Today is Tuesday, August 22, 2017

'Dogs play for West title Saturday

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By TOMMY BRYAN
Cumberland is playing for at least a share of the MSC West Division championship and a berth in the 16-team NAIA playoffs as the Bulldogs host old nemesis University of the Cumberlands Saturday in the regular season finale.

Kickoff is set for 12 Noon at Lindsey Donnell Stadium. Live radio coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. on WANT FM 98.9. Senior Day activities will begin at 11:30 a.m.

Weve got a chance here to win the conference championship and send our seniors into the playoffs, said CU coach Dewayne Alexander. Last year we went up to the Cumberlands and lost in a similar situation. Those guys were recognized as conference champs and we had to sit there and watch, its been a goal of this team to win the West title.

Its been a motivating factor for our guys. We still control what happens. If we win, we get at least a share of the title and with it a playoff spot.

Cumberland (7-2 / 4-1) dropped from No. 14 to No. 20 in the NAIA Coaches Poll following last weeks 34-21 loss at Belhaven, snapping a six-game Bulldog win streak.

The University of the Cumberlands comes in 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the MSC West after trampling Faulkner 62-28 last week in Montgomery, Ala. UC is scoring an average of 34.3 points per game.

Every year Ive been here, weve always played well on Senior Day, Alexander said, well need that kind of effort on Saturday. We know Cumberlands in going to come in here and play hard, bottom line it should be an intense, exciting ballgame.

I think if we play hard and play well -- well be conference champs and go on into the playoffs.

Dog bites -- Dating back to last season, CU has won nine consecutive games at Lindsey Donnell Stadium.

Senior LB Ben Miller will be a game time decision as the Gallatin native deals with a painful hip injury.

Freshman wingback / kick returner Quan Johnson will not be available due to a concussion suffered last week at Belhaven.

Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Devin Guthrie is also out of action with a high ankle sprain.

Playoff announcement -- The 16-team NAIA postseason pairings will be announced 2 p.m. Sunday on www.naia.csvt.com. Certified conference champions rated in the top 20 (including ties) in the final Coaches Top 25 poll will automatically qualify for the playoffs.

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