Mirror images? SJU, Whitewater meet in national semifinals

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December 9, 2019

There are a lot of similarities between the Saint John’s University and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater football teams.

The two schools meet in the semifinals of the NCAA Division III football playoffs at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Perkins Stadium in Whitewater. The game will be telecast on ESPN3.

Similarities? You bet.

  • Both teams are 12-1 overall this season.
  • Both teams dropped conference contests during the regular season – the Johnnies to Concordia-Moorhead, and the Warhawks to Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
  • Both teams are making their 12th appearance in the national semifinals (for the Johnnies, it’s their 10th appearance at the NCAA Division III level).
  • Finally, both the Johnnies and the Warhawks won quarterfinal contests on the road Dec. 7. SJU had a nail-biting 34-33 win over Wheaton (Illinois) College, while the Warhawks defeated defending Division III national champion Mary Hardin-Baylor 26-7 in Belton, Texas.

But there are differences between the two teams.

The Johnnies tend to lean more toward the pass, averaging 374 yards passing a game and 151 yards per game on the ground.

The Warhawks are more balanced offensively, averaging 193 yards rushing and 180 yards passing a game.

The winner of this game will meet the winner of the North Central (Illinois)-Muhlenberg (Pennsylvania) semifinal contest in the Stagg Bowl at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, at Woodforest Bank Stadium in Shenandoah, Texas. That game will be broadcast on ESPNU.