LIVINGSTON, Ala. – The University of West Alabama football team will host Miles College in the first round of the NCAA Division II Football Championships Saturday at Tiger Stadium on the UWA campus. Kickoff is set for noon.
Despite winning the Gulf South Conference championship, finishing 8-3 overall and 5-0 in league play, the Tigers were relegated to the No. 4 seed for the second straight year. Miles comes into the playoffs as the No. 5 seed with an 8-2 record.
Should the Tigers defeat Miles, UWA would travel to No. 1 seed Valdosta State on Nov. 24. West Alabama defeated the Blazers on the road, 39-28, on Sept. 22.
“Several years ago we came here with one purpose in mind and that was to turn this place into a place that people respected,” head coach Will Hall said. “Winning the Gulf South Conference was a huge step in that direction, but looking at this bracket, you can obviously tell there is a lot of respect yet to be earned."
The Tigers have now earned a spot in the NCAA Division II Playoffs for the third time in four years and both years under the direction of Hall, who is 16-7 since taking over the program. The 2012 UWA team earned the first outright conference title in the history of the program, capping it off with a 42-27 win over North Alabama on Thursday.
“I can't remember the Gulf South Conference champion ever being seeded as low as number four, but the positive side is we get to host Miles this weekend on our campus,” Hall said. “It's been a phenomenal year up to this point. The second part of the season starts right now and we are excited about it.”
UWA leads the nation in pass defense and is fourth in total defense. The Tigers are either first or second in the GSC in 14 team statistical categories.
“We have home field advantage and we are happy to be playing,” quarterback Gary Johnston said. “We are ecstatic, ready to play and looking forward to it.
“Our defense is one of the best in the nation and our special teams have been playing well,” Johnston said. “On offense we are doing our thing, so again, we are really looking forward to getting started on the next part of the season.”
Tickets go on sale Tuesday at 2 p.m., either online or by coming by the Athletic Department offices in Faust Hall. Reserved and general admission tickets are both $10.
Season ticket holders have until the close of business on Tuesday to claim their usual Tiger Stadium seats. Beginning Wednesday, season tickets not claimed will be offered for general sale. For additional information please call 205-652-3784.