UW-Oshkosh strives for its first 8-0 football record when it travels to UW-La Crosse on Saturday (Oct 27). Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Roger Harring Field at Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex.
The Titans (7-0, 4-0 WIAC) are currently ranked sixth in the NCAA Division III by D3football.com. The top win total in program history is eight from 1968 (8-2), 1972 (8-2) and 1976 (8-2).
UW-La Crosse holds a 3-4 record (2-2 WIAC) after last Saturday's 33-18 victory over UW-Stout. The Eagles fell behind, 10-0, before rallying with 26 unanswered points. Quarterback Andy Sires passed for 261 yards and tailback Jared Stan rushed for 130 to lead the UW-La Crosse offense.
The Eagles use a ground-oriented attack, running on 56 percent of their plays. Stan owns 442 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Sires has 945 yards and three touchdowns through the air. UW-La Crosse's top receivers are Jeff Haffemann (17 catches for 220 yards), Jake Welch (22 catches for 217 yards) and Tony Bilderback (18 catches for 215 yards).
Punter Christian Hallingstad leads the nation with an average of 45.5 yards. Pacing the Eagle defense, safety Jake Meckstroth ranks fourth in the WIAC with 57 tackles.
UW-Oshkosh is looking for its first win in La Crosse since 1967. Last Saturday, the Titans went to fifth-ranked UW-Whitewater and left with a 28-13 victory. Quarterback Nate Wara (Sr. • Oshkosh) threw three touchdowns in the first half, as the Titan defense allowed just one first down. It was just the fifth loss in 82 games for the Warhawks.
Wara leads the WIAC with 1,528 yards and 13 touchdowns passing. The UW-Oshkosh offense ranks 10th in the nation with an average of 274 rushing yards per game. Running back Cole Myhra (Jr. • Menomonee Falls) has 620 yards and six touchdowns, while Wara owns 515 yards and five scores. Caleb Voss (Jr. • Van Dyne) is the conference's fourth-leading receiver with 569 yards (28 catches).
UW-Oshkosh's defense allows 13 points per game to rank 12th in the country. Linebacker Taylor Goodman (Sr. • South Wayne) tops the unit with 55 tackles, while defensive end Andrew Thompson (Sr. • Greendale) boasts 4.5 sacks. On special teams, Nate Ray (So. • Verona) has made all 10 field goals with a WIAC-best 58 points.
These teams met on Sept. 15, with the Titans earning a 16-7 non-conference victory. Ray kicked three field goals as the UW-Oshkosh defense held the Eagles to just 102 yards of offense. UW-La Crosse holds an overall edge of 49-10-6 in the series.