KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Oct. 24, 2016) – The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) released its weekly Division III National Coaches' Poll on Monday and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy was one of six teams that are receiving one vote in the poll. This is the first time in program history that the Mariners have been featured in the national poll, as they have never been ranked in the Top 25 or receiving votes.
The Mariners currently sit at 4-3 overall on the season, which includes a 3-2 record in Liberty League action. The squad is coming off a game in which they held then-#15 St. Lawrence (now #14) to a season-low of eight points this past Saturday in the lowest scoring game (combined points) in Division III football thus far this season, an 8-0 home loss.
Earlier in the season, USMMA picked up big conference wins over Rochester (55-7 at home on Sept. 24), WPI (45-44 on the road on Oct. 8) and RPI (16-13 at home on Oct. 15), and nearly stunned then-#15 Hobart (now #25) on the road, but fell short on a last-second touchdown, 38-35. The Mariners also topped arch-rival Coast Guard 31-27 up in New London, Conn., in their season-opener on Sept. 10.
Merchant Marine currently ranks in the Top 15 among all Division III schools in seven statistical categories. The Mariners are second in Kickoff Return Defense (11.9 yards per return), third in Rushing Offense (325.3 yards per game), fourth in Tackles for Losses Allowed (3.43 per game), eighth in 4th Down Conversion Percentage (75%), ninth in Sacks Allowed (0.71 per game), 10th in 3rd Down Conversion Percentage (50.7%) and 11th in Passing Yards per Completion (15.9 yards).
The Mariners are on a bye week and return to action on Saturday, Nov. 5, when they travel up to Schenectady, N.Y., to take on Union College. Kickoff is scheduled for 12-noon at the Dutchmen's Frank Bailey Field. Live stats, a live video feed and a live audio feed of the game will be available with links on the USMMA Football Schedule Page.
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