Willamette Announces 2012 Football Schedule

By Brandon Chinn, Athletics Communications Writer

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University's Glen Fowles has announced the 2012 football schedule in what will be his first season as the team's head coach. The schedule features five home games, as well as five games on the road.

A tough 2011 schedule for Willamette, which included a match-up against Division I opponent Portland State University, resulted in a 4-6 overall record. With a 3-3 record in Northwest Conference play the Bearcats finished the season tied for fourth in the conference. 

The 2012 schedule, while not as demanding as last year, appears to feature several challenging road games for the Bearcats. Willamette travels to take on both Hardin-Simmons University in Texas and defending NWC champion Linfield College, which finished last season ranked #6 in the nation according to D3football.com.

Willamette opens up the season on Sept. 1 at Hardin-Simmons, which defeated the Bearcats last season, 30-24. Following their trip to Texas, the Bearcats will return home for an early season Week 2 bye. 

After the week off, the Bearcats open up their largest home stand of the season, playing three consecutive games at home. Willamette's home opener is on Sept. 15 against East Texas Baptist University. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m. (PDT).

The following week Willamette matches up against the Boxers of Pacific University, a team WU beat 49-7 last season. Although both teams are members of the NWC, this game will serve as a non-conference game. 

On Sept. 29. the Bearcats will welcome back former Head Coach Mark Speckman who led Willamette to an 82-59 (.582) record over the past 14 seasons. Speckman resigned as head coach earlier this year to accepted the same position at Menlo College, an NAIA school located in Atherton, Calif. 

A heavy dosage of home games in the first half of the season means the Bearcats will travel heavily on the back end of their schedule. 

After traveling to Whitworth University on Oct. 6 and hosting Lewis & Clark College on Oct. 13, the Bearcats will begin a stretch of three consecutive weeks on the road. Sandwiched in between away games against NWC foes Pacific Lutheran University on Oct. 20 and Pacific on Nov. 3, the Bearcats will play their archrivals on the road. 

On Oct. 27, Willamette will travel to McMinnville, Ore., seeking revenge against the Wildcats from Linfield College. Last season, Linfield topped Willamette 20-10 in the NWC opener for both teams. Willamette hasn't defeated Linfield since 2008, when the Bearcats dominated the Wildcats with a 52-28 victory. 

The Bearcats will return home and conclude the regular season on Nov. 10 against the University of Puget Sound Loggers in Willamette's Senior Day game. The team will honor all of its seniors prior to the kickoff.

Overall, Willamette's schedule for the 2012 season features a balanced mix of home and away games. With a healthy amount of competition mixed between both conference and non conference opponents, the Bearcats will be in for a very exciting and competitive season.  

2012 Willamette University
Football Schedule
Junior quarterback Brian Widing threw for 1,227 yards and 10 touchdowns while completing 57.6% of his passes for the Bearcats in 2011.

Junior quarterback Brian Widing threw for 1,227 yards and 10 touchdowns while completing 57.6% of his passes for the Bearcats in 2011.