September 20, 2011

Titans, Blue Devils To Clash Under The Lights

UW-Oshkosh and UW-Stout will meet in a rare non-conference game between state schools on Thursday (Sept. 22) in Menomonie. Kickoff for the contest is set for 7 p.m.

The Blue Devils (2-0), who own a four-game winning streak, will visit Titan Stadium for the WIAC match-up to end the season on Nov. 12. Thursday will be UW-Oshkosh's first of two night games this year, and it will be the only contest not played on Saturday. The Titans (1-1) are coming off a 41-17 road defeat to second-ranked University of Mount Union (Ohio) on Sept. 10.

Defense has been the driving force for UW-Stout, as it allowed 24 total points during its two victories. The Blue Devils booked a 19-7 decision over Black Hills State University (S.D.) and a 20-17 triumph over Jamestown College (N.D.). UW-Stout has yielded scores on just 2-of-6 red zone opportunities and conversions on 28 percent of third downs. Ryan Pearcy posted 31 tackles in the first two games to lead the WIAC. UW-Stout has also received two sacks from Ryan Ericksen.

The Blue Devil offense features Eric Brown and Paul Bernier in the backfield. Brown tops the team with 133 rushing yards and one touchdown, while Bernier has 91 yards. Ross Carey has recorded 316 yards passing with two scores and two interceptions. The perimeter includes Jordan Peterson, who owns seven catches for 97 yards, and Josh Peterson, who has 65 yards on six grabs.

UW-Oshkosh's attack scored 48 points in its first two games thanks to some explosive connections. Caleb Voss (So. • Van Dyne) is averaging 34 yards per catch with his 206 yards, the second-highest total in the league. Meanwhile, Nate Wara (Jr. • Oshkosh) has racked up 379 yards and four touchdowns passing to go along with a team-best 115 yards rushing. Charlie Weissman (Sr. • Colgate) tops the WIAC with 161 all-purpose yards per game, as he leads the Titans with seven receptions.

This bout will feature the top two tacklers in the league, since Jack Breese (Sr. • Kewaskum) leads UW-Oshkosh with 23. Andrew Thompson (Jr. • Greendale) has also been a force for the Titans, posting two sacks. UW-Oshkosh remained disciplined in its first two games, committing just five penalties for 39 yards (best in the WIAC).

The Titans own a 30-23-1 edge in the series with UW-Stout, dating back to 1947. The Blue Devils have captured the last two meetings after UW-Oshkosh won four straight from 2005-08. During last year's battle, UW-Stout overcame an eight-point deficit with Carey's two touchdown throws to prevail, 28-14.