Aug 30, 2017

Game Preview: Bruins Open Season At UW-Platteville

A Winning Tradition

  • One post-season appearance (1960 Crusader Bowl)
  • One AFCA Division III Coaches' All-American (Nolan Schuler, 2017)
  • One CoSIDA Academic All-American (Caleb Dalzell, 2017)
  • Two CoSIDA Academic All-District (Caleb Dalzell, 2017; Grant Schroeder, 2017)
  • Three All-Americans
  • Four All-Region Honorees
  • 37 All-NWC Athletes 
  • Five Team of the Week
  • Nine NWC Student-Athlete of the Week Awards 
  • One Cliff Harris Award Finalist (Charles Riga, 2017)
  • Two NSCA All-American (Justin Kruse, 2015; Dane Jensen, 2017)
  • Two NFL Draft Picks 

By: Alex Plusquellec

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – For a second consecutive year, the George Fox football team will take on the University of Wisconsin-Platteville to kick off the season. Ranked 15th in the preseason poll, UW-Platteville hosts the Bruins in a rematch of last year's season opener in which the then-ranked No. 12 Pioneers took down the Bruins at Stoffer Family Stadium, 35-0.

Coming off of a third-place finish in the Northwest Conference in 2016, the Bruins will travel to Wisconsin with returning senior talent on both sides of the ball. The offense will again be led by senior Grant Schroeder, who enters his fourth season as the starting quarterback. After earning All-NWC honorable mention honors in 2016, Schroeder will again look to fellow seniors Damian Cook and Brad Lander, among others, on offense. A season ago, the Bruins averaged just under 400 yards of total offense and 24 points per game.

On defense, the Bruins will lean heavily on the returning leadership of Charles Riga, Justin Kruse and Caleb Dalzell, who lead an aggressive front seven. The three returners combined for 10 sacks and 22 tackles for loss in 2016. George Fox's defense will take on a UW-Platteville team that returns just one offensive starter from a year ago, center Ryan Gaul.

On the back end of the defense, cornerback Ryan Russo and safeties Jake Heverly, Rudy Hughes and Austin Taylor all return for the Bruins. The trio of Russo, Heverly and Taylor combined for five interceptions and 11 pass breakups a year ago.

Despite losing experienced offensive players, including quarterback Tom Kelly and wideout Dan Arnold, the Pioneers do return players with playoff experience. UW-Platteville returns two 600-yard rushers as well as 14 defensive players who saw valuable time last season.

With returning talent and experience on the offensive side of the ball, the Bruins may be able to attack the Pioneers through the air. A year ago, UW-Platteville gave up an average of 233 yards per game through the air compared to just 109 yards per game on the ground.

Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2. To watch the games online please click on the following links. Video / Live Stats