In a year of historic milestones, No. 10 Central Missouri will once again be looking to do something that no team since 2003 has accomplished — claim a piece of a conference title.
The Mules will look to lock up a share of the MIAA title at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, hosting woeful Lincoln.
The Blue Tigers come into the weekend with a 1-8 record with their lone win coming against winless Northeastern State.
Lincoln lost 66-6 to Fort Hays State in week nine.
Central Missouri is coming off a wild 47-40 win over Nebraska-Kearney to become the first team in program history to start a season 9-0.
The Mules lead the all-time series 23-7 and have won the last 18 meetings between the two schools with the last contest coming in 2011.
UCM Offense vs. Lincoln Defense
The high-flying Mules offense has yet to be stopped this season, averaging a Division II best 48.8 points per game.
Brook Bolles has been on a tear in his senior season with 32 touchdown passes, tied for the most in Division II and 2,933 passing yards, third most in the nation.
Shae Wyatt and Zach Davidson, who is third in the nation with 13 receiving touchdowns, remain the top targets for Bolles.
Cam Saunders has come back into the fold as a third option for the Mules. After starting the season with three-straight games of over 50 yards receiving, the junior-transfer managed just seven catches for 79 yards over the course of four games. In the last two weeks, he has had games of 65 and 117 yards and has caught a touchdown pass in back-to-back weeks including last week’s game-winner against UNK.
The Mules run game is led by Devante Turner’s 753 rushing yards, which is fifth in the MIAA. The junior has found the end zone nine times.
Just off Turner’s clip is Koby Wilkerson with 625 yards and six scores.
Lincoln comes in giving up 47.9 points per game on the year while teams are averaging 501.6 yards against them. Teams have averaged 240.9 rushing yards and 260.3 passing yards.
UCM Defense vs. Lincoln Offense
The Lincoln offense is sophomore running back Hosea Franklin.
Of Lincoln’s 2,207 yards on offense, he has 1,254. Of Lincoln’s 15 offensive touchdowns, he has six.
Hosea leads the MIAA in rushing yards, rushing yards per game and rushing attempts.
The bulk of the Blue Tigers offense comes from its running game, averaging 189.8 yards per game.
Lincoln has thrown for just 499 yards and six touchdowns on the season, both marks Bolles has surpassed in a single-game — 506 yards against Missouri Western and seven touchdowns against Missouri Southern.
The Blue Tigers come in averaging just 11.6 points per game and have been shutout twice while being held to under 10 points in five games.
The Central Missouri defense has allowed an average of 426.4 yards per game and 30.2 points per game, but have been especially stout against the run.
The Mules are limiting opposing running games to just 150.2 yards per game, the third best mark in the MIAA.
UCM leads the MIAA in sacks with 33, led by Ubong Udom’s seven which is tied for first in the MIAA.
Kolesen Crane has been a turnover machine for the Mules with four interceptions and three fumble recovers — which ranks third in all of Division II.
Codie Bell is averaging six solo tackles a game, which is 10th nationally and leads the MIAA.
Odds and Ends
Central Missouri has not lost to Lincoln since 1978.
With a win over Lincoln, UCM would be one win away, on the road against No. 12 Northwest MIssouri State, from claiming the program’s first outright MIAA title since 1986.
Saturday’s game will be the Salute to Veterans Day with all military veterans and their family members Toys for Tots will be on hand to collect new and unwrapped toys.
It will also been senior day for the Mules as they will recognize its seven seniors.