The UW-Oshkosh football team will seek its 24th consecutive regular season home victory when it hosts UW-Stevens Point on Saturday (Oct. 12). Kickoff of the 117th meeting in the longest rivalry between two public schools in the entire NCAA Division III is set for 1 p.m. at J. J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium.
UW-Oshkosh (3-1, 1-0 WIAC) has won seven of its last eight matchups with UW-Stevens Point (2-2, 1-0). UW-Stevens Point owns a 61-47-8 record in the series, including a 27-21 win last season in Stevens Point, but the Pointers have not been victorious in Oshkosh since a 24-17 decision Oct. 17, 2009.
The Titans' 23-game home winning streak regular season began with a 32-7 triumph over UW-Stout on Oct. 4, 2014, and includes a pair of victories this season. UW-Oshkosh suffered its last regular season home setback by a 24-20 score against NAIA member Marian University (Ind.). The Titans have not lost at home to a fellow NCAA Division III program during the regular season since UW-Platteville edged UW-Oshkosh, 17-16, in the 2013 season finale.
UW-Oshkosh enters the weekend with the best defense in the WIAC, ranking third in the country by allowing just 116.8 passing yards per game while listing 13th nationally with 4.0 sacks per contest and 17th with 54 first downs allowed on the year. The Titans, who give up 20 points per contest, also lead the conference with 248.8 yards allowed per game.
The Titan offense, scoring 27.3 points per game, currently paces the WIAC by averaging 172.3 rushing yards and 1.75 sacks allowed per game while UW-Oshkosh's special teams is the conference leader at 24.69 yards per kickoff return.
UW-Oshkosh opened the season with a 20-19 victory at home over Carthage College on Sept. 7. The Titans then lost, 24-19, during the program's first ever trip to Maryland at Salisbury University on Sept. 14 before returning home to rout Huntingdon College (Ala.) by a 44-14 score Sept. 21. UW-Oshkosh, winner of three of the past seven WIAC titles, began league play with a 26-23 victory at UW-Stout last Saturday (Oct. 5).
The top-rated UW-Oshkosh defense features 12 players with at least 11 tackles, including Logan Heise with a team-leading 22 and Connor Zirpel with 20. Brady Heimer, who ranks eighth in the nation with 1.38 sacks per game, is among 11 Titans who have contributed sacks this season.
Trenton LaCombe has accounted for 4.5 of UW-Oshkosh's 34 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. The Titans have created three turnovers as Calvin Shilling has recorded an interception, and Kollyn Beyer and Jacob Edwards have recovered fumbles.
Titans quarterback Kobe Berghammer has completed 58 of 103 passes for 809 yards with eight touchdowns and one interception. He has also logged 44 carries for 143 yards and a pair of scores.
Peter MacCudden leads the Titans with 53 rushes for 168 yards while Riley Kallas has a team-best 193 yards and one touchdown on the ground on just seven carries. Joe Franks and Chris Hess both have one of UW-Oshkosh's five rushing scores.
Mitchell Gerend has a team-high 16 receptions for 251 yards and one touchdown for the Titans. UW-Oshkosh's deep receiving corps includes 15 different pass catchers as Kallas, the conference leader by averaging 11.2 yards per punt return, has added nine grabs for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Ryan Hayes has caught two touchdown passes while Justin Kasuboski, Max Nowinsky, Jake Parsons and Tony Steger have all chipped in one score through the air.
Titans placekicker and punter Jaydon Haag has connected on both of his field goals, including a game-winning 42-yarder in the fourth quarter at UW-Stout, and 9 of 10 extra points. He also averages 37.1 yards per punt, placing six of his 21 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line.
UW-Stevens Point heads to Oshkosh in search of its first road win of the season. The Pointers opened the year with a 21-7 loss at nationally ranked John Carroll University on Sept. 7 and later lost, 38-21, at NAIA member Dakota State University (S.D.) on Sept. 21. John Carroll University is currently ranked 16th in Division III by D3football.com. The Pointers have been perfect at home, winning by scores of 31-28 over then-21st ranked Wabash College (Ind.) on Sept. 14 and 30-16 over UW-River Falls last Saturday.
The Pointers are averaging 22.2 points and 357.5 yards per game while ceding 25.8 points and 378.2 yards per contest. UW-Stevens Point is the WIAC leader in passing efficiency rating defense (94.88) and net punting (36.11).
UW-Stevens Point's Matt Urmanski has gone 69-for-127 passing for 891 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions. He also has three rushing scores on 29 carries.
ShamaJ Williams and Jahi Stigall share time in the Pointer offensive backfield as Williams has 52 carries for 234 yards and two touchdowns while Stigall follows with 38 rushes for 150 yards and one score. Williams shares the team lead with 15 receptions for 77 yards.
Jonte Webb is the UW-Stevens Point co-leader with 15 grabs for 317 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Devin Baldridge has 11 catches for 160 yards and a score for the Pointers. UW-Stevens Point's Joe Aguilera and Ernie LaSpisa have also found the end zone through the air.
Kameron Kryzanski and Berkley Corvino spearhead the UW-Stevens Point defense with 36 and 32 tackles, respectively, including four for loss. Corvino has a team-high two sacks and one of the team's two fumble recoveries.
Kryzanski, Jawahn Downing, Felix King and Donovan Lucas have each snared interceptions for UW-Stevens Point. Lucas leads the WIAC with 2.3 passes defensed per game.
Pointers placekicker Victor Ponterio has connected on just 1 of 5 field goals on the year while converting each of the team's 12 extra points. Carter Unger handles punting duties for the Pointers, averaging 38.6 yards per punt with five of his kicks placed inside the opponents' 20-yard line.
The series between UW-Oshkosh and UW-Stevens Point began with a 22-6 Titan victory on Oct. 10, 1896, in Oshkosh. The Pointers later dominated the rivalry for decades, compiling a 22-3-4 record against the Titans from 1932-63 and winning 16 consecutive meetings from 1984-99 (UW-Oshkosh was declared a forfeit winner in 1987). The Titans' longest stretch of success in the series was a 10-game winning streak from 1967-76.