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Muhlenberg College

Friday, November 12, 2010

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Men’s basketball preview

Football earns regional ranking

Muhlenberg’s defense
The Mules have only allowed 92.1 yards per game on the ground.
Rankings are usually good for little more than conversation.

But with the football season rapidly approaching playoff time, and its annual regular season-ending matchup with Lehigh Valley rival Moravian kicking off at 1 p.m. Saturday, the Muhlenberg football team has made an appearance in a poll that carries some weight.

After clinching a share of their record-tying ninth Centennial Conference title and earning the league’s automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament, the Mules checked in at ninth in the South Region of Division III. The team Muhlenberg beat to clinch the title, Ursinus, is the only other CC rep in the regional rankings at No. 10.

The NCAA regional rankings are determined by the NCAA Division III Football Committee, the same body that will select and seed teams for next week’s NCAA Tournament. The seedings and playoff bracket will be announced live during the NCAA Division III Championship selection show at 3 p.m. Sunday on ESPNews.
Michael Katz
Katz has connected on six field goals from beyond 30 yards, including three from 40-yard range.

Muhlenberg is also in select company in a number of statistical categories as well.

The Mules rank in the top 25 nationally in third-down defense (16th), rushing defense (22nd), total defense (25th) and turnover margin (25th).

Muhlenberg’s offense, meanwhile, has been among the most protective in Division III, ranking seventh in both turnovers lost (10) and fumbles lost (3).

Individually, Chase Nadell continues to be one of the elite kick returners in the country. The junior’s 30.4 yard average is good for fourth in Division III and has helped the Mules rank 10th nationally in kickoff return yardage.

After his monster four-and-a-half sack game against Ursinus, defensive end Kenneth Cobb has moved into the top 20 in sacks per game. Cobb is tied for 19th with nine sacks in nine games (1.0 per contest).

Finally, kicker Michael Katz has booted nine field goals this year, good for one per game, to sit in a tie for 19th in that category.

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