Dunton has been filling in the past two mornings, helping out with the early thoughts of the day. That’s because I am off covering one of my favorite events of the year: The Stagg Bowl.
What is the Stagg Bowl?
The Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl is the DIII Football National Championship game. 32 teams enter the postseason bracket in hopes of making the final game which has been held in Salem, Virginia since 1993, 20 years after it’s inception.
I should say 31 teams. That’s because the Mount Union Purple Raiders have been to the Stagg Bowl eleven straight seasons. What’s that old saying? There are only three certainties in life: you pay taxes, you die and you watch Mount Union play for the DIII championship every year. Don’t quote me on that, I may not have that old adage correct.
Mount Union’s press box is named after Dom Capers, who played linebacker and defensive line before going on to be the only head coach in NFL history to coach two expansion teams. Pierre Garcon is another familiar name that is currently in the NFL. He won two championships with the Purple Raiders.
This year they have a balanced attack of the number one scoring offense and defense in the nation. There are plenty of big names to watch as they go for their first championship victory since 2012, having dropped the past two seasons to Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Their opponent is the St. Thomas Tommies, the team that MU defeated for their last title. This team is much different than that 2012, who was less experienced in their first Stagg Bowl appearance in program’s history.
The Tommies are led by the second best scoring offense in the nation. Senior running back Jordan Roberts is at the helms, but it is a very balanced attack. Their fifth best total offense (529.4 yards per game) combines a good passing game (271.4 yards a game) and a great rushing game (258.1).
Roberts, however, is the star. He transferred from South Dakota, a DI FCS school in which he played against Oregon and had a 100-yard rushing game against North Dakota, who happens to be the reigning four-time FCS champion. Why did he transfer?
His story is one for the ages, as he came to St. Thomas to enroll at St. John Vianney Seminary. He has aspirations of being a priest. He also rushed for 1,957 yards and 32 touchdowns (which was tops in the nation).
For more in depth coverage of what to expect in this year’s Stagg Bowl (which will be airing on ESPN U Friday night at 7 PM and ESPN3 on the Watch ESPN app), take a peek at my Stagg Bowl preview in the link below exclusively at NCAA.com.