The NCAA Division III football national championship will be decided in Salem, Va., as top-ranked Mount Union will square off with No. 4 St. Thomas (Minn.).
This marks the 11th straight appearance in the game for the Purple Raiders out of Alliance, Ohio. Mount Union will be looking to win its first title since 2012 -- which was won against St. Thomas, coincidentally. The Purple Raiders dominated longtime rival Wisconsin-Whitewater in the semi-finals 36-6. They are 14-0 on the season, and have outscored opponents by and average of 53.6-7.5 per game.
The Tommies, out of St. Paul, are undefeated on the season as well with similarly lofty numbers, outscoring their opponents 52.5-9.9 per contest. They defeated Linfield in the semis, 38-17.
How to watch, stream and listen
TV: Fri., 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Online streaming: WatchESPN Link
Spread: Mount Union is favored by 5 points.
Three big things to know
1. Evenly matched
The numbers on both of these teams are gaudy, with Mount Union and St. Thomas ranking first and second in both scoring offense and defense. These two teams rushed for a combined 119 touchdowns on the season, compared to 13 allowed.
The rushing stats for both of these teams are gaudy, but watch out for Mount Union quarterback Taurice Scott. The 5-10 Alliance native completed 65.7 percent of his passes this season at an excellent 9.3 yards per attempt with a whopping 41 touchdowns against just five interceptions.
3. Tom Lally
Mount Union's senior defensive end is a two-time AFCA All-American and tied for the D-III lead with 14 sacks, this season, plus another 74 tackles. He led a Purple Raider pass-rush that totaled 64 sacks on the season. The Tommies allow just one sack per game.