You’d have to go back to 1999 to find a Stagg Bowl that didn’t feature either Mount Union or Mary Hardin-Baylor, but they’ve never actually faced each other in the DIII National Championship. That changes on Friday night, as the long-established powerhouse takes on the rising program in a highly compelling national title matchup.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch:
Live Stream Info
The game is scheduled for Friday, December 15, at 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPN U. That means you can watch a live stream via WatchESPN if you have a cable log-in, but if you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch the games online, on your phone or on another streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services. They cost a monthly fee but all come with a free trial, so you can watch both semis and the national title for free:
DirecTV Now: There are four main channel packages, while ESPN U is included in three of them: “Just Right,” “Go Big” and “Gotta Have It”. It comes with a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, plus you can get $25 off your first month if you enter promo code “BDAY2017”. You can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app
Sling TV: To get access to ESPN U, you’ll have to sign up for the “Sling Orange” base package, as well as the “Sports Extra” add-on. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here. You can watch on your computer via the Sling website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
PlayStation Vue: There are four main channel packages, while ESPN U is included in three of them: “Core,” “Elite” and “Ultra”. You can sign up for a free 5-day trial right here. You can watch on your computer via the PS Vue website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the PlayStation Vue app
Also note: You can also watch on your computer via the WatchESPN website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the WatchESPN app. When you’re asked to verify your cable provider, you’ll just use your DirecTV Now, Sling TV or PS Vue credentials to sign in
When the pair of 14-0 teams meet on Friday night, it’ll be strength vs strength. Mount Union has averaged 53.3 points per game, including 43 against Wisconsin-Oshkosh in their national semifinal matchup, while Mary Hardin-Baylor’s absurdly stout defense has held opponents to just 7.0 points and 154.0 yards per contest. You may hear the phrase “unstoppable force against immovable object” a lot, but it has never quite been as fitting as it is here.
That was the story when these two teams met in last year’s national semifinal, as well, and it was the Crusaders’ defense that won out, as they held Mount Union’s powerful attack to one touchdown and escaped with a 14-12 win. That victory ended Mount Union’s streak of 11 straight Stagg Bowl appearances, and it propelled UMHB to its first national title when they beat Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 10-7, in the final behind their brick-wall defense.
“It’s certainly not a lot of obvious weaknesses on the defense, but we’re a confident group and we gotta try to find some ways that we can move the chains and try to push some points on the board,” Mount Union coach Vince Kehres said. “We’re fortunate to have some very good receivers and to have some depth in that unit. And to be able to spread the ball around to several guys … we’re going to need that unit to really come through for us Friday night if we’re going to have success on offense.”
Can the juggernaut of Mount Union get back on track to capture its 13th national title overall and ninth since the turn of the Century? Or will Mary Hardin-Baylor gets its third win in four games against the Purple Raiders, thus completing their bid at back-to-back national titles? Either way, this sets up as one of the best football games of the weekend, no matter the size of the schools involved.