For the second year in a row, the Mount Union Purple Raiders and the Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders will meet in the Stagg Bowl, the NCAA Division III football national championship.
The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN U. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can still watch a live stream of the game (or DVR it) on your computer, phone, or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Hulu With Live TV
In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu also offers a bundle of 50-plus live TV channels, including ESPN U. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet, or streaming device via the Hulu app.
If you can’t watch live, “Hulu with Live TV” also comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).
ESPN U is included in the “Sling Orange” plus “Sports Extra” channel bundle. You can sign up for a free seven-day trial right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet, or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
If you can’t watch live, you can get 50 hours of cloud DVR storage as an additional add-on.
Additionally, you can watch a live stream of the game on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet, or streaming device via the ESPN app. You’ll need to log in to a cable provider to watch this way, but if you don’t have that, you can still sign up for one of the above options and then use your Hulu or Sling TV credentials to sign in and watch on the ESPN digital platforms.
2018 Stagg Bowl Preview
The rematch features the last two national champions. Mary Hardin-Baylor bested Wisconsin–Oshkosh in 2016, then fell to Mount Union in 2017.
It’s their lone loss in the last three seasons, a 43-1 stretch. Both teams are 14-0 this year, despite UMHB’s missing head coach Pete Fredenburg for three games; the school suspended the coach earlier this season for infractions involving benefits for players.
“It has been incredible to see this team’s chemistry develop and it is such a credit to our leadership” the coach said, according to the school’s athletics website. “Between last year’s loss and all that happened in the offseason, our players developed a tremendous dedication to get back to this game. Just getting back is not enough, though. We have to stand up and answer the challenge against a very good Mount Union team. Their program thrives on situations like this and have so much experience in these kind of games.”
It’s UMHB’s fourth overall trip to the national championship; their 2016 victory stands as their lone win in the Stagg Bowl.
This will be Mount Union’s 21st national title game, all coming in the past 25 seasons. They’ve won it 13 times.
Last year, safety Nick Brish made 10 tackles in Mount Union’s 12-0 victory to become just the second defensive player to claim Stagg Bowl MVP honors. He’d made just 18 tackles during the regular season, but stepped into Brian Groves’ role when the All-Ohio Athletic Conference selection suffered a season-ending injury in the first round of the playoffs.
“Brian Groves was injured in that game, and Nick kind of stepped into Brian’s role,” Mount Union head coach Vince Kehres said, according to The Repository. “Through the next four games in the playoffs, his role increased each week. I think we got more and more confident in him and what he could do, he gained confidence in himself and his teammates were gaining confidence in him. It kind of culminated in him having a great game in the national championship game.
“He has carried that through to this season. He has been a very consistent performer on the field. He has provided great leadership off the field as one of our five captains. He’s certainly a guy I talk about a lot with our young players. He has persevered and done things the right way. The results are what they are.”
After 25 years in Virginia’s Salem Stadium, the championship will be held in Woodforest Bank Stadium in Shenandoah, Texas. It holds 9,600 and serves as the home field for three high schools: Oak Ridge High School, Woodlands High School, and College Park High School.