6 pm Saturday in McKenzie
Cumberland University opens a stretch of three consecutive road games to close out the regular season Saturday at Mid-South Conference West Division rival Bethel University. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Wildcat Stadium in McKenzie.
Live radio coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. on WANT FM-98.9. Surprising Bethel (7-1) was picked to finish sixth in the West Division of the MSC pre-season Coaches Poll and reeled off seven consecutive wins to open the season.
That streak came to an end last week as the Wildcats dropped a 24-13 home loss to Faulkner last week.
Ranked No. 16 in the NAIA prior to the loss, Bethel slipped to No. 19.
Saturday's contest will mark the 28th meeting between the in-state rivals -- dating back to 1921.
Cumberland leads the series 16-10-1. Bethel won in Lebanon last year 42-28.
The Phoenix comes in 4-4 overall (1-2 West) following last week't thrilling 46-40 home win over Campbellsville -- a game that found CU piling up 602 yards in total offense.
Local connections --
Former Lebanon High standout Tay Davis has enjoyed tremendous success at Bethel after spending last season at Austin Peay.
Davis is presently the top ground-gainer in the Mid-South Conference with 820 yards on 133 attempts -- an average of 6.2 yards per carry.
The sophomore leads his team with 12 touchdowns.
Michael Jasper, the first and only Bethel player ever to be selected in an NFL Draft, has returned to his alma mater as an assistant football coach.
Jasper coaches Bethel's offensive line.
The Mt. Juliet High graduate was the seventh-round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills back in 2011 and remains a fan favorite at Bethel.
Jasper played with Bethel as an offensive guard/ defensive tackle for two seasons after originally signing with Ole Miss and then having brief stints at UT Martin and Middle Tennessee State.