Three games against NCAA Division III playoff participants, a trip to Virginia and a contest against a first-time visitor highlight the University of Wisconsin-Platteville's 2017 football schedule, released today.
Coach Mike Emendorfer's team is coming off an 8-3 season that saw it qualify for the national playoffs. The Pioneers dropped a 32-31 heartbreaker on the last play of the game at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota in their second-ever trip to the national tournament.
The Pioneers face 2016 playoff teams UW-Oshkosh, who advanced all the way to the Stagg Bowl, as well as conference champions UW-Whitewater and Lakeland.
The 2017 season begins with George Fox (Oregon) making its first trip to Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium. The Bruins and Pioneers square off Sept. 2 at 1 p.m. in a rematch of the 2016 opener, which the Pioneers won 35-0 on the road.
UW-Platteville then makes its initial trip to Hampden-Sydney, Virginia, meeting the Tigers on Sept. 16 at 1 p.m. The Pioneers are playing in Virginia for the first time and are making their third-farthest trip east ever for a regular season game. UW-Platteville played at Wagner College in New York City, New York in 1989 and Thiel College in Greenville, Pennsylvania in 2004.
Lakeland, the defending Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference led by former Pioneer Assistant Coach Colin Bruton, comes to Platteville Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. for the first time since 1999. The Pioneers beat the Muskies 20-17 in Emendorfer's head coaching debut 18 seasons ago. Last year, the Pioneers won 56-0 in Sheboygan.
The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference home schedule features a matchup against the defending national runners-up from UW-Oshkosh on Oct. 14. Other league games in Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium are against UW-Stout (Sept. 30), UW-La Crosse (Oct. 28) and UW-Stevens Point (Nov. 11).
Road games feature trips to UW-River Falls (Oct. 7), UW-Eau Claire (Oct. 21) and defending league champion UW-Whitewater (Nov. 4).
The Pioneers have ranked in the d3football.com top 25 rankings in each of the last five seasons, compiling a 41-12 record over that span. Counting the 2011 season, when the Pioneers received votes throughout the year, they are 48-15.
By Paul Erickson, Director, Communications, 608.342.1194, email@example.com