Titans Open WIAC Play At UW-River Falls
UW-Oshkosh can win its seventh straight meeting against the Falcons when it visits UW-River Falls on Saturday (Sept. 29). Kickoff for the Titans' WIAC opener at Ramer Field is set for 2 p.m.
UW-Oshkosh, ranked 19th in the NCAA Division III by the American Football Coaches Association and 21st by D3football.com, is aiming for its first 4-0 record since 2003. The Titans own both an offense (fifth) and defense (10th) that rank among the best in the NCAA Division III.
Last Saturday (Sept. 22) at Alma College (Mich.), UW-Oshkosh fell behind and responded with seven consecutive touchdowns for a 70-9 victory. The Titans ran for 374 yards, including a career-high 118 from Cole Myhra (Jr. • Menomonee Falls). Eight other men rushed for at least 10 yards, including 95 by Nate Wara (Sr. • Oshkosh). The UW-Oshkosh defense allowed just four first downs in a dominating effort.
For the season, Wara lists eighth in the country with an average of 350 total yards per game. He's completed 68.1 percent (64-94) of his passes with six touchdowns and one interception. Myhra (306 yards) and Wara (295) each rank among the league's top four rushers. Caleb Voss (Jr. • Van Dyne) paces the Titans with 20 catches and 314 yards. On the defensive side, Andrew Thompson (Sr. • Greendale) owns 11 tackles and a WIAC-high 3.5 sacks.
UW-River Falls brings a 0-3 record into the game. The Falcons opened the season with losses of 31-22 to Simpson College (Iowa) and 43-9 to nationally ranked University of St. Thomas (Minn.). UW-Stout defeated UW-River Falls, 20-9, in their non-conference meeting last Saturday.
Freshman quarterback Ryan Kusilek averages 50 pass attempts per game while ranking second in the WIAC with 760 yards. He has thrown two touchdowns, both to Jeremy Brandt, who owns 26 catches for 234 yards. UW-River Falls has just 92 yards on the ground, with Brad Beeskow owning 65 of them. Linebacker Jacob Mandoza leads the defensive unit with 27 tackles, the fourth-best total in the WIAC.
After the Titans grabbed three close wins from 2007-09, they've dominated the Falcons the past two years. UW-Oshkosh posted victories of 42-7 over UW-River Falls last year and 43-15 during 2010. In the series dating back to 1920, UW-River Falls holds a 34-21-1 advantage.