UW-L football picked to finish 4th in WIAC - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

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UW-L football picked to finish 4th in WIAC

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MADISON, Wis.--University of Wisconsin-Platteville has been selected to win the 2013 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) football championship, according to the conference's head coaches and sports information directors.
 
The Pioneers, who are ranked ninth nationally by USA TODAY Sports, No. 11 by D3football.com and No. 24 by Sporting News, picked up six first-place votes in the league projections.  Last year's team finished 8-2 for the best record since the 1976 campaign, and a winning season in 2013 would mark the program's third straight - a feat that hasn't been accomplished since 1990-92.  UW-Platteville owns 14 WIAC championships with the most recent in 1980. 
 
The Pioneers return nine starters from their 2012 offensive unit that established program single-season records with 410 points scored, 33 touchdown passes, 244 first downs, 4,719 yards of total offense and a 71.0 completion percentage.  Senior Ryley Bailey had 70 receptions for 849 yards and 10 touchdown receptions a season ago.  The 70 receptions marked the third-highest total in program archives, while the 849 yards are fifth.  Senior Zach Litchfield established a school single-season record for points by a kicker with 71 in 2012, and is five points away from breaking the career mark of 185 points.  UW-Platteville will play only four games at home this season, and travel to UW-Whitewater and UW-Oshkosh in two of the final three weeks of the season.
 
UW-Whitewater, ranked third by Sporting News, seventh by USA Today Sports and ninth by D3football.com, received four first-place votes in the conference ballot and is slotted for second in the eight-team race.  The Warhawks return six starters on both offense and defense from last year's squad that suffered three losses - the program's highest mark since 2004, and equaled the total number of losses in the previous five seasons combined.  UW-Whitewater boasted the second-ranked scoring defense in NCAA Division III a season ago - allowing 10.2 points per contest.  Senior Eric Kindler ranks second on the conference's all-time list with 54 field goals made and 165 extra points made, while placing third with 396 points.  UW-Whitewater welcomes back Tyler Huber, who missed most of 2012 with an injury.  He recorded 79 catches and 10 touchdowns in 2011.   The Warhawks own a 64-5 record at Perkins Stadium over the last decade and ranked second in NCAA Division III last season with an average of 7,552 spectators per contest.
 
UW-Oshkosh, ranked eighth by Sporting News and No. 12 by D3football.com, secured four first-place votes in the conference survey and is expected to place third.  The Titans won their eighth WIAC title - and first in 36 years - in 2012, while completing the best four-year run in school history with 28 wins.  A season ago, UW-Oshkosh established program records with 13 wins, 525 points, 23 interceptions and 6,721 yards of total offense.  Seniors Cole Myhra and Caleb Voss both ranked fourth in NCAA Division III with 1,589 rushing yards and 1,333 receiving yards, respectively during the 2012 campaign.  The Titans will need to replace 2012 WIAC Player of the Year Nate Wara, who started the last 44 games for the squad.  UW-Oshkosh's 2013 schedule includes a trip to defending NAIA champion Marian University (Ind.) on Sept. 14.
 
UW-La Crosse and UW-Eau Claire each picked up one first-place vote in the projections, and are pegged for fourth and fifth, respectively in the league ledger.
 
Courtesy of the WIAC
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