4-0 Pioneers, 3-1 Falcons meet Saturday

4-0 Pioneers, 3-1 Falcons meet Saturday

The game: The University of Wisconsin-Platteville reaches the halfway point of its 2017 season when the Pioneers play at UW-River Falls Saturday in a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest. Kickoff at David Smith Stadium at Ramer Field is at 1 p.m.

The records: The two teams are tied atop the WIAC with UW-Oshkosh and UW-La Crosse with 1-0 marks. The Pioneers are 4-0 overall, and the Falcons are 3-1.

The rankings: UW-Platteville is ranked ninth in the American Football Coaches Association poll and ninth in the latest d3football.com rankings. UW-River Falls is unranked.

The coaches: Mike Emendorfer is UW-Platteville's all-time winningest coach, compiling a 94-92 record in his 19th season. He has taken the Pioneers to their only two NCAA III playoff berths in school history, in 2013 and 2016. Emendorfer is the WIAC's active leader in victories. Matt Walker is in his seventh year at UW-River Falls, with an overall record of 17-47. He has this year's edition of the Falcons off to a 3-1 start for the first time since 1998. Counting his time as the DePauw head coach, he has a career mark of 39-55.

The Pioneers: UW-Platteville improved to 4-0 Saturday with a 34-27 win over then-22nd ranked UW-Stout at Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium.

Senior quarterback Jack Eddy made his 2017 debut, giving the Pioneers their third starting quarterback of the young season. Shaking off the rust after dealing with an illness, Eddy completed 22 of 36 passes for 245 yards and three touchdowns. He hit Mark Johnson for a 37-yard score that proved to be the game-winner with 7:18 to play. The Pioneer defense then held UW-Stout three times, with Chandler Crary and Ben Mogilevsky intercepting passes on consecutive drives, and the Blue Devils turning the ball over on downs on the Pioneer 14 with six seconds remaining.

Johnson is the WIAC's leading receiver with 35 catches, and Tim Jansen is third with 24. The Pioneers feature two of the league's best kickers, as Connor Foley leads the WIAC with a 42.8 yards per punt average, while Michael Pratl is first with six field goals and a perfect 20-20 on PAT kicks.

The Pioneers have gone 32-11 in conference games since the start of the 2011 season.

The Falcons: UW-Falls has used a punishing ground game and a stingy defense for its best start to a season in nearly two decades. The Falcons lead the WIAC with 8.8 points allowed per contest, with none of the first four opponents scoring more than 13 points. UW-River Falls lost its opener 13-9 at Coe, then beat Gustavus Adolphus 20-12, Missouri Baptist 30-3 and UW-Eau Claire 30-7.

Michael Diggins leads the league in rushing with 550 yards, including 158 yards and two touchdowns in last Saturday's conference win at UW-Eau Claire. Travon Hearns connected on 15 of 19 passes for 214 yards. He ran for one score and passed for another, a nine-yarder to Diggins. Sophomore linebacker Max Praschak is second in the WIAC with 38 total tackles, including a league-best 23 solo stops.

Per Game Averages UW-Platteville UW-River Falls
Points 39.5 22.2
Points Allowed 26.5 8.8
Rushing Yards 134.2 174.5
Rushing Yards Allowed 75.8 32.5
Passing Yards 282.5 178.0
Passing Yards Allowed 282.0 204.2
Total Yards 416.8 352.5
Total Yards Allowed 357.8 236.8


The Next Game:
UW-Platteville plays third-ranked and defending national runner-up UW Oshkosh Oct. 14 at 2 p.m. in the Pioneers' annual Homecoming game.

The WIAC Release: Notes and statistics from around the conference are available at

http://sidearm.sites.s3.amazonaws.com/wiacsports.com/documents/2017/8/28/2017WIACFootballWeeklyRelease.pdf?id=4077

 

Preview by Paul Erickson, Director, UW-Platteville Communications, 608.342.1194, pr@uwplatt.edu.