Reese Dziedzic and Mitch Schultz intercepted passes in the final six minutes to seal UW-Oshkosh's 28-26 triumph over UW-Stout on Saturday (Oct. 5) in Menomonie.
The Titans (4-0/1-0 WIAC), ranked eighth by D3football.com, had to hold on for the victory after bolting to a 21-0 first-quarter lead. UW-Stout (2-2/0-1 WIAC) scored on six straight drives, but was forced to settle for four field goals by Ricky Marteney.
Beau Steffens picked off a pass early in the game to set up the first score. After Zach Kasuboski made an acrobatic 12-yard catch on the sideline, Cole Myhra ran three yards into the end zone to take a 7-0 lead. Myhra now ranks fourth in school history with 2,462 yards rushing.
On the Titans' next possession, Nick Olla scrambled to his right and found Joe Sommers streaking down the sideline. Sommers completed the 54-yard touchdown to make it 14-0 midway through the opening quarter.
UW-Oshkosh's defense forced another punt to put its explosive offense back on the field. This time, Olla fired a strike across the middle to Kasuboski, who split a pair of Blue Devils and sprinted for the 52-yard touchdown. Kasuboski finished the day with eight catches for 97 yards.
UW-Stout also took advantage of some big plays, getting a 54-yard run from Adolfo Pacheco on the next snap. Pacheco capped the drive with an eight-yard run to pull his team within 21-7.
The Blue Devils posted drives of 72 and 69 yards during the second quarter, but they stalled inside the 10-yard line. Marteney's successful kicks made it a 21-13 score at halftime.
Needing a response, UW-Oshkosh went on a 16-play march to begin the third quarter. Olla converted a trio of third downs, including a six-yard run to midfield. Caleb Voss then grabbed a 14-yard pass and reached inside the pylon for a touchdown. Voss totaled game-highs of nine receptions and 115 yards.
The Titans overcame 15 penalties for 156 yards in the contest. UW-Stout's next series was kept alive by three personal fouls. After Cody Rosemeyer got free for a 33-yard catch, Trevor Morning made a leaping seven-yard touchdown grab to make it 28-20 midway through the third quarter.
Marteney drilled a 29-yard field goal late in the third period and a 44-yarder with 8:18 remaining to pull the Blue Devils within two points.
Schultz picked off Hank Kujak with 5:53 on the clock to put the Titans in great position. Kasuboski made a clutch reception on fourth down to keep the drive going. UW-Oshkosh then got stuffed at the goal line to give UW-Stout the ball with 1:00 left.
The Blue Devils crossed midfield, but with 15 seconds to go, Dziedzic cradled a deflected pass to clinch UW-Oshkosh's 16th straight regular-season win.
Olla was outstanding through the air, completing 28-of-39 passes for 328 yards and three touchdowns. Myhra carried 32 times for 101 yards, as the Titans converted 10-of-18 third downs.
UW-Stout compiled 445 yards overall, with Kujak throwing for 243 and Pacheco running for 94. Morning marked 98 yards on four receptions, while Rosemeyer snatched five for 75 yards.
Dziedzic topped the Titans with 12 tackles and a sack. The Blue Devils used 11 stops from Luke Bukkam.
UW-Oshkosh has its Homecoming game against UW-La Crosse next Saturday (Oct. 12).
By Jon Feyen, UW-Oshkosh Sports Information