Covering Carroll in Kentucky: Saints - Cumberlands Preview - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Covering Carroll in Kentucky: Saints - Cumberlands Preview

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We are off the bus and in to the hotel,  but make no mistake, there's no time for relaxation here in Williamsburg because this trip is all about business.

To be the best, the Saints will have to beat the best, the only team standing between Carroll college and their 3rd title game in 4 years, is semi-final newcomer University of Cumberlands.

And the Saints are excited to take on the number one ranked team in the country.

"I was very excited to play the number one team in the nation," says Saints head coach Mike Van Diest. "I think it's an honor to step on the same field with a team that's that classy. Coach Bland is a great friend and I think they got an outstanding program. So I think this is a wonderful challenge for our team."

The match-up will be another story of offense versus defense. the Patriots are the 3rd best scoring team in the nation, and rank number one in rushing offense. But the Saints excel at stopping the running game, and they have the 2nd best defense in the nation after only allowing a field goal to Missouri Valley in the quarterfinals. It's no secret to anyone that Carroll's pride is in it's defense, and they are looking forward to the challenge of trying to stop a high powered Patriots offense

"I think it's an awesome challenge for us and I think we're one of the best defenses in the nation. I think we match-up well. I think they play very well. They control the clock. It's going to be a great challenge for us," says Saints Junior linebacker Sean Blomquist

Senior defensive back Mike Siegersma adds, "It gets everybody focused. We know we have a challenge in front of us. We know we have to prepare for a great offense and we know it gets everybody in tune with getting ready in the film room and focusing up at practice to know what we need have to do to win the game."

Another factor the Saints will have to contend with is a hostile crowd. Carroll has not traveled for a playoff game since 2004 when they won both of their away games. The Saints are 7-6 all-time on the road in the post season, but they are 6-2 in the Mike Van Diest era. But of course come game day, all stats & records are thrown out the window.

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