September 6, 2010

On Wisconsin: #2 Football Opens 2010 Season on the Road at UW-Oshkosh

#2 Mount Union Purple Raiders (0-0) vs UW-Oshkosh Titans (0-1)
Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010 - 2 pm (EST)
J.J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium (Oshkosh, Wis.)

INTERNET VIDEO: http://www.titans.uwosh.edu/Football/Schedule.html
LIVE STATS: http://www.titans.uwosh.edu/FootballLiveStats/xlive.htm

Mount Union Game Notes: Click Here

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

UW-Oshkosh: Roster | Schedule | Depth Chart | Statistics | Tickets 

THE GAME
Mount Union begins its 113th season of football on the road for a second straight year playing this Saturday at The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. The game kicks off at 1 pm in Wisconsin (2 pm in Ohio). It will be the Purple Raiders first game in the state of Wisconsin since Sept. 7, 2002, when Mount Union beat UW-Whitewater, 44-21. The Raiders have played two other games in Wisconsin - a 29-24 playoff game loss at UW-LaCrosse in 1992 and a 39-21 playoff win over LaCrosse in a game played at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison in 1996.

Mount Union is preseason ranked No. 2 in the nation and the Raiders return nine starters from a team that went 14-1 last season, won the school's 21st Ohio Athletic Conference title and record 13th appearance in the NCAA Division III National Championship game.

UW-Oshkosh has a game under its belt as the Titans took a hard fought 34-28 loss at No. 7 in the nation Central (Iowa) last week. Oshkosh led 14-13 at the half, but Central scored touchdowns on its first three possesions of the second half to pull out a 34-28 victory. Titan sophomore quarterback Nate Wara was 17-of-24 for 179 yards and two TD's passing, while also leading the team on the ground with 50 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown.

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 at http://athletics.mountunion.edu, while the website will feature a live statistics game tracker at ALL games.

UW-Oshkosh is providing LIVE pay-per-view video of the game and this week Joe Tait and Harry Paidas will be on the radio call on WDPN 1310 AM in Alliance.

The four home games will be shown on television via tape delay on regional sports cable channel SportsTime Ohio and WIVM TV52 (Stark County), WIVN TV29 (New Philadelphia), Time Warner Cable (ch. 989-Stark County, ch. 99-Tuscarawas County), Massillon Cable (ch. 21) and Clear Picture Cable (ch. 21-Wayne County).

Image Video produces the broadcasts with Joe Tait, who enters his 39th and final season as the radio voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers, does the play-by-play and Harry Paidas handles the color commentary.

THE SERIES
This is the first-ever meeting between the two teams. Mount Union holds a 7-4 record against teams from Wisconsin and the WIAC. (2-2 vs. UW-LaCrosse and 5-2 vs. UW-Whitewater).

THE COACHES
Larry Kehres (Mount Union '71) enters his 25th season as head coach as one of the most successful coaches in college football history with a record of 289-22-3.  His teams have won 20 OAC Championships, including the last 18 in a row, along with 10 of the last 17 NCAA Division III National Championships. This year he is president of the American Football Coaches Association.

Pat Cerroni (Carroll, Wis.'92) has a 15-15 record in his fourth 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 go from their longest road trip to shortest next week when they take the 53-mile trip to John Carroll for the Ohio Athletic Conference opener. Kickoff from Don Shula Stadium is slated for 1:30 pm.

SCOUTING THE TITANS
UW-Oshkosh has 18 starters returning from a year ago, when it finished with a 4-6 record.  The Titans showcased an up-tempo offense last season, scoring 166 more points than the year before. Quarterback and Oshkosh native Nate Wara led the surge as a freshman with 1,597 passing yards and 421 rushing yards.

The team had a pair of runners amass at least 560 yards in junior Charlie Weissman and senior Jeremy Roach as Weissman topped the squad with 568 yards (5.6 average), while Roach tacked on 560 yards and nine touchdowns with an average of 5.3 yards per carry.

Four Titans posted 24 or more catches in 2009, and all are back to put points on the scoreboard. Junior Justin Budiac topped the team with 39 grabs, but senior Juston Wara accumulated 316 yards and three touchdowns. The defensive unit features senior cornerback Nate Heard, who led the WIAC with 16 pass breakups in 2009 – when the Titans recorded 22 takeaways.

Five teams ranked in the top 11 of the NCAA Division III or the NAIA are on UW-Oshkosh's schedule this season. The Titans return 38 lettermen for fourth year head coach Pat Cerroni.

BY THE NUMBERS

139-5
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

43
game regular season win streak for Mount Union dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern in Alliance on Oct. 22, 2005.

99-0
Since 1996, the Raiders record when winning the turnover battle.

144-1
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 Alliance. In that game, the Raiders had a +1 turnover margin.

576.9
miles from Alliance, Ohio to Oshkosh, Wisconsin

208.6
miles from Alliance to Wilmington. The Raiders longest trip in the OAC.

22
Mount Union has won 22 straight season openers dating back to a 17-15 home loss to The College of Wooster on Sept. 12, 1987.

66-44-2
Mount Union's record in season openers.

100
catches last season by Mount Union wide receiver Cecil Shorts III which was an OAC record.

LAST MEETING
First Meeting Between Teams

Mount Union vs. WIAC (7-4)
Dec. 5, 1992 - NCAA Playoff National Semifinal
at LaCrosse, Wis.
UW-LaCrosse 29, Mount Union 24

Dec. 2, 1995 - NCAA Playoff National Semifinal
at Alliance, Ohio
UW-LaCrosse 20, Mount Union 17

Dec. 7, 1996 - NCAA Playoff National Semifinal
at Camp Randall Stadium (Madison, Wis.)
Mount Union 39, UW-LaCrosse 21

Sept. 7, 2002
at Whitewater, Wis.
Mount Union 44, UW-Whitewater 21

Sept. 6, 2003
at Alliance, Ohio
Mount Union 40, UW-Whitewater 17

Nov. 29, 2003 - NCAA Playoffs Second Round
at Alliance, Ohio
Mount Union 39, UW-LaCrosse 14

Dec. 17, 2005 - Stagg Bowl
Salem, Va.
Mount Union 35, UW-Whitewater 28

Dec. 16, 2006 - Stagg Bowl
Salem, Va.
Mount Union 35, UW-Whitewater 16

Dec. 15, 2007 - Stagg Bowl
Salem, Va.
UW-Whitewater 31, Mount Union 21

Dec. 20, 2008 - Stagg Bowl
Salem, Va.
Mount Union 31, UW-Whitewater 26

Dec. 19, 2009 - Stagg Bowl
Salem, Va.
UW-Whitewater 38, Mount Union 28

Mount Union RECORD ON TV
94-8-2 (.913)

Mount Union Sports Update
Volleyball (1-3)
Tues, Sept. 7 - at Malone, 7 pm
Fri, Sept. 10 - Sat, Sept. 11 - at Case Western/B-W Tourney

Men's Soccer (1-2)
Wed, Sept. 8 - WESTMINSTER (Pa.), 5 pm
Sat, Sept. 11 - GENEVA (Pa.), 12 pm

Women's Soccer (0-2-1)
Wed, Sept. 8 - WESTMINSTER (Pa.), 7 pm
Sat, Sept. 11 - at St. Vincent (Pa.), 1 pm

Cross Country (Men ranked #21 in nation)
Sat, Sept. 11 - at Walsh/Ric Sayre Invite (North Canton, Ohio)

THE RAIDERS in 2010
Mount Union returns nine starters and 31 letterwinners in 2010.

THE LONG AND THE SHORTS OF IT
Senior wide receiver Cecil Shorts III (Cleveland/Collinwood) had 100 catches for 1,736 yards and 19 receiving touchdowns as he for a second straight year earned the OAC's Ed Sherman Award as the conference's top wide receiver. He also garnered All-American honors for a second straight season and was the 2009 D3Football.com National Offensive Player of the Year.

MILLER TIME
Senior tight end Kyle Miller (Elida/Elida) had 21 catches for 353 yards with eight touchdowns a season ago as he was selected to the All-OAC First Team and All-American Second Team honors. He will also be the long snapper on special teams.

JUST FOR KICKS
Tyler Almeida (Elyria/Elyria) will be the placekicker which was something he expected to do a year ago before getting hurt just prior to the opening game. Almeida handled kickoffs on the 2008 National Championship team. Sophomore Brandon Mathie (Louisville/Louisville) will be the punter in 2010.

SAM I AM
Senior linebacker Sam Kershaw (West Jefferson/West Jefferson) is the Raiders top returning tackler as he had 80 stops, 7.5 for loss, two interceptions and 1.5 sacks. He was the OAC's Gene Slaughter Award winner given to the top linebacker in the conference on his way to All-American honors.

READY FOR HIS TURN
After coming off the bench in 14 games a year ago, sophomore Neal Seaman (Louisville/Louisville) will make his first start at quarterback this week. Seaman completed 67-percent of his passes (53-of-79) a year ago for 439 yards and two TD's. He also had 203 yards rushing with a touchdown on the ground.

DID YOU KNOW?
Mount Union has won 22 straight season openers dating back to a 17-15 loss at home to The College of Wooster on Sept. 12, 1987. That loss is Larry Kehres' only opening day loss as he is 23-1 as head coach. Mount Union is 66-44-2 overall in season openers. Larry Kehres begins his 25th season as head coach but 36th 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.

No NCAA Division III team has been on television more than Mount Union as this game marks the 104th televised game in school history. The Purple Raiders are 94-8-2 (.913) on TV.

PURPLE RAIDER IN THE PROS – GARCON TO START THIRD SEASON IN NFL
Former Mount Union wide receiver Pierre Garcon begins his third season with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts Sunday against the Houston Texans. He had a breakout season in 2009 as he started 16 games including Super Bowl XLIV where he caught one of his six touchdowns on the season. Against the NY Jets in the AFC Championship game, he had 11 catches for 151 yards and his post-game celebration that included waiving a Haiti flag (birthplace of his parents) made national news headlines as he was brining awareness to the nation that was ravaged by an earthquake just days before the game. This past offseason he returned to Mount Union and completed his bachelor's degree in communications. He had 3,363 yards and 47 touchdowns receiving in three seasons at Mount Union. He played his freshman season at Norwich (Vt.) and in 2008 the Colts drafted him in the sixth round (208 overall).

One other NFL connection is Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers, who is a 1971 Mount Union alum and college teammate of current Mount Union head coach Larry Kehres.

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