The Big Games: Homecoming and Hopkins

There is not much that McDaniel and other Division III schools can look at to compare themselves to major Division I programs like Michigan and Alabama. One factor though that unites all football-playing schools is the atmosphere and tradition that accompanies a Saturday in autumn. Many sports comprise McDaniel College’s fall athletic schedule, but nothing draws a crowd as numerous and passionate as the ones that attend the college’s six home football games. While no observer will mistake Bair Stadium for the Big House in Ann Arbor or Westminster for Tuscaloosa, these six games are as much a focal point for McDaniel and its student body as the games aired on CBS and ABC that feature the storied royalty of collegiate football. With a 35-14 win over Moravian in the only conference game the Green Terror has contested this season in the books, it is too soon for anyone to say how much success the football squad will have this year. For the players and coaches, every game is important, and upcoming contests in Westminster against Gettysburg on October 1 and Franklin and Marshall on October 15 should give McDaniel a boost through home-field advantage. However, two dates loom large on this season’s football schedule: October 29 and November 12. At 1 p.m. on October 29, McDaniel will face Juniata as the centerpiece of Homecoming Weekend. This year’s matchup will have a tough act to follow after last year’s frantic triple-overtime Homecoming victory over Gettysburg that featured a 16 point comeback in a tilt that the Athletics Department’s website’s game summary could only describe as a “thriller.” Recent history suggests that day’s contest will be exciting, as three of the last four meetings between McDaniel and Juniata have been decided by less than four points, and the Green Terror have won all but one of those four games. Many view homecoming as the quintessential game to attend, but one major matchup that cannot be overlooked is the last game of the season, featuring McDaniel against Johns Hopkins at noon on November 12. The lifeblood of college football is the traditions and rivalries that form between teams through the decades, which is why it is important to note that this will be the 84th consecutive season in which the Green Terror take on Johns Hopkins to close the season. The series has been somewhat lopsided in recent memory, with Johns Hopkins taking the last ten games the two have played, most recently last year’s contest in Baltimore, in which Hopkins rolled 34-10. However, it is still a historic game, still the last game of the regular season, and still important if the 2011 Green Terror squad is to make this season one to remember. For updated information on the Green Terror football team throughout this season above and beyond what is found in the Free Press, a full schedule with results and in-depth statistics is available at the McDaniel Athletics website (