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SATURDAY — WISCONSIN-WHITEWATER, 1 P.M.

Needing a game to start the season, the Titans couldn't have found a more difficult opponent. The Warhawks have won six national championships in the last 10 years. Wisconsin-Whitewater is coming off a 12-1 season in which it advanced to the Division III quarterfinals for the 11th time in the last 12 years. Junior tailback Drew Patterson has gained 2,289 yards in his first two seasons.

SEPT. 9 — NEBRASKA WESLEYAN, 1 P.M.

The Titans made the long trek to Lincoln, Neb., last year and came away with a 17-13 victory in the first-ever meeting between the schools. Now it's the Prairie Wolves' turn to get on the bus for eight or so hours. Nebraska Wesleyan has been picked to finish sixth in the nine-team Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

SEPT. 16 — AT NORTH CENTRAL, 6 P.M.

The CCIW opener comes against the defending league champions, who won their ninth title in the last 11 years in 2016 while advancing to the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs. The Titans have lost seven straight in the series and not won at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium since 2000. Sophomore quarterback Broc Rutter was CCIW Offensive Player of Year last season after throwing for 3,257 yards and 38 touchdowns.

SEPT. 23 — NORTH PARK, 6 P.M.

The lights will be turned on for the annual night game at Tucci Stadium. The Vikings lost their final nine games of the 2016 campaign, including a 45-10 setback to IWU in Chicago, and must replace four-year starting quarterback T.D. Conway, the son of North Park coach Mike Conway.

SEPT. 30 — AT WHEATON, 6 P.M.

The veteran Thunder bring back 70 juniors and seniors from a squad which advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III playoffs. Senior Chase Greenlee accounted for 14 of Wheaton's Division III-leading 52 sacks, while senior linebacker Luke Sahly had 16½ tackles for loss. Offensively, halfback Sola Olateju (957 yards) runs behind an experienced line.

OCT. 7 — AT AUGUSTANA, 1 P.M.

Steve Bell hopes for more success in his second year as Augie's coach after going 3-7 in 2016. The Vikings have decided on Zachary Fuller (1,520 yards, 10 TDs) at quarterback after he split time last season with fellow junior Luke Bleyer. Augie's secret weapon is senior Jacob Stytz, who made 9 of 12 field goals (long 46 yards) and averaged 41.7 yards per punt.

OCT. 14 — CARROLL, 1 P.M.

This figures to be a much easier homecoming game for IWU than last year against Wheaton as Carroll makes its first visit to Bloomington since 1991. The Pioneers' return to the CCIW last year after a 24-year absence didn't go so well with a 1-9 record, including a 62-10 loss to IWU.

OCT. 21 — CARTHAGE, 1 P.M.

The Titans can expect another close game with the Red Men after sneaking out 21-17 and 19-14 victories in the last minute at Kenosha, Wis., the last two years. Senior James Cobbs is a big-play threat for Carthage, averaging 18.7 yards per reception last season.

OCT. 28 — AT ELMHURST, 1 P.M.

The Bluejays surprised many last season. After being picked to finish last in the CCIW, Elmhurst went 5-5 overall and 4-4 in the league. Junior quarterback Orlando Hernandez emerged as a dual threat, throwing for 1,738 yards and 16 TDs while rushing for a team-high 461 yards. 

NOV. 11 — MILLIKIN, 1 P.M.

Senior Day at Tucci Stadium comes in the 110th meeting against IWU's oldest rival. The Titans have won seven straight over the Big Blue, who went 4-6 in their first year under coach Dan Gritti last season. Junior Nicco Stepina set a school record with 2,467 passing yards.

— Compiled by Jim Benson

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Sports Writer for The Pantagraph.

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