Mercer football is back in town for their home opener. Following a 28-7 victory over the Austin Peay Governors, they are set to do battle with a familiar foe.
The Bears will square off with the Stetson Hatters for the third season in a row. In the last two games combined, the Bears have outscored the Hatters, 90-14 including a 49-0 blowout last year on the road. “The coaches have us ready to play. We are treating this game just like any other game,” said junior linebacker Tripp Patterson. “Whether we are playing against Stetson or Georgia Tech we are preparing the same way.”
Following a perfect record in out of conference play in 2014, the Bears will look to improve to a 2-0 this season and six in a row overall.
In last years’ game, Alex Lakes burst on to the scene with 151 yards and three touchdowns on 13 touches. Lakes will be looking to do more of the same Saturday, Sept. 12, as he has become Mercer’s feature back.
Lakes will be looking to build on to his 159 yard performance last week against the Governors. Lakes is join in the backfield by speed back Tee Mitchell. Mitchell combined for 143 yards rushing and receiving.
Stetson comes into the game 1-0 following a victory against Webber International. The Hatters trot out their own leading rusher Cole Mazza. Mazza recorded three touchdowns and 99 yards in the season opener.
“[Their] coach has done a nice job with that program,” said Head Coach Bobby Lamb. “They have elevated themselves every single year.”
Stetson put up 42 points in the opener, setting a program record in the modern era for most points in a game.
The Bears’ defense will need to be stingy against the Hatters to slow down their offense. In their meeting last year, the defense set the tone by forcing five turnovers.
Mercer is 12-3 under Lamb at Five Star Stadium. The Bears are 2-0 under Lamb in home openers.
“We are excited to be 1-0 heading into our first home game of the season.” Lamb said.
The Bears enjoy the biggest home field advantage of any team in the Southern conference with an average of 10,000 rabid fans filling the stadium to 98 percent capacity.
The Mercer Maniacs are doing a “Orange Never Looked So Good” campaign for the first home game.
“ Nothing looks better than a sea of students decked out in streamers and orange. Make sure to come out on Saturday sporting your Mercer orange,” said Vice President of Marketing for the Mercer Maniacs Sydney Morfoot.