Winona, MINNESOTA Here's a preview of Winona St.'s week two match-up with St. Cloud State courtesy of Grant Wall of WSU Sports Information:
1. Winona State will play its first road game of the season when it travels to St. Cloud State on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6 pm.
2. The last meeting between the two teams came on Sept. 17, 2011, with the Warriors knocking off the No. 9 Huskies in Winona, 29-16. The WSU defense forced five turnovers in the game, with SCSU giving up four fumbles and an interception in the second half. Rayon Simmons rushed for 150 yards and a touchdown in the win.
3. The Warriors opened their season with a 34-27 overtime loss to Bemidji State on Sept. 5. Winona State controlled the game early, holding a 27-6 lead heading into the fourth quarter. A pair of defensive touchdowns set up a game-tying score with under a minute to play in regulation for BSU. The Beavers scored on their first overtime possession and the Warriors could not find the end zone on their attempt.
4. The overtime loss to Bemidji State marked the first overtime game for Winona State since 2007. The No. 24 ranked Warriors beat Southwest Minnesota State 49-46 on Nov. 3 that season and went on to finish 10-2 and advance to the NCAA Division II Playoffs. Winona State is 5-4 in overtime games under head coach Tom Sawyer.
5. Winona State's bowl game appearance after the 2012 season marked the eighth time the team has played in the postseason. The Warriors have advanced to the Mineral Water Bowl three times (2000, 2002, 2012) and qualified for the NCAA Division II Playoffs five times (2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007).
6. Josh Mikes' second quarter touchdown reception marked the fifth consecutive game the sophomore has caught a scoring pass. Mikes had TD grabs in each of the final games of the 2012 season and caught a four-yard score from John Teigland against Bemidji State. Mikes had a career-high seven catches for 97 yards against the Beavers.
7. Eight Warriors earned preseason All-American honors from a pair of publications. Offensive lineman Richard Lilla was a first team honoree by USA College Sports while Alex Jensen and Chichi Ojika collected third team honors. James Poliquin, Vance Ross, John Teigland, Ryan Gerts and Morgan Weaver were selected for the honorable mention team. Both Lilla and Ross were also Beyond College Sports Preseason All-Americans.
8. Quarterback John Teigland had one of the top seasons for a Warrior signal-caller in 2012. His 208 passes completed and 61.0 completion percentage are the second best single-season totals in school history. He also threw for 2,942 yards and 24 touchdowns, third and fourth respectively in WSU history. The quarterback threw for at least 300 yards four times, including a season-high 375 yards against Augustana.
Teigland opened the 2013 season by going 20-of-30 for 240 yards and a touchdown against Bemidji State.
9. Former Warrior baseball great and Atlanta Braves minor leaguer Tony Mueller has joined the WSU football team as a wide receiver. After three standout seasons on the baseball field, Mueller was drafted by the Braves in the 13th round of the 2011 MLB Draft. The La Crosse, Wis. native hung up his glove after two seasons in the Atlanta farm system and will now catch passes for the Warriors.
10. Tony Spencer provides a new face on the Warrior sideline, taking over as co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. Spencer spent the last two seasons at the University of Mary working with the team's receivers. Prior to that he spent six years on the sideline at South Dakota where he tutored four All-Americans.
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