August 10, 2011

UW-Whitewater unanimous pick to win WIAC

Two-time defending NCAA Division III national champion, UW-Whitewater is the preseason choice to win the 2011 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football title, according to the league’s sports information directors.

For the first time in history, the schedule for each WIAC team will include one “non-conference game” against another WIAC opponent. The second game played between both schools will count as the league contest.

UW-Whitewater, ranked No. 1 nationally in preseason rankings by D3football.com, captured all eight first-place votes in the conference poll and is aiming for an unprecedented seventh consecutive WIAC first-place trophy. The Warhawks enter the 2011 campaign riding a NCAA-best (all divisions) 30-game winning streak, 17-game league victory string and 21-straight home triumphs.

Senior Levell Coppage claimed WIAC Player of the Year honors a year ago and needs 910 rushing yards to become the conference’s all-time rushing leader, breaking the previous mark of 6,584 yards by UW-Whitewater’s Justin Beaver (2004-07). Coppage already boasts the league career marks with 81 rushing touchdowns and 486 points scored. Head coach Lance Leipold, in his fifth season, owns as many NCAA Division III national championships as he does losses in his head coaching career (three).

UW-Stevens Point, ranked No. 23 by D3football.com, is 17-4 in WIAC play in the last three seasons and the last conference team to beat UW-Whitewater (October 25, 2008). This year’s roster will be bolstered by graduate school attendees Joe Mleziva and Justin Ourada. Head coach John Miech is the longest tenured football coach in the WIAC and needs seven victories to move into third place on the league’s all-time wins list. The Pointers have won at least six games in 20 of 23 seasons under Miech’s leadership. Gone from last year’s squad is Jared Jenkins who graduated as the school’s No. 2 all-time leading receiver.

UW-Stout is marking its 100th year of football in 2011 (started in 1911). Last year’s squad led the NCAA Division III in fewest turnovers (four fumbles, three interceptions) and placed second in the WIAC in total defense for the second consecutive year. The defensive unit returns leading tacklers Ryan Pearcy, Trevor Fiege and Aaron Kobes - all seniors.
Senior Ross Carey threw a league low three interceptions (for starting quarterbacks) in 273 pass attempts in 2010, while sophomore Richard Marteney converted 30 consecutive PATs, and established a school single-game record of 9-for-9 PATs against Eureka College (Ill.).

UW-Oshkosh returns seven starters on an offensive unit that led the WIAC with 226.8 passing yards per game during the 2010 campaign. Eight starters are back on a defense that placed second in the league in pass defense (186.0 yards per game). Junior Nate Wara, who owns 32 career touchdown passes, threw just four interceptions in 295 pass attempts last season. Senior Jeremy Roach needs 11 kickoff return yards to set the school record and move into second-place on league chart. The Titans have won 27 of their last 30 season openers and will play both teams who appeared in the title game of the NCAA Division III Championship for the second straight year. They visit Mount Union on Sept. 10 and host UW-Whitewater on Oct. 22.

UW-Platteville’s 2010 defensive corps allowed 156.3 rushing yards per contest - the second-lowest average since 1986 - and held Buena Vista to a school record minus-20 rushing yards in the opener. In 12 seasons under head coach Mike Emendorfer, junior Lee Vlasak became the first person to rush for over 100 yards in five games and junior Nick Anderson became the third quarterback to have multiple 300-yard passing games in a season. A year ago, UW-Platteville defeated both UW-Eau Claire and UW-River Falls in the same season for the first time since 1992. The Pioneers have won all 12 season openers under Emendorfer, holding opponents to 10.2 points in those contests.

UW-La Crosse welcomes Joel Dettwiler as its head coach in 2011, replacing Larry Terry who compiled 65 wins in 11 seasons. Dettwiler served as the defensive coordinator at Wartburg College (Iowa) the last three years and played in UW-Platteville’s defensive backfield for four seasons. UW-La Crosse returns three of its top-four leaders in receptions, including senior Lee Lauters who also topped the squad with 148 rushing attempts, 746 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. Senior Derek Dreher, who owns 12 career interceptions, returns after missing most of last year with an injury. The Eagles open the season against UW-Whitewater and follows that bout with a trip to 2010 national quarterfinalist University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas).

UW-Eau Claire returns all 11 starters on offense, including sophomore Joel Sweeney who ranked third in the conference with 102.8 rushing yards per contest and 13 total touchdowns. Senior David Goodman needs five touchdown receptions to break the school career record. The Blugolds open the 2011 campaign against Bethel University (Tenn.) for the fourth consecutive season and will play the same WIAC opponents at home as they did in 2010. UW-Eau Claire has won seven straight homecoming contests and will host UW-Oshkosh in this year’s game.

Matt Walker begins his first season at UW-River Falls after serving three seasons in charge of DePauw (2006-09) and an offensive assistant at Butler a year ago. He becomes just the third head coach at UW-River Falls since 1970 and replaces John O’Grady who accumulated 105 victories in 22 years. In 2010, senior Greg Klingelhutz set a NCAA Division III record with 1,017 kickoff return yards and tied the mark of 49 kickoff returns. He needs 29 returns and 644 yards to set the NCAA Division III career record. Senior Taylor Edwards has posted back-to-back 1,000 yard rushing seasons - the first Falcon to accomplish the feat since 1989-90.

2011 Preseason Predictions--Voted on by WIAC Sports Information Directors 

  2010 Record
1.  UW-Whitewater (8) 15-0, 7-0 WIAC
2.  UW-Stevens Point 7-3, 5-2
3.  UW-Stout 6-4, 4-3
4.  UW-Oshkosh 4-6, 3-4
5.  UW-Platteville 5-5, 3-4
6.  UW-La Crosse 3-7, 3-4
7.  UW-Eau Claire 4-6, 2-5
8.  UW-River Falls 1-9, 1-6
comments powered by Disqus
Sep. 4: All times Eastern
8:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Tex. A&M-Commerce
Sep. 5: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Anna Maria at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
7:00 PM
Albright at Kean
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
Live Stats Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
WPI at Curry
7:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Bridgewater State
7:00 PM
William Paterson at SUNY-Maritime
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Ursinus at TCNJ
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
Video
7:30 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
Waldorf at UW-Whitewater
Live Stats
Sep. 6: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
12:00 PM
Dickinson at Hobart
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Holland College (PEI, Canada) at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Otterbein at St. John Fisher
12:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
12:00 PM
Pomona-Pitzer at MIT
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Johns Hopkins
1:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Coast Guard
1:00 PM
Thomas More at Wesley
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton State
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
Audio
1:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Averett
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Wabash
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Kalamazoo
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Wilmington at Olivet
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
1:00 PM
Alfred State at Morrisville State
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Brockport State
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Montclair State
1:00 PM
Southern Virginia at Methodist
1:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Bluffton
1:00 PM
Marietta at Kenyon
1:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Apprentice
1:00 PM
Cortland State at Buffalo State
Audio
1:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Sewanee at DePauw
1:30 PM
Adrian at Defiance
1:30 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:30 PM
Alma at Heidelberg
1:30 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Bridgewater (Va.) at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
St. Vincent at John Carroll
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Bethany
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
Audio
2:00 PM
Franklin at Illinois Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Rhodes at Austin
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
UW-Platteville at Buena Vista
2:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Washington U.
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at St. John's
2:00 PM
Crown at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Simpson at Iowa Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
Audio
2:00 PM
Lawrence at Rockford
2:00 PM
Aurora at Illinois College
2:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
2:00 PM
Coe at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
Presentation at Luther
2:00 PM
Martin Luther at Maranatha Baptist
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Culver-Stockton
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Dakota Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
Ripon at St. Scholastica
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Hendrix at Westminster (Mo.)
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
3:00 PM
St. Norbert at Carthage
4:00 PM
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Puget Sound
4:00 PM
Lewis and Clark at Whitworth
4:00 PM
College of Idaho at Pacific
4:30 PM
Arizona Christian at George Fox
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Salisbury at Christopher Newport
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
7:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Case Western Reserve
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Stevenson at N.C. Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Butler at Wittenberg
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Audio
7:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Taylor (Ind.) at Anderson
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Denison at Earlham
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
7:00 PM
Albion at UW-Stevens Point
7:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at North Park
7:00 PM
Beloit at Chicago
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Howard Payne at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Millsaps
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas Lutheran
7:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at UW-Oshkosh
7:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Dubuque
Live Stats Video
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
7:30 PM
Central at Benedictine
Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
St. Olaf at Northwestern (Minn.)
8:00 PM
Hamline at Minnesota-Morris
8:00 PM
Lake Forest at Wisconsin Lutheran
8:00 PM
Wartburg at Augsburg
Audio
8:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Dec. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at UW-Whitewater 52, Mount Union 14
@ Salem Stadium; Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Dec. 14: All times Eastern
Final
UW-Whitewater 16, at Mary Hardin-Baylor 15
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Final
at Mount Union 41, North Central (Ill.) 40
Box Score Recap Recap Photos

What We're Reading