December 6, 2012

Titans Visit St. Thomas For Semifinal Showdown

More news about: UW-Oshkosh

A pair of 13-0 teams collide when fifth-ranked UW-Oshkosh and fourth-ranked University of St. Thomas fight for a spot in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl on Saturday (Dec. 8) in St. Paul, Minn. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at O'Shaughnessy Stadium.

The winner of Saturday's contest advances to play top-ranked University of Mount Union (Ohio) or second-ranked University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) in the NCAA Division III Championship game on Dec. 14 in Salem, Va.

UW-Oshkosh is riding a 15-game win streak, the longest in NCAA football. The Titans posted playoff victories of 55-10 over The College of St. Scholastica (Minn.), 37-14 over Bethel University (Minn.) and 31-24 at Linfield College (Ore.).

Last Saturday, the Titans trailed Linfield College 24-9 entering the fourth quarter. Nate Wara (Sr. • Oshkosh) then ran for two touchdowns and threw a two-point conversion to tie the score. UW-Oshkosh blocked a last-second field goal to force overtime. After Caleb Voss (Jr. • Van Dyne) caught a 21-yard touchdown pass, Andrew Thompson (Sr. • Greendale) recovered a Wildcat fumble to end the contest.

That quarterfinal game was UW-Oshkosh's closest of the season. The Titans have had just four of their 13 wins decided by less than 15 points. UW-Oshkosh ranks 16th nationally in both scoring offense (39.3 points) and defense (14.9). A +18 turnover margin has also greatly benefited the Titans this year.

Wara, the West Region Player of the Year, leads the offense with 3,045 yards and 29 touchdowns passing. Cole Myhra (Jr. • Menomonee Falls) ranks fourth in the nation with 1,571 rushing yards, while Voss owns 1,234 yards receiving.

The Titan defense has allowed just three points during the second half in the playoffs. Ryan Stefaniak (Jr. • Milwaukee) counted 26 tackles, five pass breakups, one interception, one safety and a blocked field goal. On the season, Taylor Goodman (Sr. • South Wayne) paces UW-Oshkosh with 97 tackles and three forced fumbles.

St. Thomas owns a 49-4 record over the last four years and a 16-game winning streak at home. The Tommies tallied an 8-0 league record for the third straight season to win the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. During the first two rounds, St. Thomas got past St. Norbert College, 48-17, and Elmhurst College (Ill.), 24-17.

Brenton Braddock ran for four touchdowns as the Tommies defeated Hobart College (N.Y.) by a 47-7 score last Saturday. St. Thomas blocked a punt on the game's first possession to set up a touchdown. The Tommies then intercepted three passes to finish off the Statesmen.

The St. Thomas offense relies on a trio of underclassmen. Sophomore quarterback Matt O'Connell has thrown for 2,499 yards and rushed for another 736. Braddock, a freshman, is the leading runner with 1,008 yards and 16 touchdowns. The top receivers are sophomore wideout Dan Ferrazzo (725 yards) and senior tight end Logan Marks (469).

Defensively, the Tommies rank 11th nationally in scoring (14.2 points) and 22nd in sacks (40). Linebacker Tremayne Williams leads the team with 61 tackles, while lineman Ayo Idowu has five sacks and cornerback Chinni Oji four interceptions. St. Thomas hasn't allowed more than 21 points during its last nine games.

This is the first postseason berth for UW-Oshkosh. St. Thomas is in the playoffs for the fifth time, including a 20-0 loss to UW-Whitewater in last year's semifinal round.

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
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Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
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Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
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Muhlenberg at Wilkes
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
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N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
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Western New England at Springfield
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Fitchburg State at Becker
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WPI at MIT
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Bridgewater State at Curry
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Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
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King's at Moravian
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Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
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UW-Platteville at George Fox
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12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
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12:00 PM
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12:00 PM
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12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
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1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
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2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
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2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
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2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
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2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
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2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
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2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
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2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
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2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
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4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
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4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
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6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
6:00 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
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7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
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7:00 PM
Hanover at Centre
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
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7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
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8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
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8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
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8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
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