Utica's (7-2) first playoff appearance since 2005, will be against a top 10 team in Division 1, Romeo (8-1). The winner of the MAC's two conferences will meet in this intriguing match up. Utica has had its best season since 2000, when they won 8 games. While Romeo looks to add its 9th win for the first time since 1992, when they finished with 10 wins.
If anyone has watched Romeo this year, they know the big plays will come from Runningback #37 Ryan Burkard, who is a threat every play. Romeo does not rely as heavily as you would expect on Burkard, they are able to stay balanced and pass efficiently, the 8-1 record is a proof. WR #1 Brian Roth, is a threat the score from any spot on the field.
Utica loves to run the ball and cause confusion, using a similar offense to the college team Mississippi State. Utica use's a trio of running backs who all have different ways of hurting the defense and using WR's on sweeps and play action. Their big play threat is #7 Shane VanFleteren who will be their downfield threat. Utica utilizes their wide receivers into the passing game, their big plays are usually WR throwing to VanFleteren down field. They really do try keep defenses guessing and see if they are disciplined.
Romeo leads the all time series 32-21-3 since 1950, Romeo dominated the previous 40 years. From 1950 to 1970 Utica lead the series 13-5-3 and since then they have only won 8 times in 40 years.
It will be Romeo's 11th playoff appearance since 1978 and they have been in the playoffs every year since 2003.
Utica will make its 4th appearance since 1990. They were not in the playoffs from 1950-1989. Utica also has not won a playoff game.
If Utica wins it will make their all time record .500, currently they are 269 W, 270 L, and 11 ties.