Titans, Tommies Battle For Berth In National Title Game
Teams that have combined to win their last 28 games meet when fifth-ranked UW-Oshkosh visits fourth-ranked University of St. Thomas in a semifinal-round game of the NCAA Division III Football Championship on Saturday (Dec. 8) in St. Paul, Minn. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at O'Shaughnessy Stadium.
UW-Oshkosh, champion of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC), owns a 13-0 record after marking playoff wins of 55-10 over The College of St. Scholastica (Minn.), 37-14 over 21st-ranked Bethel University (Minn.) and 31-24 (overtime) over third-ranked Linfield College (Ore.). The Titans have won 15 consecutive contests for the longest active streak in NCAA football.
The University of St. Thomas, champion of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, also holds a 13-0 record. The Tommies remained alive in this year's 32-team tournament with playoff victories of 48-17 over St. Norbert College, 24-17 over 17th-ranked Elmhurst College (Ill.) and 47-7 over seventh-ranked Hobart College (N.Y.).
UW-Oshkosh and the University of St. Thomas played two common opponents this year in UW-Eau Claire and UW-River Falls. The Titans defeated UW-Eau Claire, 50-13, and UW-River Falls, 19-7, while the Tommies ousted UW-Eau Claire, 27-24, and UW-River Falls, 43-9.
UW-Oshkosh is appearing in NCAA postseason play for the first time in the 118-year history of the school's football program. The Titans join UW-Whitewater (33), UW-La Crosse (16) and UW-Eau Claire (3) as the only WIAC schools with at least three NCAA postseason victories.
The University of St. Thomas is competing in the NCAA playoffs for the fourth straight year and fifth time overall. The Tommies suffered a 20-0 loss to eventual champion UW-Whitewater in the semifinal round of last year's championship.
Both teams rank among the NCAA Division III statistical leaders in several categories. UW-Oshkosh ranks 11th in the country in total offense (494.6 yards) and turnover margin (+18), 16th in rushing offense (256.7), scoring offense (39.3 points) and scoring defense (14.9) and 19th in rushing defense (92.1). The University of St. Thomas ranks 10th in the nation in rushing defense (80.9), 11th in scoring defense (14.2), 16th in total defense (277.3), 17th in total offense (473.9) and 22nd in rushing offense (246.5).
UW-Oshkosh and the University of St. Thomas have met three previous times, but with no matchups in the last four decades. The Titans lost 67-0 to the Tommies in 1914 before winning games of 23-21 in 1968 and 34-20 in 1969.
The winner of Saturday's contest advances to play top-ranked University of Mount Union (Ohio) or second-ranked University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) in the national championship game (Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl) on Dec. 14 in Salem, Va.
Free Fan Bus & Game Ticket
The first 100 students to visit the Athletics Office (Kolf Sports Center) and show their student ID will receive a free seat on the Titan Fan Bus and a ticket to Saturday's game. Reservations will start at 9 a.m. on Tuesday (Dec. 4) on a first-come, first-served basis through noon on Wednesday. The bus will depart from Kolf Sports Center (Pearl Avenue entrance) at 7 a.m. on Saturday and return to Oshkosh following the game. Each student also will receive food after the game. Only one ticket will be allowed per person.
Titan Touchdown Club Fan Bus
The UW-Oshkosh Titan Touchdown Club has arranged a general fan bus. The bus is for alumni, staff, faculty, and friends. Fans do not need to be a member of the club to ride the bus. The cost per person is $40. The price does not include a ticket to the game.
Fans interested in riding the bus should contact Susie Lieb at Ambassador Travel at (920) 236-7777 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Only 40 seats are available. An additional bus may be added, but not guaranteed. The bus depart from Lot 6 (corner of Wisconsin & Pearl streets). Parking is allowed in this lot.
UW-Oshkosh Alumni/Parent Reception
The UW-Oshkosh Alumni Association will be holding a reception at 5 p.m. on Friday (Dec. 7) at Burger Mo's (242 West 7th Street) in St. Paul. All UW-Oshkosh alumni and parents of our UW-Oshkosh football players are invited to attend.
Pregame Tailgate Party
The UW-Oshkosh Alumni Association will be holding a pregame Tailgate Party from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at Scooters Restaurant within the University of St. Thomas Student Center. All UW-Oshkosh alumni and parents of our UW-Oshkosh football players are invited to attend.
Cheer On The Titans!
In Oshkosh, Titan fans can watch the game at UW-Oshkosh's Reeve Memorial Union (Titan Underground or Marketplace), Becket's, Buffalo Wild Wings or Fratellos Fieldhouse.
Fans can visit the UW-Oshkosh Athletics website for live video (ESPN3) and audio links of the game. The contest can be heard in Oshkosh on WRST Radio (90.3 FM) or WOSH Rado (1490 AM).
Fans can also tune in via a variety of UW-Oshkosh social networks. With great fan participation and frequent posts during the game, it's a good way to follow the action. Go to the UW-Oshkosh Facebook page, UW-Oshkosh Athletics Facebook page or follow @UWOshkoshTitans and the hashtags #d3fb and #HailTitans on Twitter.