November 14, 2013

#8 Titans, #10 Pioneers Fight For Playoff Spot

More news about: UW-Oshkosh

UW-Oshkosh and UW-Platteville will decide a likely playoff bid when they meet on Saturday (Nov. 16) at Titan Stadium. The battle of top-10 teams will start at 2 p.m.

Saturday's winner gains excellent position for an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Football Championship, which begins on Nov. 23. UW-Oshkosh made its first playoff appearance last season, while UW-Platteville has never qualified for the tournament.

Both the Titans and Pioneers own an 8-1 record, with their lone defeat to fifth-ranked UW-Whitewater. UW-Oshkosh fell to the Warhawks, 17-14, on Oct. 26. UW-Platteville lost in Whitewater, 35-16, on Nov. 2.

The contest will feature two potent offenses that average over 34 points – but they score in different ways. UW-Oshkosh runs 65 percent of the time, while UW-Platteville throws on 62 percent of its plays. The Pioneers' aerial attack faces a Titan defense that ranks fifth nationally with 18 interceptions.

UW-Platteville has passed for 430+ yards in three games this season. John Kelly ranks third nationally with 29 touchdown throws while completing 68 percent of his passes. He totaled 442 yards and seven touchdowns during a 49-27 win over UW-Eau Claire.

The WIAC's top three receivers are all Pioneers. Ryley Bailey owns 70 receptions for 824 yards, while Paul Reit has 56 catches and Trevor Whitehead 50. Whitehead leads the group with 11 scores. Tailback Andy Puccini broke out last week, rushing for 221 yards in a 20-10 victory against UW-La Crosse.

While UW-Oshkosh owns the conference's sack leader in Cody Huemmer (9), the Pioneers boast the second and third-ranked pass rushers. Andrew Robinson compiled 8.5 sacks and Andrew Belken recorded six. Jacob Zilbar tops UW-Platteville with 77 tackles, and Rob Austin leads the WIAC with 15 passes defended.

The Titans have rushed for 240+ yards in three of their last four games. Cole Myhra is up to 907 yards and 17 touchdowns on the year, while also grabbing 30 receptions. Last week, Caleb Voss totaled 101 receiving yards and four touchdowns in the 42-14 victory at Eau Claire. Quarterback Nick Olla is completing 64 percent of his passes for 2,020 yards and 16 touchdowns during 2013 – his first year as a starter.

Myhra has scored 18 touchdowns this year after booking a school-record 19 last season. Voss tied the program mark with 24 career receiving touchdowns, and he needs 109 yards to set the school record. They are part of a UW-Oshkosh senior class that holds a program-best 32 victories.

UW-Oshkosh's defense leads the WIAC in sacks (30), but the Pioneers have allowed just six all season. The red zone will also be crucial. UW-Platteville scores touchdowns on 75 percent of its trips, while the Titans have yielded touchdowns just 43 percent of the time.

The Titans are led on defense by Austin Blashka, Reese Dziedzic and Ryan Stefaniak. Blashka ranks first the WIAC with five interceptions. Dziedzic paces UW-Oshkosh with 67 tackles, while Stefaniak owns 49 stops, including nine for loss.

Last season, UW-Oshkosh counted a 34-13 win in the battle of top-20 teams. The Titans forced two turnovers and held the Pioneers scoreless for the final 21 minutes. UW-Platteville owns a slight edge in the all-time series at 47-46-4.

These two squads are among the hottest in the nation. UW-Oshkosh has won 23 of its last 25 games, while UW-Platteville has captured 20 of its last 23.

By Jon Feyen, UW-Oshkosh Sports Information

Sep. 23: All times Eastern
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at Bridgewater State 34, Fitchburg State 25
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Sep. 24: All times Eastern
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Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
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at Hobart 27, Union 23
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at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
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at Massachusetts Maritime 32, Worcester State 14
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at Endicott 37, Nichols 0
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MIT 30, at Maine Maritime 13
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at Buffalo State 40, Morrisville State 24
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at Salve Regina 48, Coast Guard 10
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St. Lawrence 20, at RPI 14
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at Framingham State 23, Western Connecticut 17
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at Montclair State 21, Rowan 14
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at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
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at Trinity (Conn.) 38, Bates 7
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at Western New England 59, Curry 28
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at Utica 24, Cortland 13
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Colby 9, at Williams 7
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at Middlebury 40, Bowdoin 3
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at Amherst 34, Hamilton 0
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Kean 24, at William Paterson 13
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at DePauw 66, Hiram 17
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Franklin and Marshall 45, at Juniata 22
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at Kenyon 31, Allegheny 7
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Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
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Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
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Lycoming 28, at Misericordia 24
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at Plymouth State 30, Mass-Dartmouth 14
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at Husson 35, Alfred State 0
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at Springfield 28, WPI 23
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at Moravian 24, Dickinson 10
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at Denison 45, Wooster 7
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at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
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at St. Vincent 57, Grove City 32
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at Susquehanna 55, Gettysburg 40
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at King's 21, Lebanon Valley 17
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at Alfred 20, Ithaca 6
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at Widener 25, Wilkes 23
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at McDaniel 30, Ursinus 27
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at Muskingum 28, Marietta 10
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at Minnesota-Morris 28, Iowa Wesleyan 27
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at John Carroll 42, Heidelberg 14
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Ohio Northern 16, at Otterbein 10
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Case Western Reserve 35, at Waynesburg 7
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at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
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Rose-Hulman 23, at Defiance 15
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at Centre 49, Chicago 27
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at Mount St. Joseph 38, Manchester 19
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Hanover 49, at Anderson 25
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at Merchant Marine 55, Rochester 7
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Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
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Concordia-Chicago 42, at Maranatha Baptist 10
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Washington U. 36, at Birmingham-Southern 21
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UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 38, Martin Luther 20
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at Eureka 28, MacMurray 13
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at Westminster (Mo.) 35, Greenville 14
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Dubuque 30, at Luther 17
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Monmouth 52, at Lake Forest 6
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St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
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at Augsburg 49, Carleton 17
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Bethel 44, at St. Olaf 7
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at Hamline 42, Gustavus Adolphus 40
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at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
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at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
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at UW-River Falls 42, Southwestern 22
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Simpson 17, at Buena Vista 9
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at St. Scholastica 49, Crown 13
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Cornell 46, at Beloit 41
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at Carthage 27, Augustana 24
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Coe 48, at Nebraska Wesleyan 17
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at Wartburg 56, Finlandia 0
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
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Hendrix 42, at Millsaps 14
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Illinois Wesleyan 45, at North Park 10
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at Macalester 34, Grinnell 0
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at Ripon 33, Knox 19
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Illinois College 40, at Lawrence 15
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UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
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Central 42, at Loras 34
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at Geneva 35, Thiel 27
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UW-Eau Claire 40, at Wisconsin Lutheran 14
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St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
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UW-Stevens Point 44, at Adrian 19
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UW-La Crosse 41, at Carroll 7
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at Berry 41, Sewanee 3
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Westminster (Pa.) 38, at Bethany 9
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Ohio Wesleyan 29, at Oberlin 16
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at Tufts 17, Wesleyan 14
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Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
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at Capital 35, Wilmington 21
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at Southwestern Assemblies 23, Austin 17
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Langston at McMurry
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at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
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at Chapman 19, Trinity (Texas) 17
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Sep. 24: All times Eastern
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at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
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at Hobart 27, Union 23
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Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
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at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
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Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
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Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
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at Utica 24, Cortland 13
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Final
at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
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Final
at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
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Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
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St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
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at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
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at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
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UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
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UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
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Central 42, at Loras 34
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St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
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Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
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at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
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