After a bye last weekend, the UW-Oshkosh football team returns to the field when it travels to UW-Stout for the conference opener Saturday (Oct. 5). Kickoff for the 64th meeting between the teams is set for 2 p.m. at Don and Nona Williams Stadium in Menomonie.
UW-Oshkosh (2-1) has won each of its last nine meetings with UW-Stout (1-2), winning by a combined 350-108 score since 2011. The Titans own a 39-23-1 record against UW-Stout in a series that began in 1947.
The Titans, who have won nine straight WIAC openers, began the season with a 20-19 home win over Carthage College on Sept. 7 before falling, 24-19, at Salisbury University (Md.) on Sept. 21. UW-Oshkosh then rebounded with a 44-14 home rout over Huntingdon College (Ala.) on Sept. 21. Salisbury University (3-0) is now ranked 15th in the NCAA Division III by D3football.com.
UW-Stout, which has lost six of its last nine games dating back to last season, started the 2019 campaign with home losses to fourth-ranked Saint John's University (Minn.) by a score of 14-7 on Sept. 7 and Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.), 41-31, on Sept. 14. The Blue Devils picked up their first win of the year last Saturday (Sept. 28), defeating California Lutheran University, 29-21, in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
UW-Oshkosh enters the weekend ranked fourth in the country by allowing just 86.7 passing yards per game. The Titans also list 12th nationally with 4.33 sacks per game, 15th with 15 first downs allowed and 9.7 tackles for loss per game, and 18th with 233.7 yards allowed per contest.
UW-Stout leads the conference by averaging 10.29 yards per punt return but ranks 231st among 245 Division III teams by averaging 13.56 yards per kickoff return. The Blue Devils also rank 226th in the country with 4.0 sacks allowed per game and 221st by yielding 279.3 passing yards per contest.
The Titans are scoring 27.7 points and averaging 412 yards per game while giving up 19 points per contest. Opponents are completing 48.2 percent of their passes against the Titans this year.
The Blue Devils average 22.3 points and 318 yards per game while surrendering 25.3 points and 349 yards per contest. UW-Stout has allowed just 69.7 rushing yards per game and 2.2 yards per carry.
UW-Oshkosh quarterback Kobe Berghammer has completed 43 of 73 passes for 654 yards with seven touchdowns and one interception. He went 20-for-22 passing with three touchdown passes and a rushing score during his first career start Sept. 21 against Huntingdon College. Berghammer leads the WIAC with a 163.1 passing efficiency rating and 8.96 yards per pass attempt.
Nine Titans have logged carries this season, including Peter MacCudden with a team-leading 44 totes for 137 yards. Riley Kallas, who paces the WIAC by averaging 11.1 yards per punt return, has added 161 rushing yards and one touchdown on a mere four carries. Chris Hess, who has accounted for one of UW-Oshkosh's four rushing scores, is averaging 17.7 yards on six carries (106 yards).
Berghammer completed passes to 12 different Titans against Huntingdon College, and 14 players have hauled in catches for UW-Oshkosh on the year. Mitchell Gerend has a team-high 14 receptions for 221 yards and one touchdown. Kallas, Ryan Hayes, Justin Kasuboski, Max Nowinsky, Jake Parsons and Tony Steger have all chipped in touchdown grabs for UW-Oshkosh.
The Titan defense includes nine players with at least 10 tackles this season and nine who have recorded sacks. Logan Heise and Tory Jandrin are the co-leaders with 15 tackles apiece for the Titans, who have received a WIAC-high 1.5 sacks per game from Brady Heimer and a team-leading 4.5 tackles for loss from Trenton LaCombe.
Titans punter Jayden Haag is averaging 36.9 yards per punt with a long of 50 yards. He has placed five of his 16 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line. Haag has also gone 7-for-7 on extra points while Peyton Peterson has connected on 2 of 6 field goals, including a long of 47 yards, and both of his extra points.
UW-Stout quarterback Sean Borgerding has gone 43-for-86 passing for 556 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. He has added 32 rushes for 60 yards and one score.
Josh Nitek and Nick Arguedas have shared carries in the Blue Devil backfield as both are averaging 4.4 yards per rush. Nitek has run 34 times for 150 yards while Arguedas has 29 totes for 127 yards and one of the team's three rushing touchdowns.
The Blue Devils receiving corps is headlined by Levy Hamer, who has 13 catches for 227 yards and one touchdown. Tyler Seymour follows with eight grabs for 100 yards and two scores. Kevion McDonald and Blake Purdy also have been on the receiving end of Borgerding touchdown passes this year.
Jed Schlegel and Luke Wilz lead the UW-Stout defense with 27 and 26 tackles, respectively. The duo has also snared one interception apiece as the Blue Devils have created five total turnovers, including fumble recoveries by Scott Gustafson, Dylan Peterson and Brandon Vecchio. Gustafson is responsible for two of the team's six sacks.
Alec Benzinger handles punting and kicking duties for UW-Stout, averaging a WIAC-best 39.4 yards per punt, converting 2 of 4 field goals and hitting all seven extra points. Benzinger, who has a long field goal of 36 yards, has placed three of his 14 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line.
UW-Oshkosh's last loss to UW-Stout was a 28-14 decision on Nov. 13, 2010, in Menomonie.