September 6, 2011

#2 Mount Union Hosts UW-Oshkosh in Season Opener

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2011 University of Mount Union Football
#2 Mount Union Purple Raiders (0-0) vs
Wisconsin-Oshkosh Titans (1-0)
Sat., Sept. 10 - 1:30 pm - Mount Union Stadium (Alliance, Ohio)

TV (Tape Delay): Joe Tait (play-by-play), Harry Paidas (color)
WIVM Ch. 52 (Sat. Sept. 10 at 8 pm; Sun. Sept. 11 at 1 pm)
SportsTime Ohio (Sat. Sept. 10 at 11:30 pm - ** after Cleveland Indians game coverage)

RADIO:
WDPN 1310 AM (Alliance): LISTEN LIVE
WRMU 91.1 FM (Alliance): LISTEN LIVE

LIVE STATS: http://athletics.mountunion.edu

Complete Mount Union Game Notes in PDF Format: CLICK HERE

UW-OSHKOSH: Roster | Stats | Schedule | Coaches

THE GAME

Mount Union begins its 114th season of football at home for the first time since 2008 this Saturday hosting The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh at 1:30 pm in Mount Union Stadium in Alliance.

The Purple Raiders are preseason ranked No. 2 in the nation and the Raiders return 16 starters from a team that went 14-1 last season, won the school's 22nd overall and 19th straight Ohio Athletic Conference title while making a record 14th appearance in the NCAA Division III National Championship game.

UW-Oshkosh has a game under its belt in 2011 as the Titans held off Central (Iowa) 31-28 this past week. Oshkosh jumped out to a 14-0 lead and led 31-14 late in the third quarter before Central rallied with two scores in fourth quarter. A Zach Wettengel interception with 1:35 left sealed the win for the Titans. Oshkosh quarterback Nate Wara went 17-of-25 for 241 yards with three touchdowns. Two of those touchdowns, including an 84-yarder, went to Caleb Voss who had 148 yards receiving on just four catches. Manfred Johnson had eight tackles to lead a Titan defense that had three interceptions, two sacks and a forced fumble.

MOUNT UNION FOOTBALL ON THE RADIO, TV AND ONLINE

All Mount Union football games will be broadcast on the radio on

WDPN 1310 AM and WRMU 91.1 FM and simulcast online along with a LIVE STATS game tracker at http://athletics.mountunion.edu. You can also here the WRMU 91.1 FM feed on any phone by calling (330) 445-7900.

This game along with the other four other home games will be shown on television via tape delay on SportsTime Ohio and WIVM TV52 (Stark County). Image Video produces the broadcasts with Joe Tait, who just finished a 39 year run as the radio voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers, does the play-by-play while Harry Paidas handles the color commentary.

THE SERIES

This is the second-ever meeting between the teams as Mount Union scored a 45-28 victory last year in Wisconsin. Mount Union holds an 8-5 record against teams from Wisconsin and the WIAC (1-0 vs. UW-Oshkosh, 2-2 vs. UW-LaCrosse and 5-3 vs. UW-Whitewater).

THE COACHES

Larry Kehres (Mount Union '71) is 303-23-3 (.926) in his 26th season as head coach as one of the most successful coaches in college football history. His teams have won 21 OAC Championships, including the last 19 in a row, along with 10 of the last 18 NCAA Division III National Championships.

Pat Cerroni (Carroll, Wis. '92) has a 20-21 (.489) record in his fifth season as head coach at UW-Oshkosh. He was an assistant coach with the Titans for six years before taking over as head coach.

UP NEXT ...

The Purple Raiders are home for the next two weeks with a pair of night games hosting John Carroll next Saturday Sept. 17 then Wilmington on Sept. 24. Each game kicks off at 7 pm.

TOP STUDENT-ATHLETES HONORED AT HALFTIME

Mount Union student-athletes that earned Academic All-OAC, Academic All-District and Academic All-America honors along with the OAC Coaches of the Year from the 2010-11 year will be recognized at halftime.

SCOUTING THE TITANS

After a 4-6 record in 2010, UW-Oshkosh is looking for a breakout year in 2011 as the Titans have been picked to finish third in the rugged Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Seven starters are back on offense, including junior quarterback Nate Wara who totaled 2,135 yards and 22 touchdowns passing with just four interceptions. He also rushed for 555 yards and five touchdowns to lead the team and collect All-WIAC honors. Senior running back Charlie Weissman was next in rushing with 393 yards. At wide receiver, senior Garrie Fox earned 2010 All-WIAC second team honors after catching 47 passes for 716 yards and nine touchdowns.

The Titans had the second-ranked pass defense in the WIAC last season, allowing 186 yards per game. Eight starters on that side of the ball return, including All-WIAC second-team senior defensive end Vince Sciano who totaled 49 tackles. Junior linebacker Taylor Goodman recorded 61 tackles last year to lead all returnees. Another defensive returnee is junior linebacker Nick Jolin, who posted 47 tackles and two pass interceptions last season.

153-6
Mount Union's win-loss record since 2000

55, 54
The Raiders hold the NCAA's two longest consecutive college football win streaks -- 55 from 2000-2003 and 54 from 1996-99

53
game regular season win streak for Mount Union dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern in Alliance on Oct. 22, 2005.

49
game home winning streak for Mount Union dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern in Alliance on Oct. 22, 2005.

100
consecutive regular season road victories for Mount Union dating back to a 21-18 loss at Baldwin-Wallace on Sept. 28, 1991.

108-0
Since 1996, the Raiders record when winning the turnover battle.

153-1
The Raiders record since 1990 when winning the turnover battle. That lone loss was a 20-17 loss to Wisconsin-LaCrosse in a 1995 national semifinal game. In that game, the Raiders had a +1 turnover margin.

67-42-2
Mount Union's record in season openers.

23
Mount Union has won 23 straight season openers dating back to a 17-15home loss to The College of Wooster on Sept. 12, 1987.

THE RAIDERS in 2011

Mount Union returns 16 starters and 48 letterwinners in 2011.

300

With a 49-0 win over St. Lawrence in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Playoffs, Larry Kehres became the 11th coach in college football history to win at least 300 games. Here is a list of the others.

  • 478 John Gagliardi * (Carroll, MT, St. John's, MN)
  • 408 Eddie Robinson (Grambling State)
  • 402 Joe Paterno * (Penn State)
  • 377 Bobby Bowden (Samford, West Virginia, Florida State)
  • 323 Paul "Bear" Bryant (Alabama, Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A&M)
  • 319 Pop Warner (Georgia, Carlisle, Pitt, Stanford, Temple)
  • 314 Roy Kidd (Eastern Kentucky)
  • 314 Amos Alonzo Stagg (Springfield, Chicago, Pacific)
  • 305 Frosty Westering (Parsons, Lea, Pacific Lutheran)
  • 303 Larry Kehres * (Mount Union)
  • 300 Tubby Raymond (Delaware)

* Active

NEW TURF, NEW HOME UNIFORMS

Mount Union replaced its 10-year old AstroPlay surface with a new FieldTurf playing surface this past summer. Fans will notice that the football and soccer lines are permanent with two tones of alternating green and black end zones. The black also carries over to new Nike home purple jerseys that the Raiders will wear this season. Mount Union's newest teams -- men's and women's lacrosse will start varsity play in the spring of 2013 and their lines will be painted onto the field.

2011 PREVIEW

Most of the experience for Mount Union returns on a defense that brings back nine starters from a unit that was No. 1 in scoring defense in the nation allowing just 8.93 points per game last year. The No. 2 ranked total defense (212.33) brings back the entire starting secondary in seniors Chaz Jordan, Alex Ferrara along with juniors Nick Driskill Brock Briggs and Isaiah Scott. Jordan and Ferrara were All-OAC First Teamers and All-North Region, while Driskill was an All-OAC Second Team selection. Senior Arthur Smith is lone starter back at linebacker while up front senior Chris Favazzo, junior Charles Dieuseul and sophomore Matt Fechko are back on the line.

On offense things start right in the middle with senior center Brett Ekkens who was an All-OAC First Team and All-North Region pick. He is joined on the offensive line by junior left tackle Antonio Tate and in the backfield, junior running back Jeremy Murray, who totaled over 1600 yards and 21 touchdowns a year ago, is back along with senior fullback Wes Ryder. Junior signal caller Neal Seaman is back after a late season injury and off-season surgery as he tossed for 3,190 yards with 28 touchdowns on his way to All-OAC honorable mention honors. While Seaman's top target in Cecil Shorts III has gone to the NFL, a talented group of receivers are back led by All-OAC honorable mention junior Jasper Collins along with seniors Brandon Brown and A.J. Claycomb, who missed the entire 2010 season with an injury.

Senior kicker Tyler Almeida (Elyria/Elyria) made 16 field goals a year ago and headlines a group of returners on the special teams unit.

The Raiders have six home games in 2011 and enter the season in search of their 20th straight and 23rd overall Ohio Athletic Conference championship. Mount Union has also made 19 straight NCAA post-season trips with a record 10 national championships.

DID YOU KNOW?

Larry Kehres is in his 25th season as head coach but 37th season working at Mount Union as he spent 10 seasons (1975-84) as an assistant coach to Ken Wable then in 1985 worked only as director of athletics before becoming head football coach and director of athletics in 1986. You might not know, he was also the first swimming coach at Mount Union.

PURPLE RAIDERS IN THE PROs

Wide receiver Pierre Garcon begins his fourth season as a member of the Indianapolis Colts while Cecil Shorts III begins his rookie season with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Dom Capers is also back as defensive coordinator of Green Bay Packers while Nick Sirianni is the offensive quality control coach with the Kansas City Chiefs.

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