Today's game between Heidelberg and Muskingum would qualify as the very definition of a trap game for the Student Princes.
Heidelberg, unbeaten and ranked No. 16 in the most recent AFCA Division III poll, is coming off a huge win, a 21-0 victory over previously undefeated Otterbein. Next week, Heidelberg travels to Alliance for a what figures to be a tussle with unbeaten and top-ranked Mount Union.
Before all that begins, Heidelberg will host the 1-5 Muskies, a team that is allowing 31 points a game.
But Heidelberg coach Mike Hallett said he tried to cut off any chance.
"Future opponents are not allowed to be spoken about this week," Hallett said. "There's only one focus right now; it's the same way we've prepared every week. The only thing that matters right now is right now."
And looking at the statistics, Muskingum can give a team plenty to be concerned about.
"We've got challenges, certainly, with this week," Hallett said. " I know it's easy to look at the tale of the tape, say 'Oh, they're 1-5, they give up 30 points a game,' but it's a little bit skewed in the way they get there."
Muskingum has had some close games against quality opponents. The Muskies took then-No. 10 Baldwin-Wallace to overtime before losing, and stayed close with Otterbein before falling, 23-13. Last week's loss to John Carroll (55-28) was the first non-Mount Union blowout the Muskies were involved in.
But Hallett said even that score is deceiving.
"John Carroll did a really good job; they certainly used some formations and things to their advantage, but it was a lot of one-on-one situations with John Carroll's really good receiver and really good quarterback vs. one guy," Hallett said. "So they were able to capitalize on that. And really against Mount Union, same thing. They did a really good job of containing Mount, and then Mount would hit a big play on them."
So what does Heidelberg have to do to be successful?
"They are very good against the run," Hallett said. "They do a really good job of playing solid defense, but they're susceptible to big plays. The teams that have scored a bunch of points on them, it's been big plays over the top. So, that's a great challenge, because the more you throw the ball down the field, usually the lower your completion rate."
On offense, Muskingum boasts a very good receiver in James Washington, who has caught six touchdown passes and has 411 total yards receiving.
"Two very talented receivers," Hallett said. "James Washington and then (Lunden Butler). Both do a very nice job of running routes, catching the ball in traffic and catching the ball in space. They can go up and get it."
Hallett said he's not sure who will quarterback for Muskingum today, since Alex Meredith left last week's game against John Carroll with an injury.
"They have a freshman (C.J. Snider) who's been taking more reps and doing a nice job," Hallett said.
Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m.