"When you've got something to prove, there's nothing greater than a challenge." – Terry Bradshaw
PITTSBURGH - A record-shattering, groundbreaking season in the history of Brevard College Football is set to conclude on Saturday when Brevard College (7-2, 5-2 USA South) makes its first-ever appearance in the postseason, facing off with the Carnegie Mellon University (8-2, 7-2 PAC) in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Scotty Whitelaw Bowl.
Gesling Stadium, CMU's home ground, will serve as the site for the matchup on Saturday with kickoff slated for 1 p.m.
Live video coverage will be available for this year's edition of the Scotty Whitelaw Bowl, provided here courtesy of the Carnegie Mellon Department of Athletics. CMU's radio broadcast of Saturday's bowl game can be listened to here, while live statistics are available here.
The Tornados will conclude their historic 2019 campaign that has seen several records and milestones shattered.
Brevard won seven games in the regular season to match the school record for most single-season victories in the NCAA-era. School records were also set this regular season with a .778 winning percentage and five league victories in USA South Conference play. Moreover, BC went 4-1 in road games this season, which also set a school record for road wins in the NCAA-era. The Tornados finished second in a USA South Conference that they were predicted to finish sixth in by the league's preseason coaches poll.
The Tornados enter the Scotty Whitelaw Bowl riding a four-game win streak dating back to October 26. Over the winning streak, Brevard has outscored its opponents 99-35, with three of the four wins coming on the road.
The month of November has been a stretch of dominance for the Tornados, especially on the defensive side of the ball. BC has outscored its opponents 73-15 and has not allowed a touchdown in November. The no-touchdowns allowed streak for the Tornado defense is currently at three straight games and spans 12 consecutive quarters.
Brevard's defense far-and-away led its conference throughout the regular season with a school-record 19 interceptions, 23 turnovers, 105 points allowed, and 11.7 points-per-game allowed. Moreover, Brevard allowed the third-least rushing yards-per-game and scored four touchdowns on defense, which was tied for the lead in the USA South.
In addition to these conference-leading numbers, BC's 19 interceptions finished the regular season tied-for-third in all of NCAA DIII Football, trailing just Redlands (23) and Martin Luther (21) while being tied with four other schools.
Brevard's record-breaking interception total was led by first-year defensive back Joc Pledger, who totaled four picks for the Tornados. More impressively, Pledger didn't make his debut as a defensive back for Brevard until the fifth game of the 2019 regular season on October 19 vs. Huntingdon College. Wesley Ross (3 INT's), Dante Anderson (2 INT's), Quentin Jackson (2 INT's) and Rook Tate (2 INT's) all recorded multiple picks in the regular season, while five other players - Chris Diaz, JeQwan George, Tae Sullivan, Antonio Williams Jr., and Andreas Wyatt - contributed one interception each to Brevard's history-making total.
Anderson, a junior defensive back from Hartwell, Georgia, led Brevard's record-breaking defense en route to a USA South All-Conference First Team selection. Anderson's 76 tackles and two forced fumbles were a team-high. Junior linebacker Steffon Canady, a USA South All-Conference Second Team selection, led Brevard with 7.5 sacks and was second on the team with 58 tackles.
The Tornados have received much recognition for their accomplishments throughout the 2019 season thus far. Brevard received six USA South Athlete of the Week honors through the regular season, and just recently earned conference postseason recognition for five student-athletes. In addition, four Tornados were selected to D3Football.com's national "Team of the Week" over the course of the season.
Brevard heads to Pittsburgh with the task of taking on the Tartans of Carnegie Mellon, who have established themselves within the ranks of NCAA DIII Football.
Carnegie Mellon is making its 12th total postseason appearance - in both NCAA and ECAC Bowl play - and has earned six total wins in its program's postseason history.
Tartan Head Coach Rich Lackner, entering his 33rd year with the Carnegie Mellon football program, holds a career record of 224-120-2. Coach Lackner's 224 wins rank fourth amongst active coaches in Division III.
The 2019 CMU football team knocked off two opponents who were ranked inside of the top-25 at the time of their meeting. The Tartans claimed a 20-13 victory over then-No. 12 Washington & Jefferson at home and defeated archival Case Western Reserve, who was ranked No. 20, 24-21 last Saturday, November 16.
Brevard's vaunted defense will look to contain a Carnegie Mellon offensive attack that averaged 27.7 points-per-game over the course of the 2019 season. JD Dayhuff, Carnegie's starting quarterback, completed 129-of-225 passes for 1,644 yards and 16 touchdowns, while CMU's rushing attack totaled 1,491 rushing yards in the regular season.
The Tartan defense forced a grand total of 22 turnovers this season (13 INT's, 9 fumbles) and wrangled down quarterbacks for a total of 33 sacks. Carnegie Mellon's havoc-causing defense racked up 82 tackles-for-loss, led by Michael Lohmeier, who tallied a team-leading nine sacks and 18.5 tackles-for-loss. Sean Knight leads Carnegie Mellon with three interceptions.
En route to Pittsburgh, the Tornados made a pit stop in Bristol, Tennessee to practice on Thursday afternoon at The Bristol Municipal Stadium, home of Tennessee High School's football team. To follow along with Brevard's entire trip to the ECAC Scotty Whitelaw Bowl, follow the Brevard College Athletics social media channels listed below.
To follow the latest news and updates surrounding Brevard College Athletics, follow the Tornados on Twitter and Instagram @bctornados, subscribe to 'Brevard College Tornados' on YouTube, follow 'Brevard College Tornados' on SoundCloud, or like Brevard College Athletics on Facebook. Be sure to follow "brevardcollege" on Flickr for the latest photos from all Brevard College events.