2010 NCAA Playoffs: Wesley Bracket

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Wesley Wolverines
Seed: No. 1, Wesley bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 3, Week 11 2010
Location: Dover, DE
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 1812
Stadium: Scott D. Miller Stadium (2500)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: ACFC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff:
Head coach: Mike Drass (Mansfield '82)
Career record: 152-44-1 (.774)
Base offense: Multiple pro
Base defense: 4-3
Record in NCAA playoffs: 12-6 (2000, 2005-09)
NCAA D-III championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool B
You'll know they're playing well if: The offense finds rhythm early in the game, balancing the run and pass  and getting the ball to playmakers running back Brandon Wright and wide receiver Ellis Krout. The defense stops the run and puts opposing offenses in third-and-long allowing defenders like end Chris Mayes and linebacker Jeff Morgan to rush the passer.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: They are turning the ball over and drawing a lot of penalties.
This season's turning point: Converting fourth-and-8 without about 3 minutes to go in the Del Val game trailing 17-14. Justin Soltillaire scrambled to buy time and hit tight end Sean McAndrew for a first down inside the Aggie 10. When Soltillare found Leonard Stevenson on the next play for the winning score, the Wolverines gained confidence in their new quarterback after losing Shane McSweeny in the opening week. The junior brought the team from behind again in the fourth quarter to defeat Salisbury a month later.
Rushing/receiving yards per game: 195.7/282.1
Rushing/receiving yards allowed: 59.1/128.9
How far can they go? They should go to the semifinals, but could even go to Salem.


Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders
Seed: No. 2, Wesley region
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 6, Week 11 2010
Location: Belton, TX
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 2202
Stadium: Belton HS (8000)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: ASC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff:
Head coach: Pete Fredenburg (Southwest Texas State)
Career record: 119-31 (.793)
Base offense: Multiple option
Base defense: 4-3
Record in NCAA playoffs: 14-8 (2001-02, 2004-09)
NCAA D-III championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, ASC champ
You'll know they're playing well if: They can pass consistently. This isn't your older brother's Cru -- they never threw fewer than 15 passes in a game. LiDarral Bailey can do both creditably -- run the option and throw -- and has settled into the passing role after combining for 4-for-29 passing in early-season games against the Abilene contingent.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: The other team can pass the ball at will. Mary Hardin-Baylor's defensive numbers look a little better on paper after ending the season with Howard Payne, Sul Ross and Texas Lutheran but the Cru defense struggled in a pass-happy league.
This season's turning point: Finally coming up with a stop on first-and-10 from the 12 as East Texas Baptist was driving to win the game in Week 8. UMHB forced a field goal, which tied the game, then went on to win in overtime.
Rushing/receiving yards per game: 295.7/164.1
Rushing/receiving yards allowed: 71.7/276.7
How far can they go? This isn't one of the "top three" Mary Hardin-Baylor teams that have been threats to go to Salem. They'd have to get through presumably Wesley and UW-Whitewater to do so, and that is a step too far.


Thomas More Saints
Seed: No. 3, Wesley bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 10, Week 11 2010
Location: Crestview Hills, KY
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 1298
Stadium: Bank of Kentucky Field (3000)
Playing surface: Grass
Conference: PAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff:
Head coach: Jim Hilvert (St. Joseph's, Ind.)
Career record: 33-10 (.767)
Base offense: Spread
Base defense: 4-4
Record in NCAA playoffs: 2-4 (1992, 2001, 2008-09)
NCAA D-III championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, PAC champ
You'll know they're playing well if: The running backs are chewing up yards on the ground and in the air, giving the defense energy to shut down the opponent's running game.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: The offense can't sustain drives by throwing the ball and the defense has given up big plays.
This season's turning point: Nov. 16 at Waynesburg. Thomas More was down 10-7 until 49 seconds were left in the game, when Rob Kues connected with Mercier Doucette from 4 yards out. The win gave Thomas More the PAC Championship and got them back to the playoffs.
Rushing/receiving yards per game: 217.5/166.4
Rushing/receiving yards allowed: 68.1/179.3
How far can they go? One win is the ceiling, same for Washington and Lee.


Hampden-Sydney Tigers
Seed: No. 4, Wesley bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 23, Week 11 2010
Location: Hampden-Sydney, VA
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 1120
Stadium: Everett Stadium (1850)
Playing surface: Grass
Conference: ODAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff:
Head coach: Marty Favret (Catholic '84)
Career record: 82-30 (.732)
Base offense: Very multiple
Base defense: 3-3
Record in NCAA playoffs: 0-3 (1977, 2007, 2009)
NCAA D-III championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool C
You'll know they're playing well if: Travis Lane is frequently connecting with wide receivers Kyle Vance, Sean Cavanaugh and Andrew Bruckner (each averages at least five catches a game) and senior safety Bill Doody (18 career interceptions) is making plays on defense.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: Lane is under pressure (they allow 2.7 sacks per game) or they need to rely on their defense to keep the score down (they've only held two teams below 17 all season).
This season's turning point: With an at-large playoff bid on the line against rival Randolph-Macon and trailing 14-0 because of special teams miscues, Lane engineered three second-quarter touchdown drives, two of 11 plays, to give the Tigers a halftime lead.
Rushing/receiving yards per game: 112.3/307.0
Rushing/receiving yards allowed: 150.6/183.6
How far can they go? Program is a little overdue for its first playoff win. It could come this year. The second would have to wait.


Montclair State Red Hawks
Seed: No. 5, Wesley bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 21, Week 11 2010
Location: Upper Montclair, NJ
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 11082
Stadium: Sprague Field (6000)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: NJAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff:
Head coach: Rick Giancola (Glassboro State '68)
Career record: 200-88-2 (.693)
Base offense: Pro I
Base defense: Multiple
Record in NCAA playoffs: 7-8 (1981, 1985-86, 1989, 1999-2001, 2003)
NCAA D-III championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool C
You'll know they're playing well if: The offense stays balanced and keeps the turnovers to a minimum (1 or none).
You'll know they're playing poorly if: If the turnover margin is more than a minus-1 and the opponent's point total is in the 20s early in the game.
This season's turning point: The second half of Montclair's 30-14 win against TCNJ on Oct. 9. The Red Hawks were 4-0 and trailed 14-10 at the half but shut down the Lions over the final 30 minutes allowing no points and zero net yards in a 30-14 win. It was the first real adversity they had faced.
Rushing/receiving yards per game: 137.1/211.1
Rushing/receiving yards allowed: 113.1/103.3
How far can they go? The defense is either championship level or the offenses in the NJAC are so bad that it's easy to look good. Having laid eyes on a mid-level and lower-level NJAC team this year suggests the latter. Either way, the opening round, and if they advance, the second round will be the biggest tests the defense has seen, by a wide margin.


Washington and Lee Generals
Seed: No. 6, Wesley bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: Never ranked
Location: Lexington, VA
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 1749
Stadium: Wilson Field (4000)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: ODAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff:
Head coach: Frank Miriello (East Stroudsburg '67)
Career record: 82-76-1 (.519)
Base offense: Multiple spread option
Base defense: Multiple 3-4
Record in NCAA playoffs: 0-1 (2006)
NCAA D-III championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, ODAC champ
You'll know they're playing well if: They can run and run and run. Not only does the Generals’ option offense use three backs, it also has a quarterback who is one of the most veteran players on the team and who has been in the system since it was installed in 2008. It’s not enough to say that signal-caller Charlie Westfal meshes with the system, rather it was built and tailored to his strengths.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: The secondary is letting opponents throw the ball at will. Games have gotten away from the Generals when the competition was able to pepper its attack with big pass plays. But overall, defensive backs Jake Pelton, Mike Hartford and John Kavanagh have had breakout years. The ODAC trends toward high scoring games, but the defense will need to provide a buffer more than ever in case the offense hits bumps.
This season's turning point: The conference opener -- a 55-29 win against Guilford -- was like a second life for the Generals, who began the year 1-2. Not only did this team return very few starters, but most everyone coming back was young, so it took awhile for the players to jell. The months of October and November have seen a very different group take the field.
Rushing/receiving yards per game: 370.2/80.2
Rushing/receiving yards allowed: 142.2/191.1
How far can they go? They seem to have put it together down the stretch this season but the ceiling is still one win at most.


Christopher Newport Captains
Seed: No. 7, Wesley bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 20, preseason 2010
Location: Newport News, VA
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 4583
Stadium: Pomoco Stadium (4200)
Playing surface: Grass
Conference: USAC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff:
Head coach: Matt Kelchner (Susquehanna '82)
Career record: 68-36 (.654)
Base offense: Multiple
Base defense: 4-3
Record in NCAA playoffs: 2-6 (2001-04, 2006, 2008)
NCAA D-III championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, USAC champ
You'll know they're playing well if: They’re converting their red-zone trips into points. The Captains convert 80 percent of their trips inside the 20 into points -- the wide margin of that being touchdowns. Much of that recently is thanks to Christian Woelfel-Monsivais, who has started just three games this season but has thrown for more than 450 yards and eight touchdowns in that time.
You'll know they're playing poorly if: They can’t stop the run. With the likes of Bryan Oliver and Dominik Taylor up front and linebackers Adrin Diggs and Mike King close by, CNU should be able to pressure the opposing quarterback and put a dent in the heart and soul of the offenses on its side of the playoff bracket.
This season's turning point: The defensive stand CNU took in its win against conference rival North Carolina Wesleyan. This mid-October game was a huge rallying point for the Captains because it flung them into contention for the conference title and was celebrated as the 100th game in the program’s history. In the first quarter alone, CNU forced four turnovers as big defensive plays snowballed into more big plays.
Rushing/receiving yards per game: 174.5/153.3
Rushing/receiving yards allowed: 140.3/169.4
How far can they go? It will be a long plane ride home. But at least it will be a charter plane.


Muhlenberg Mules
Seed: No. 8, Wesley bracket
Last Top 25 ranking: No. 25, 2008 final
Location: Allentown, PA
Enrollment (full-time undergrads): 2285
Stadium: Scotty Wood Stadium (3000)
Playing surface: Turf
Conference: CC
Preseason ranking from Kickoff:
Head coach: Mike Donnelly (Ithaca '75)
Career record: 91-57 (.615)
Base offense: Multiple
Base defense: 3-4
Record in NCAA playoffs: 2-5 (2002-04, 2007-08)
NCAA D-III championships: None
D3football.com team page: Schedule and results, more news
How they got here: Pool A, Centennial champ
You'll know they're playing well if: Kenneth Cobb (10 sacks, six in past two games) is wreaking havoc and the opposing offense has trouble in the run game (Mules allowing 99 yards per game).
You'll know they're playing poorly if: Chase Nadell is around the ball a lot. The defensive back averages nearly 30 yards per kick return, with an 80-yard touchdown on the season, and has three interceptions. If he's seeing a lot of passes come his way and is handling a lot of kick returns, it's probably bad news.
This season's turning point: Two weeks after a loss to Franklin & Marshall put their title hopes in doubt, they led Ursinus at the half by a point in Week 10. After a Dan Deighan rushing score, Mark Accomando delivered a hit that led to a Chris Hartzell interception, the Mules scored for the second time in a three-minute span in the third and went on to clinch the automatic bid that afternoon.
Rushing/receiving yards per game: 159.1/154.9
Rushing/receiving yards allowed: 99.1/159.0
How far can they go? A better Muhlenberg team was competitive for a while with a lesser Wesley team in the playoffs a couple years ago. This won't be a repeat.


UW-Whitewater bracket | Mount Union bracket | Wesley bracket | Mary Hardin-Baylor bracket

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