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Titans To Scuffle With Nationally Ranked Pioneers

Titans To Scuffle With Nationally Ranked Pioneers

The UW-Oshkosh football team will attempt to remain in contention for the WIAC title when it travels to nationally ranked UW-Platteville on Saturday (Nov. 2). Kickoff for the 104th meeting between the teams is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium.

UW-Oshkosh (5-2, 3-1 WIAC) is seeking to rebound from a 31-3 loss at UW-La Crosse last Saturday (Oct. 26). The setback snapped the Titans' four-game winning streak.

UW-Platteville (6-1, 3-1 WIAC), ranked 13th in the NCAA Division III by, is coming off a 43-8 rout at UW-Eau Claire last Saturday. The Pioneers, who are leading the WIAC by averaging 37.4 points per game, have scored at least 33 points in each of their six wins this season.

The Titans and Pioneers are both one game behind conference-leading and third-ranked UW-Whitewater (7-0, 4-0 WIAC) with three games remaining.

UW-Oshkosh has won its past five meetings with UW-Platteville, including a 31-10 decision last year in Oshkosh. The Titans own a 51-48-4 record in the series that commenced in 1911.

Saturday's contest pits UW-Oshkosh's league-leading defense against UW-Platteville's balanced offense that has featured 21 passing touchdowns and 13 rushing scores.

UW-Oshkosh is ranked second in the country with 4.29 sacks per game and also paces the conference by allowing 102 first downs and 269.3 total yards and 159.9 passing yards per game. The Titans and Pioneers are tied for the WIAC lead with three interceptions thrown on the year.

UW-Platteville, which has won all four of its home games this season, is the conference leader with a .600 completion percentage, a 151.68 passing efficiency rating and 5.71 tackles for loss allowed per game to go along with its co-leading 21 touchdown passes. The Pioneers also rank third nationally with 22 turnovers gained and fifth with 14 interceptions on defense, leading to a WIAC-best 2.14 average turnover margin.

UW-Oshkosh is averaging 23.3 points and 342.9 yards per contest while surrendering 17.3 points a game. The Titans have won one of their three road games this season, defeating UW-Stout, 26-23, Oct. 5 and falling by a 24-19 score at Salisbury University (Md.) on Sept. 14. UW-Oshkosh is perfect at home with its victories of 20-19 over Carthage College on Sept. 7, 44-14 over Huntingdon College (Ala.) on Sept. 21, 20-7 over UW-Stevens Point on Oct. 12 and 31-3 over UW-Eau Claire on Oct. 19.

UW-Platteville averages 404.1 yards per game and yields 20.6 points and 382.7 yards per contest. The Pioneers suffered their lone loss of the year during a 21-14 decision at UW-Whitewater on Sept. 12. UW-Platteville opened the season with wins of 38-30 over East Texas Baptist University on Sept. 7, 41-10 over NAIA member Thomas More University (Ky.) on Sept. 21, 55-28 at Lakeland University on Sept. 28 and 38-20 over UW-La Crosse on Oct. 5. UW-Platteville then rebounded from its loss with a 33-27 victory over UW-Stout on Oct. 19 before defeating UW-Eau Claire last Saturday.

Headlining the UW-Oshkosh defense are Nick Noethe with 44 tackles and Connor Zirpel and Logan Heise with 38 and 36 stops, respectively.

UW-Oshkosh's Brady Heimer ranks second in the nation with seven sacks while Kollyn Beyer, the conference leader with 10 passes defensed, has one of the squad's three fumble recoveries and two of its six interceptions.

Fourteen Titans have contributed toward the team's 30 sacks, including Trenton LaCombe with 5.5 and Brandon Kolgen with 3.5.

UW-Oshkosh quarterback Kobe Berghammer has completed 93 of 187 passes for 1,107 yards with nine touchdowns and one interception. He also has rushed 67 times for 267 yards and a team-high five touchdowns.

Peter MacCudden paces UW-Oshkosh with 78 carries for 302 yards while Chris Hess has added 241 rushing yards on 7.5 yards per carry and two touchdowns. Riley Kallas has chipped in 185 yards and a score on the ground on 10 totes.

Mitchell Gerend's 22 receptions for 281 yards and one touchdown leads the Titans, who have also received 18 catches for 250 yards and three scores from Kallas, 14 grabs for 183 and a score from Justin Kasuboski, and 11 receptions for 105 yards from MacCudden.

UW-Oshkosh kicker and punter Jaydon Haag has converted each his six field goals, including a long of 42 yards, and 13 of 16 extra points. Haag is also averaging 34.5 yards on 40 punts.

UW-Platteville quarterback Colin Schuetz is 152-for-250 passing for 2,055 yards with a WIAC-best 21 touchdowns and three interceptions. His .608 completion percentage and 155.2 passing efficiency rating lead the conference.

UW-Platteville's deep receiving corps includes five players with at least 16 catches this season. Tyler Knigge has a team-high 44 receptions for 605 yards and seven touchdowns while Donald Allender has added 32 grabs for 559 yards and a WIAC-leading eight scores. Allender, who has two rushing scores, also paces the league with 10 total touchdowns.

The Pioneer ground game is spearheaded by Wyatt Thompson, who has rushed 90 times for 445 yards and six touchdowns. Mitchell McNutt has chipped in 215 rushing yards and two scores.

UW-Platteville's opportunistic defense features 12 different players who have recorded at least one fumble recovery or one interception.

Tyler Reinhardt leads the Pioneers with 54 tackles to go along with one fumble recovery and three interceptions. Walter Ollie, who averages 25.3 yards per kickoff return, and Jordan Zilbar have both recovered a pair of fumbles and registered 44 and 43 tackles, respectively.

Zilbar and Jackson McMahan are UW-Platteville's co-leaders with four sacks while Luke Johnson and Travis Klassy share the team lead with three interceptions.

UW-Platteville kicker Andrew Schweigert is 4-for-5 on field goals, including a long of 36 yards, and 32 of 34 on extra points. Punter Hunter Grams has averaged 36.6 yards on his 36 punts.

UW-Platteville's last home victory over UW-Oshkosh, which has won nine of the last 10 games in the series, was a 28-0 decision on Nov. 8, 2008.