It is not often that two teams which played in the national semifinal the year before battle in the season opener the following year.
Consider this game extremely rare.
Saturday’s contest will be a rematch between Wisconsin-Oshkosh and John Carroll after a Division III postseason game that was played on a frozen field in the frigid December air of central Wisconsin. The host Titans prevailed over John Carroll, 10-3, earning the program’s first trip to the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl.
This will be the third time within the last year that these two teams have met. JCU also lost its 2016 season opener in Oshkosh, 33-14.
John Carroll finally gets to play host in the budding rivalry.
Besides the thermometer reading, other changes from the last time these teams saw each other include a change in coaching staff for the Blue Streaks (Rick Finotti replaces Tom Arth as head coach) and an entirely new starting defense for the Titans (just one starter returns from last season’s stellar unit).
Both teams return familiar names offensively. Look for Anthony Moeglin at quarterback, the power trio of Ro Golphin, Sam Kukura and Arin Pruitt in the backfield, and the likes of Drew Turner and Brian Dytko blocking up front for John Carroll. First-team running back Dylan Hecker spearheads a strong running game for Oshkosh, while tight end Cody Moon is a formidable target for quarterback Brett Kasper — the WIAC’s Co-Offensive Player of the Year
#6 John Carroll.
The only top ten opening weekend match-up in Division III, and it is happening right here at Don Shula Stadium.