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Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 3:13am

Mercer Football To Face First Big Hurdle

Mercer University's fledgling football team will face its first experienced opponent this coming weekend. They'll take on Iowa's Drake University, which tied for the Pioneer League title last season.

This won't be as easy as the three blowouts they've managed so far against fellow start-up programs, said Mercer punter Rob East.

"The past three teams, most of those kids were freshmen and sophomores, and now we're going to play a Division I-AA school with seniors and juniors, 23 year old kids," East said. "We're going to have to come out ready to play."

Mercer heads into the match-up as the only undefeated team in the Pioneer League.

That early success has created excitement on campus, said GPB Mercer football correspondent and Mercer junior Jane Hammond.

"People actually stay on the weekends," Hammond said. "Most Mercerians tend to go home on weekends because most people live in the area. But now this year people stay, they tailgate all day. People really want to be here and be part of the atmosphere, which is brand new."

Mercer will take on Drake in Macon at an earlier time than the last three games: 1 p.m. on Saturday.

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