Coming off a decisive 45-24 win over Adams on Saturday, Nov. 11, the 10-1 Mountaineers, ranked #10 in Division-II by the AFCA Poll and the #2 seed in their playoff region, will look to continue their dream season at home against the Central Washington Wildcats in the newly renovated Mountaineer Bowl at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18.
Western’s president Brad Baca will cover the cost of the first 300 student tickets, available online, using the code WESTERNSTUDENTS. The free tickets come complete with a special Mountaineer playoff beanie, claimable at Paul Wright Gym 214 before Friday, Nov. 17 at 5 p.m. After the first 300 student tickets, entry is $5 apiece.
On offense, the Mountaineers are led by veteran fifth-year running back Deyvon Butler, who shouldered the offensive load against Adams State, rushing for 169 yards and four touchdowns. That performance put him over 1,000 rushing yards for the season to accompany 17 scores.
The visiting 7-3 Wildcats, just outside the rankings in AFCA Poll, are led by redshirt sophomore running back Tyler Flanagan, with over 1,000 rushing yards at six yards per carry on the season. On defense, star safety Tanner Volk has 11 interceptions and 6.5 tackles for loss, leading the team with 52 tackles.
Should the Mountaineers prevail on Saturday, they would face either #3 seeded Texas Permian Basin or Bemidji State on Nov. 25.
Looking across the 28-team playoff bracket, heated in-state rival Colorado School of Mines is the #1 seed in the region, and the only other Colorado school still in the championship hunt. Mines handed Western their sole loss, besting the Mountaineers 42-7 in a frosty, late October matchup.
The Orediggers have a bye this weekend before a Nov. 25 showdown with the winner of this weekend’s game between Augustana (SD) and Minnesota State. Should the two Colorado schools keep winning, they would be slated for a rematch on Saturday, Dec. 2 in Golden.