Titans Prepared To Defend WIAC Title
UW-Oshkosh enters its 2013 campaign with the highest preseason ranking in school history.
The Titans are ranked 12th by D3football.com after finishing last season in the fourth position. UW-Oshkosh's 2013 schedule features home contests with #9 UW-Whitewater and #11 UW-Platteville. The Titans also have a road game against the defending NAIA champion, Marian University (Ind.).
For the fourth straight year, UW-Oshkosh takes on Central College (Iowa) in the opener. The Titans, who are 29-3 in openers since 1981, visit the Dutch on Sept. 7. UW-Oshkosh won the last two meetings by scores of 47-28 and 31-28. Central College posted a 5-5 record during 2012.
Week two is another road game, as the Titans head to Marian University for the first matchup between the schools. The Knights will be UW-Oshkosh's first NAIA opponent since 2009. Last season, Marian went 12-1 on its way to a national title. The Knights are ranked second in the NAIA Preseason Poll, but they received 8-of-13 first-place votes.
The Titans finally put their eight-game home win streak on the line Sept. 28 when they host Alma College (Mich.). Last year, UW-Oshkosh exploded for its best offensive performance in a century with 70 points and 616 yards against the Scots. Alma is picked to finish seventh in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
WIAC action begins on Oct. 5, with the Titans traveling to UW-Stout. UW-Oshkosh has won seven of the past nine against the Blue Devils, including a 27-18 triumph in the 2012 season finale. UW-Stout returns 32 lettermen and 11 starters from a year ago.
UW-Oshkosh's Homecoming game will be Oct. 12 against UW-La Crosse. The Eagles, who went 4-6 last season, are picked to place fourth in the WIAC. UW-Oshkosh couldn't beat UW-La Crosse from 1973-2009, but since then the Titans have gone 3-1 in the series.
UW-River Falls hosts the Titans on Oct. 19. UW-Oshkosh owns seven consecutive wins over the Falcons, including a 19-7 decision last year. Quarterback Ryan Kusilek (213 yards/game) and defensive back Alex Adams (7 interceptions) are back after strong 2012 seasons.
A recent rivalry heats up when UW-Whitewater comes to Oshkosh on Oct. 26. In the last meeting, UW-Oshkosh snapped the Warhawks' 27-game league winning streak with a 28-13 victory in Whitewater. After national championships in 2007 and 2009-11, UW-Whitewater finished 7-3 last year.
November begins with a home contest against UW-Stevens Point. The series, which dates back to 1896, is one of the longest in NCAA Division III. UW-Oshkosh rode a 42-point second quarter to its 56-31 win during 2012. The Pointers will be experienced, returning eight starters on defense and seven on offense.
The final scheduled road trip sends the Titans to UW-Eau Claire on Nov. 9. The Blugolds are picked fifth in the league and will rely on All-WIAC tailback Joel Sweeney, who averaged 122 rushing yards last season.
Conference favorite UW-Platteville makes an appearance at Titan Stadium on Nov. 16. UW-Oshkosh has captured four straight against the Pioneers, including the past three by a combined score of 99-30. UW-Platteville tallied 41 points per game last season behind quarterback Bryce Corrigan and receivers Ryley Bailey and Trevor Whitehead.
UW-Oshkosh brings back 45 lettermen and 12-of-24 starters from its 2012 squad. The offense will be led by All-American tailback Cole Myhra and All-WIAC receivers Zach Kasuboski and Caleb Voss. On defense, linebacker Ryan Stefaniak and lineman Alex Smith made the 2012 All-WIAC Team. Kicker Nate Ray also returns after making 13-of-15 field goals.
Pat Cerroni (39-24 overall) begins his seventh season as head coach. Last year, he guided the Titans to a 13-1 record and the NCAA Division III Final Four.
By Jon Feyen, UW-Oshkosh Sports Information