of its student-athletes honored by the MSFA for their performances in 2012. Nine players were named All-MSFA Mideast League first team, nine were named All-MSFA Mideast League second team and eight more earned honorable mention accolades. Sophomore Tevin Lake earned first team honors, while seniors Nathan Jones, Brody Dixon, Steve Seculoff, Michael Josifovski, Kyle Fox and Dan Brunke all earned first team honors. Juniors Seth Vondersaar and Robert Palmer also earned first team honors. Seniors Adam Wiese, Brad Naffziger, John Hasty, Brandon Sherman, Stephen Rogers and Nathan Toon earned second team honors, while junior Clifford Brown and sophomore Zack VanDeman als earned second team honors. Freshman Anthony Jones Jr., sophomore Sean Egenolf, senior Garrett Pritt, junior Billy Baker, freshman Ryan Hartnett, junior Taylor Maxey, senior John Keevers and junior Taylor Howenstine all earned honorable mention honors. MU has had 53 student-athletes recognized by the MSFA over the past two seasons.

MU EARNS 12 MSFA WEEKLY HONORS IN 2012
The Knights earned a school record number of MSFA Mideast League Player of the Week honors in 2012. MU garnered 12 weekly awards throughout the campaign and swept the weekly awards twice during the season. Five honors went out to the offense, four went to the defense and three were earned by the special teams. Sophomore Tevin Lake earned all five offensive weekly awards. He earned the five awards on Aug. 27, Sept. 24, Oct. 8 and Oct. 29. He has now earned the award seven times in his short career. Junior Robert Palmer was honored twice on defense, which were the first two of his career. He earned the award on Aug. 27 and Oct. 8. Sophomore Demetri Oliver earned the defensive award on Oct. 15, while freshman Ryan Hartnett earned it on Sept. 3. Senior punter Kyle Fox earned the special teams award on Sept. 10 before junior Clifford Brown earned it on Oct. 8. Senior kicker Michael Josifovski earned the award on Oct. 15. MU swept the three awards on two occasions (10.08 and 10.15) after MU's wins over Taylor and Saint Francis (Ind.).

BROTHERLY LOVE AT MU
The top-ranked MU football team has a roster of nearly 150 student-athletes. But, can they get any closer than that of the Vondersaar family? There are four, yes four, Vondersaar brothers that are Marian University Knights. The funny thing is that none of them are seniors, the oldest is a sophomore and the biggest isn't the oldest. Confused? The quartet of Adam, Seth, Caleb and Aaron Vondersaar is from Bainbridge, Ind., and all graduate from North Putnam High School. Adam, the oldest, is a sophomore, while Seth, a junior, is the second-oldest. Caleb and Aaron are fraternal twins that are separated by a year. Caleb came to MU in 2011, while Aaron came this season. The quartet was featured on WTHR Channel 13 in Indianapolis with Rich Nye. You can view the interview with the brothers at MUKNIGHTS.com.

MU PUNTER IS AN ENTREPRENEUR
Senior punter Kyle Fox is not only one of the top punters in the NAIA in 2012, but Fox is the co-creator of an upcoming app for social media called Cube. Fox is one of four founders of the app which utilizes social media APIs into one dashboard so a person can maintain their social media accounts via one app. Cube will launch in late 2012 and has a product beta test coming very soon.

MU FOOTBALLERS ARE ENTERPRISING
A new thing sprang up on the Marian University campus this fall: a hot dog cart. The surprising thing is that it is run by MU football players. The Knights operate a business called Top Dogs that sells all-beef franks to students throughout the lunch and dinner times during the day. Senior defensive lineman and junior defensive back Tyler Stinn operate the cart on campus throughout the day.

MU ATTENDANCE IN NAIA FCS HOME GAMES
The Knights have hosted five of the seven games they have played all-time in the NAIA Football Championship Series in its six-year history. However, MU has one of the higher attendance averages in the NAIA. In the five postseason games, MU has had a total of 16,535 fans pass through the turnstiles for an average of 3,307 fans in five NAIA FCS games. they flock to mu football in indy In 36 home contests, Marian has had 90,953 fans in attendance between Pike and St.Vincent Health Field. That's an average of 2,526 fans per game. St.Vincent Health Field saw 29,164 fans come through its gates in nine home games in 2011. The fans came out in droves with an average of 3,240 total fans watching the nine games last season. The single-game attendance record for Marian University came in the No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown on November 5th when the Knights knocked off then-No. 1 Saint Xavier, 27-9, in front of 5,175 fans.
 



THE TWO TEAMS IN THE 2012 NAIA FOOTBALL COACHES' TOP 25 POLL



Marian University in the Polls in 2012 Morningside (Iowa) in the Polls in 2012
Spring (04.18)3 (313 points)   Spring (04.18)8 (249 points)
Preseason (08.06)3 (217 points) Preseason (08.06)8 (168 points)
Week 12 (301 points) Week 14 (273 points)
Week 22 (301 points) Week 24 (272 points)
Week 32 (301 points) Week 3T-4 (272 points)
Week 41 (312 points) Week 44 (283 points)
Week 51 (313 points) Week 54 (281 points)
Week 61 (314 points) Week 64 (281 points)
Week 71 (314 points) Week 74 (283 points)
Week 81 (314 points) Week 84 (283 points)
Week 95 (258 points) Week 93 (294 points)
Final (11.11)5 (264 points) Final (11.11)3 (295 points)


 


 
MU ALL-TIME IN NAIA FOOTBALL COACHES' TOP 25 POLL

2010 2011 2012 
Spring 2010 (04.19)NRSpring 2011 (04.18)6Spring 2012 (04.18)3
Preseason (08.09)NRPreseason (08.08)6Preseason (08.06)3
Week 115Week 14Week 12
Week 213Week 23Week 22
Week 315Week 33Week 32
Week 414Week 43Week 41
Week 518Week 52Week 51
Week 614Week 62Week 61
Week 712Week 72Week 71
Week 812Week 82Week 81
Week 911Week 91Week 9 (11.05)5
Final (11.14)11Final (11.13)1Final (11.11)5
Postseason (01.10.11)7Postseason (12.19.11)3Postseason (12.18)TBA
 


MU ALL-TIME IN THE NAIA FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
(Three appearances; 6-2 record)

 

2010  2011  2012 
at #8 Ottawa (Kan.)W, 35-20 vs. #19 Grand View (Iowa)W, 31-0 vs. #12 Northwestern (Iowa)W, 42-32
at #2 Carroll (Mont.)L, 38-6      vs. #11 St. Francis (Ill.)W, 49-7 vs. #6 Saint Francis (Ind.)W, 45-34
   vs. #5 Saint Xavier (Ill.)L, 30-27 at #2 Missouri ValleyW, 20-17
        

NAIA FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCHEDULE AND INFORMATION
 

NAIA FCS FIRST ROUND SCHEDULE | NOVEMBER 17, 2012
Game 1:#18 Bethel (Tenn.) (8-3) at #1 Georgetown (Ky.) (10-0)BU, 45-44
 Bethel (Tenn.) Home | Georgetown (Ky.) Home 
Game 2:#15 Ottawa (Kan.) (8-2) at #2 Missouri Valley (10-0)MV, 56-21
 Ottawa (Kan.) Home | Missouri Valley Home 
Game 3:#14 Montana Tech (8-2) at #3 Morningside (Iowa) (10-0)MC, 40-35
 Montana Tech Home | Morningside (Iowa) Home 
Game 4:#13 William Penn (Iowa) (9-2) at #4 Saint Xavier (Ill.) (9-1)SXU, 31-0
 William Penn (Iowa) Home | Saint Xavier (Ill.) Home 
Game 5:#12 Northwestern (Iowa) (9-2) at #5 Marian (Ind.) (8-1)MU, 42-32
 2012 NAIA FCS GAMEDAY CENTRAL 
Game 6:#11 Baker (Kan.) (8-2) at #6 Saint Francis (Ind.) (8-2)USF, 22-17
 Baker (Kan.) Home | Saint Francis (Ind.) Home 
Game 7:#9 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (8-2) at #7 Cumberlands (Ky.) (9-1)CU, 42-24
 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) Home | Cumberlands (Ky.) Home 
Game 8:#10 Southern Oregon (8-2) at #8 St. Ambrose (Iowa) (9-1)SOU, 45-28
 Southern Oregon Home | St. Ambrose Home 
   
NAIA FCS QUARTERFINALS SCHEDULE | NOVEMBER 24, 2012
Game 1:#18 Bethel (Tenn.) (9-3) at #2 Missouri Valley (11-0)MVC, 10-7
 Bethel (Tenn.) Home | Missouri Valley Home 
Game 2:#10 Southern Oregon (9-2) at #3 Morningside (Iowa) (11-0)MC, 47-44 (ot)
 Southern Oregon Home | Morningside (Iowa) Home 
Game 3:#7 Cumberlands (Ky.) (10-1) at #4 Saint Xavier (Ill.) (10-1)SXU, 35-21
 Cumberlands (Ky.) Home | Saint Xavier (Ill.) Home 
Game 4:#6 Saint Francis (Ind.) (9-2) at #5 Marian (Ind.) (9-1)MU, 45-34
 2012 NAIA FCS GAMEDAY CENTRAL 
   
NAIA FCS SEMIFINALS SCHEDULE | DECEMBER 1, 2012
Game 1:#5 Marian (Ind.) (10-1) at #2 Missouri Valley (12-0)MU, 20-17
 2012 NAIA FCS GAMEDAY CENTRAL 
Game 2:#4 Saint Xavier (Ill.) (11-1) at #3 Morningside (Iowa) (12-0)MC, 47-19
 Saint Xavier (Ill.) Home | Morningside Iowa) Home 
   
57TH ANNUAL RUSSELL ATHLETIC-NAIA FOOTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
 THURSDAY | DECEMBER 13, 2012

#5 Marian University (11-1) vs. #3 Morningside College (Iowa) (13-0)
Historic Barron Stadium | Rome, Ga.

2012 NAIA FCS GAMEDAY CENTRAL

televised on CBS Sports Network
6:34 p.m.