Bearcats Add Game Versus Sewanee to 2012 Schedule

Home Opener against East Texas Baptist is Moved to Friday, Sept. 14

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University football team has added a game against Sewanee: University of the South to its 2012 schedule. Willamette and Sewanee will play each other on Saturday, Sept. 29 in Sewanee, Tennessee. Sewanee will complete the home-and-home series by playing at Willamette in 2013.

This year's game will be played on McGee Field at Harris Stadium. It is the oldest college football field in the South.

"I am thrilled about our new two-year scheduling relationship with Sewanee," Willamette Director of Athletics David Rigsby said. "Like Willamette, Sewanee is a leading national liberal arts college with a rich history of academic and athletic successes. It will be a great matchup for our team, and a unique experience for our student-athletes to explore the culture and history of the southern United States."

The game with Sewanee fills the void created in the schedule when Willamette and Menlo College (Calif.) canceled a game originally scheduled for the same date.

Willamette also announced that the home opener against East Texas Baptist University will be played on Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. (PDT), one day earlier than originally scheduled. It will be the first time the Bearcat football team has competed on a Friday in decades.

The Bearcats will play a full 10 games this fall. In addition, WU will have an extra home game in 2013 when Sewanee travels to Oregon.

Sewanee also gives Willamette an additional NCAA Division III opponent. Only results against Division III teams are  considered when the official West Region rankings are formed and when NCAA Playoff teams are selected.

"Filling our schedule with Sewanee is a great step forward for our football team," Head Coach Glen Fowles said. "Scheduling games is always a challenge, and having the ability to fill our schedule with Division III opponents is amazing. Sewanee is rich in tradition and we are looking forward to this home-and-home series."

Willamette played an extremely tough schedule in 2011 with three games against nationally-ranked NCAA Division III teams plus a game against Portland State University from the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).

The Bearcats finished the year with a 4-6 overall record, including 3-3 (4th place tie) in the Northwest Conference. Five of WU's losses were by 10 points or less, including four by seven points or less.

Last year, the Sewanee Tigers went 5-5 overall with a 2-4 record (5th place) in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

The teams played one common opponent last season, as the Bearcats and the Tigers took on the University of Puget Sound. Sewanee defeated Puget Sound, 34-23 on Sept. 17 in Tacoma, Wash. The Bearcats downed the Loggers nearly one month later with a 49-31 road win on Oct. 15.

Willamette will open the 2012 season on Saturday, Sept. 1 at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas.
WU cornerback Tyson Giza returns a kick against Portland State last season. Giza will be a senior in 2012-13.

WU cornerback Tyson Giza returns a kick against Portland State last season. Giza will be a senior in 2012-13.