Bolles Offenisve Player of the Year, 15 Mules Earn All-MIAA honors

Central Missouri senior quarterback Brook Bolles drops back to pass in the second half of the Mules 44-26 win on Oct. 12 at Walton Stadium. Bolles was named the MIAA Offensive Player of the Year on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

For the first time since 2002, Central Missouri heads into week seven with a spotless 6-0 record.

The Mules unblemished streak will face a road test in week seven, taking on Emporia State at 2 p.m. in Emporia, Kansas.

The Hornets sit at 2-4 on the year and are coming off a 19-3 loss to Fort Hays State in which they were held without a touchdown for the first time in 13 games.

Emporia State’s two wins on the season have come against the bottom two teams in the MIAA, Northeastern State and Lincoln, both of which are winless on the season.

The Mules are coming off a 44-26 win over Central Oklahoma and are one of 16 teams nationally without a loss.

Emporia State won last season’s meeting 41-23. Central Missouri leads the all-time series 40-20-4.

UCM Offensive vs. Emporia State Defense

The Mules offense has yet to be stopped this season, scoring over 30 points in all six games and twice going over the 70 points mark. UCM averages 53.7 points per game and 580.2 yards of offense, both top marks nationally.

Senior quarterback Brook Bolles is tied for the most touchdown passes this season with 24 and ranks fourth in passing yards with 1,872.

Tight end Zach Davidson has been the team’s top receiver, hauling in 10 touchdowns, which is good enough to be in a four-way tie to lead Division II.

On the ground Devante Turner has racked up 518 rushing yards, which is third in the MIAA, and seven touchdowns, which is second. His 190.83 all-purpose yards per game ranks second nationally.

Emporia State’s shining point this season has been its defense. The Hornets rank second in the MIAA in total defense and have held teams to an average of 143.3 passing yards per game.

Emporia State is also +4 in its turnover margin, picking off seven passes and recovering five fumbles.

UCM Defense vs. Emporia State Offense

The Hornets offense has been sluggish this season, scoring just 28.3 points per game — ninth in the MIAA — and 362.7 yards per game — 10th in the MIAA.

Emporia State is still breaking in new quarterback Dalton Cowan. The sophomore has completed 116 of his 199 passes for 1,212 yards and nine scores to four interceptions.

Redshirt freshman Wil Amos has been the Hornets top target, leading the team with 23 receptions.

Emporia State’s run game has struggled this season. The Hornets rank in the bottom half of the MIAA in rushing yards per game (154.2), average yards per carry (3.8) and rushing touchdowns (10).

Emporia State has allowed 20 sacks to Cowan, the most in the MIAA, while UCM comes in leading the conference in sacks with 27.

Leading the attack on the quarterback has been Ubong Udom with 5.5 sacks on the season.

Central Missouri allows an average of 410 yards per game to opponents, but has held 29.5 points per game, but the sixth best mark in the MIAA.

Linebacker Koleson Crane was named the co-MIAA Player of the Week for his performance against Central Oklahoma, the second time a UCM defensive player has earned the weekly award this season.

Odds and Ends

In six of the last eight meetings, it has been a one-touchdown game at some point in the fourth quarter.

Central Missouri’s last win in Emporia came on a walk-off fumble recovery as time expired.

Saturday’s contest will mark Emporia State’s Homecoming and this will be the second time that the Mules were the Hornets opponent during the festivities. Emporia State is 14-13 in the last 27 years on homecoming.

Sports Editor Randy Speer can be reached by emailing randy.speer@dsjnow.com, by calling (660) 747-8123 or on Twitter at @RandySpeer_DSJ.

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