The MIAA-leading Flying Dutchmen (7-1) take to the road for the fourth time in five Saturdays for a crucial league test at Olivet College (2-6).
Kickoff at Griswold Stadium will be 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast on WHTC-AM (1450) and WFUR-FM (102.9). It will also be broadcast on the internet (www.hope.edu ).
The challenge for coach Dean Kreps' Dutchmen will be to avoid looking past the Comets and a November 11th confrontation with rival Albion.
"Our players know that the road toward a league championship and a possible NCAA playoff berth is through Olivet," said Kreps.
The Flying Dutchmen will be seeking to extend their winning streak to seven games, longest by a Hope team since 1986.
It will be against an Olivet team that suffered an 80-7 loss to Albion last Saturday while Hope was cruising past Adrian 33-6.
The Hope-Olivet rivalry started in 1927. The Flying Dutchmen own a 41-15-1 advantage in the series, including a 30-6 victory in 1999. Hope is 22-3 over the last 25 games with Olivet.
"Olivet is a much better team than their record," said Kreps. "They have one of the finest running backs in Division III and they do things defensively that could pose problems for us. And they will be celebrating homecoming which is always an extra incentive for the home team."
The game will feature the league's top two running backs. Hope Adam Magers of Battle Creek (BC St. Phillip HS) leads the MIAA (conference games) at 92.7 yards per game while Olivet senior Kris Brown is second at 83.0 ypg.
There will also be a good matchup at quarterback with Hope senior J.D. Graves (Troy Athens HS) and Olivet's Jason Vanluven ranked one-two in total offense.
Senior receiver Brian Adloff (East Grand Rapids HS), already the career pass reception leader, is inching closer to the alltime mark for receiving yardage. He has caught a record 126 passes for 1,520 yards. The career mark for reception yardage is 1,560 by Bill Vanderbilt, Jr. from 1984-87.
Hope will be putting a nationally ranked defense on the field. The Dutchmen were ranked sixth in Division III last week in defense against the rush. They enter the Olivet game yielding just 49.3 rushing yards per game. Opponents are averaging only 1.8 yards per rushing carry.
The Hope secondary has already intercepted 20 passes this season, six shy of the alltime mark of 26 by the 1984 team. Only five other Hope teams have intercepted 20 or more passes in a season.
Sophomore Nick Conrad (Wyoming Park HS) leads the team in interceptions with five. The single season mark is seven.