Bearcats Receive Votes in Top 25 Preseason Poll

WU Opens Season on Sept. 3 against Wisconsin-Stevens Point

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. -- Willamette University received points in the Top 25 Preseason Poll for the 2011 football season. The Bearcats, who finished 2010 with a 7-3 overall record, received a total of 15 points, which put the Bearcats 36th among all teams. It took 78 points to reach the Top 25.

Two-time defending NCAA Division III national champion University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, which leads the nation with a 30-game undefeated streak, is ranked #1 with 619 points in the Preseason Poll. The Warhawks, who went 15-0 last season, received 19 of 25 first place votes.

The University of Mount Union (Ohio) is ranked #2 following a 14-1 record and second straight national runner-up finish in 2010. Mount Union received six first place votes and 606 points.

Wesley College (Del.), 12-1 a year ago, is ranked #3 with 561 points. North Central College (Ill.), 12-1, is listed at #4 with 526 points and the University of St. Thomas (Minn.), 12-1), follows at #5 with 491 points.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas), 12-1, holds the #6 spot with 481 points, just one point in front of Bethel University (Minn.), 12-2, which is ranked #7 with 480 points. Wheaton College (Ill.), 10-2, is #8 with 382 points and Willamette rival Linfield College, 9-2, is listed at #9 with 347 points. Coe College (Iowa), 9-2, completes the Top 10 with 321 points.

Willamette will play Linfield at McCulloch Stadium in Salem, Ore., on Oct. 1 at 4 p.m. (PDT). In addition to Linfield, other ranked teams on WU's schedule are #16 Hardin-Simmons University, which the Bearcats will host on Sept. 10 at 1:30 p.m. (PDT) and #23 University of Wisconsin-Stevens Points, which Willamette will host on Sept. 3 at 1:30 p.m. (PDT).

The Bearcats also will take on Pacific Lutheran University, which received 62 points but was not in the Top 25 (29th overall). WU and PLU will play at McCulloch Stadium on Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. (PDT).

Willamette's challenging schedule includes a match-up against Portland State University from NCAA Division I (Football Championship Subdivision) at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Ore., on Oct. 22 at 5:05 p.m. (PDT). Seven of Willamette's 10 games during the regular season will be played in Salem.

Last season, the Bearcats averaged 416.6 total yards per game, while scoring 32 rushing touchdowns and 16 touchdowns through the air. The WU rushing attack amassed 236.3 yards per game while averaging 5.1 yards per carry.

As a result, Willamette tallied 37.1 points per game. Meanwhile, the Bearcats limited opponents to 20.7 points, 94.7 rushing yards and 329.8 total yards per contest.

During the past two years, Jamiere Abney rushed for 550 yards and scored 10 touchdowns.

During the past two years, Jamiere Abney rushed for 550 yards and scored 10 touchdowns.