AFCA Coaches Poll Lists Willamette at #6

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University is ranked #6 in the AFCA Coaches Poll for NCAA Division III released on Tuesday, Nov. 18. The Bearcats, who earned an undefeated Northwest Conference title at 6-0, are 10-0 on the season.

The 'Cats will host Occidental College (9-0) in the first round of the NCAA Playoffs on Saturday, Nov. 22. Game time at McCulloch Stadium is scheduled for 12 p.m. (PDT). Occidental enters the postseason ranked #11 in the Coaches Poll.

Mount Union College (Ohio) remained #1 in the poll this week. The Purple Raiders are 10-0 and received 39 of 40 first place votes and 999 points. North Central College (Ill.) moved up one spot to #2 with a 10-0 record and 946 points. Millsaps College (Miss.) advanced to positions to #3 with 897 points and a 10-0 record.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) moved up three places to #4 in the poll. UMBH is 9-1 and received 837 points. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the defending NCAA Division III national champion, also advanced three spots and took over the #5 position with a 9-1 record and 814 points. Willamette improved three positions to #6 with 786 points.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Hardin-Simmons University (Texas), 9-1, with 689 points at #7, Case Western Reserve University (Ohio), 10-0, with 681 points at #8, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 9-1, with 639 points at #9, and Wesley College (Del.), 8-1, with 633 points at #10. Willamette's first round NCAA Playoff opponent, Occidental College (Calif.), 9-0, was ranked #11 with 551 points.

Willamette enters the playoffs averaging 42.3 points and 398.5 total yards per game. The Bearcats have gained 254.5 yards per game on the ground, to go with 144.0 yards per contest through the air. WU has achieved a +13 turnover margin (+1.3 per game), after forcing 27 turnovers and committing only 14.