Long road ahead for football team

During the summer, Crusader football fans were under the impression that the 2009 football season would go as follows: Quincy Daniels returns, UMHB wins its 100th victory in Oklahoma, goes undefeated until the HSU game, wins in a very close shootout, wins out, goes to playoffs, plays Whitewater again in the semifinals.

However, the 2009 season has proved to be full of surprises.

SURPRISE #1 – Linfield (who beat UMHB at the 2004 National Championship) returned to power and beat #5 Hardin-Simmons, triggering a four-game losing streak for UMHB’s rival, something that was not anticipated.

SURPRISE #2 – Louisiana College (known by UMHB fans until now as “Loserana College”), has also beaten
Hardin-Simmons, and nearly upset Mississippi College.

Graphic by Tim Lytle

SURPRISE #3 – Mississippi College is now second best to UMHB. This is actually not much of a surprise, since they’ve been viewed as the younger brother to UMHB and HSU when it comes to American Southwest Conference Championship contention.

Now that they’ve finally pulled the upset against HSU, they will be gunning hard for UMHB with much momentum. The game in Clinton, Miss., could be anything but a blowout.

SURPRISE #4 – As the Couch Cru says, “Freshman! Freshman! Freshman!” UMHB freshman quarterback LiDarral Bailey has proved to be a stellar athlete and leader on the field when starter Kyle Noack hits the bench. Noack’s success has not come as a surprise to fans, as the Noack era has been eagerly awaited for the past few months. Now UMHB fans have two great quarterbacks to watch. Opposing defenses have been unable to stop the Noack-Attack or the Freshman Fury.

SURPRISE #5 – Howard Payne has only lost ONE GAME all year. UMHB’s last conference loss was to the Jackets in Brownwood in 2005, and the CRU will play at HPU again this year. HPU must also not be overlooked. Those who forget history are destined to repeat it.

SURPRISE #6 – Mount Union has proved its weaknesses in the first halves each
week, indicating the likelihood of an upset this season.

SURPRISE #7 – McMurry defeated ETBU to end its 17- game losing streak 45-21, an unexpected blowout. Congratulations to Hal Mumme and the McMurry Indians on finally giving the McManiac section a reason to attend a game.

THE NEW PERSPECTIVE– UMHB has gone from its main focus of receiving its 100th victory, HSU and
Whitewater to being victory 100, a new McMurry team, the HSU desperation game, the very dangerous Mississippi College team, revenge against Southern Oregon and an interesting scenario for playoffs.

This weekend’s trip to Mississippi will be a tough test on the road for the football team. The Crusaders will be playing in a large stadium in front of a dedicated crowd. The game in Clinton is always on a higher scale than playing in Brownwood or Abilene. The battle for the ASC title will be well worth the three-state drive to
attend.

Author: Garrett Pekar

Garrett is a sophomore mass communication/journalism major from Granger, Texas. He is the opinions page editor for The Bells. Garrett is also an RA in McLane Hall as well as member of the men’s tennis team. His hobbies include spending quality time with friends and family, listening to music and playing some of his own on the guitar.

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