Football enters New England Division III rankings at No. 9

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- The Bates football team appears in this week's New England Division III Top 10 poll at No. 9, believed to be the Bobcats' first time in the rankings since the poll began in 1988. View the poll here.

Read Kalle Oakes' story about Bates football's rise from the Thursday issue of the Lewiston Sun Journal.

Bates, sporting a 2-1 record for the first time since 1982 after Saturday's 35-26 win at Williams, is one of only three NESCAC teams in the poll, along with No. 2 Trinity (3-0) and No. 3 Amherst (3-0).

The Bobcats' outstanding balance is showing in league statistics: through three games, they rank second in the NESCAC in turnover margin per game (+1.33), fourth in rushing offense (154.7 ypg), third in rushing defense (121.0 ypg), second in pass efficiency (129.0) and first in pass defense efficiency (94.1). Bates has the third most sacks in the conference (9) and leads all of Division III in percentage of opponents' passes intercepted (9.28%).

More fun facts: Bates is tied for second in the NESCAC with Amherst in red-zone offense, with six scores in seven trips (85.7%); second in fourth-down conversions (4/5, 80%); second in average time of possession (31:06) and second in defending third-down conversions (11/45, 24.4%).

Bates will travel to Wesleyan next Saturday for a 1 p.m. game. The game can be followed online via live stats and video webcast.