Reinhardt University (6-0) at Cumberland University (3-3)
Nokes-Lasater Field Lebanon, TN
Saturday, October 17, 2015
Kickoff at 1:00 PM EST
Written by: Tyler Pineda and Ally Hurd
After defeating the Eagles of Faulkner University 55-27, head coach Drew Cronic and the Reinhardt Eagles remain undefeated. The current streak beats out the previous record of five straight wins in the 2014 season. Reinhardt travels to Lebanon, TN, this weekend where the Eagles face Cumberland University. The Bulldogs are coming off a convincing 54-21 win against Kentucky Christian University.
When Reinhardt Has the Ball
The Eagles are led by senior running back Niagel Curtis. Curtis comes into the game averaging 82.3 yards per game. Backs L.J. Stegall, Sam Jones, and Deonte Dennis have also contributed to the top ranked rushing offense in the nation. Overseeing the offense at quarterback are redshirt juniors Ryan Thompson and Johnathon Chamblee. In Reinhardt’s last game against No. 10 Faulkner, Thompson threw for 347 yards and two touchdowns. Chamblee finished the game by conserving the clock and allowing the offense to continue running the ball. On the receiving end, the Eagles tend to look for juniors Aaron Kennedy and Tyler Bradley. Kennedy is the leading receiver with 360 yards on 22 receptions while Bradley adds 11 catches for 253 yards. Reinhardt averages an outstanding 572.7 total offensive yards per game, making the Eagles nationally ranked at 2.
Defensively, Cumberland will rely on their defense to shut RU down. The Bulldogs are nationally ranked 11th in sacks with 17. Redshirt junior Justus Dauscha leads the team in sacks with 4.5, making him ranked 15th in the nation. Standing behind Dauscha on the field is linebacker Nathan Jernigan. Jernigan leads CU in tackles with 59, 28 being solo. Furthermore, defensive back Daniel Wilson is a 2nd in tackles with 49 including 28 solos. The redshirt sophomore is a local Georgia native out of Lithonia, GA, where he attended Martin Luther King Jr. High School. Overall, the Bulldogs have a stout defense that know how to play sound football.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Scott, Reinhardt Football
When Cumberland Has the Ball
Offensively, the Bulldogs are led by junior running back Austin Chaplin. Chaplin is coming off a 3 touchdown, 229-yard rushing effort in Cumberland’s last game against KCU. On the receiving end, Moses Cornelius and Michael Green are the go to targets. Cornelius contributed 116 yards receiving as well as seeing the end zone twice against KCU. Green is nationally ranked eighth for total receiving yards at 580. Under center is redshirt junior Justin Snyder who comes into the game with a total yardage of 1,331, most of it (1,192) through the air. Statistically, the Bulldogs average 390 yards per game. Cumberland likes to spread the field out with a balanced offense and take advantage of that scheme to open up the running game.
The Eagles will look to continue to play great defense led by sophomore linebacker and leading tackler, Jacob Gross, with 46 total and 21 being solo. Holding down the defensive line is sophomore defensive end Javier Dyer who is currently ranked 15th in the country for sacks with 4.5. As a whole, the Reinhardt defense has posted 15 sacks, 7 interceptions, and found pay dirt twice this season. Some honorable mentions are defensive tackles Key Hicks and Lenard Robinson who take on double teams on a consistent basis to free up the linebackers and defensive backs to make plays. New defensive coordinator Tommy Scott has developed a multiple defensive scheme that sends pressure as much as possible The Eagles allow only an average of 18.7 points per game and look to continue executing on the gridiron.
Keys to the Game
Reinhardt must continue to incorporate both the passing and running game.
Reinhardt must protect the football the entire game. The team who turns the ball over the least usually wins the game.
Cumberland has to stop the dominant Eagle offense in three downs per drive.
Cumberland must be able to respond to the motivated defense of Reinhardt. The Eagles like to execute pressure at all times when given the opportunity.
While both teams are looking to come out victorious, only one team can come out on top. The Reinhardt Eagles hope to continue their streak while the Bulldogs are hoping for an upset. This Mid-South Conference East division matchup will determine whether Reinhardt or Lindsey Wilson is first in the division. Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM EST on Saturday, October 17, 2015 from Nokes-Lasater Field in Lebanon, TN.
Prediction: Reinhardt 42 Cumberland 21
These teams will be meeting for the third time in the Mid-South Conference. The series is tied at 1-1 with Cumberland winning 40-28 in 2013 and Reinhardt winning 35-28. The Eagles are undefeated on the road while the Bulldogs are 2-0 at home this year.
August 29th @ Point University W 73-21
September 12th vs Kentucky Christian W 52-3
September 19th @ Georgetown College W 22-19
September 26th vs University of Pikeville W 32-28
October 3rd @ Bluefield College W 80-14
October 10th vs #10 Faulkner University W 55-27
October 17th @ Cumberland University 1 PM EST
October 24th vs #1 Lindsey Wilson 12 noon EST
November 7th @ Campbellsville University 12 noon EST
November 14th vs Bethel University 12 noon EST