FAN BUS TO PLATTEVILLE OCT. 1ST

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Fans of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater football team who would like to attend the Warhawks' game at No. 10 UW-Platteville on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 1 p.m. are invited to take a fan bus, which will depart the UW-Whitewater campus from Perkins Stadium at 10 a.m. that day.

Seats on the bus, which is sponsored by DLK Enterprises, will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

To reserve a seat, e-mail Therese Kennedy at kennedyt@uww.edu.

Turnover Margin Proves Decisive in Warhawk Victory

 In a battle of two teams with high aspirations in their respective divisions, the UW-Whitewater Warhawks rode a tried and true formula to a 35-21 victory on a cloudy Saturday afternoon in Whitewater.  Through the cannon smoke and fireworks associated huge offensive plays for both teams, it was turnover margin that proved the difference in Whitewater’s second victory in two years against one of the strongest programs the NAIA has to offer.  Although giving up an uncharacteristic 610 yards of total offense, the Warhawk defense intercepted two passes, recovered two fumbles, and made stops in crucial situations.  To their credit, the Warhawks’ offense turned the ball over just once against a very fast, athletic, and aggressive defense. That ball security and the resulting advantage in turnover margin proved pivotal in defeating a Mustang team is ranked second nationally by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Coaches Poll.

 The Whitewater offense started fast gaining 75 yards in their opening drive riding the arm of Cole Wilber to the Morningside 12 yard line. Wilber completed passes of 14 yards to Tony Gumina, 47 yards to Marcus Hudson, and 13 yards to Brent Campbell on the drive. Unfortunately, the drive stalled and ended with a missed field goal.

 A takeaway in the early going enabled the Warhawks to play with a lead nearly the entire game.  Operating from their own 33 and facing a third and eight, Morningside quarterback Trent Solsma threw over the middle hoping to hit slot receiver Jason Vander Kooi. However, Warhawk Linebacker Paul Foster was able to get a piece of Vander Kooi during the route and the receiver fell to the ground and never got to his spot.  Warhawk safety Bennett Young intercepted the pass at the Morningside 49 and broke several tackles before finally being knocked out of bounds at the eight yard line.  Two plays later, Drew Patterson scored on a five yard run and UW-W had the lead less than seven minutes into the game. It was a lead they would never relinquish.

 The Warhawks would extend their lead to 14-0 on their next possession. Facing a second and 15 from their own 44, the Hawks ran a perfectly designed and executed screen pass from QB Chris Nelson to Patterson.  Wide receiver Canton Larson lined up wide to the left and came back in motion to the right. Patterson was lined up behind and to the right of Nelson.  After receiving the snap, Nelson looked to his right. Patterson snuck back left as did offensive linemen Mitchell Schauer, Nate Trewyn, and Austin Jones.  The four Warhawks found themselves all alone on the left side of the field as the right outside linebacker had blitzed on the play.  Nelson floated the ball over the blitzing backer and into the hands of Patterson who allowed his convoy to escort him all the way to the end zone. 

 On the ensuing Mustang possession, the Warhawks forced their second turnover of the quarter. On a third and six play from the Mustang 40, cornerback Famus Hasty was initially in coverage. But when Solsma pulled the ball down and attempted to get the first down running, Hasty met him at the 45 and ripped the ball out of his hands. Defensive end John Flood recovered and the Warhawks had a chance to extend their lead.  Unfortunately, the Hawks got no points out of that possession and Morningside drove 70 yards on seven plays the next time they had the ball.  The drive was capped with a three yard touchdown run by running back Tyler Kavan. When the extra point attempt failed, the score stood at 14-6. 

 After a Warhawk three and out and a short punt, Morningside had an opportunity, taking possession at their own 45. The Mustangs drove to the Warhawk 32 when they shot themselves in the foot. Twice. A delay of game penalty was followed by a false start and the third and eight turned into a third and eighteen.  After a 14 yard pass play, the Mustangs faced a fourth and four at the UW-W 28.     The Warhawks got the stop when Vander Kooi let a Solsma pass bounce off his shoulder pad just as safety Baily Breunig was making contact from behind and the Warhawks held on downs.

 After the teams traded possessions, the Warhawks struck again. Nelson hit Tony Gumina on a middle screen on a second and 15 play from Whitewater’s 36. Gumina headed straight up field and broke several tackles on his way to a 22 yard gain.  On the very next play, Nelson hit Canton Larson on a deep post for a 42 yard touchdown and Ben Franzen’s extra point gave the Hawks a 21-6 lead. It appeared it was a lead the Warhawks would take into the locker room at halftime when Michael Schwichtenberg’s punt bounced near the goal line, was tapped back by Mickey Morgan, and downed by long-snapper Mason Fleury at the one.  But Morningside pulled closer as they drove 99 yards in just under three minutes and scored with less than a minute left in the second quarter to close to within 21-13 at halftime.

The Warhawks defense set the tone in the second half, forcing a negative yardage (-6) three and out on Morningside’s first possession. After a 34 yard punt, Whitewater took over on the Mustang 48. It took just three plays to score. Jarrod Ware scooted for five yards and then broke one for 33. The offensive line did a great job on both running plays and Ware showed incredible feet in breaking the 33 yarder. He is a special back and that will likely become clearer and clearer as the season continues. Then from the Morningside 10 yard line, Chris Nelson threw his third touchdown pass of the game, rolling to his right and hitting tight end Tony Gumina for the score.

 The Warhawks forced another punt and were in position to score some more points when Drew Patterson broke off a 58 yard run down the right sideline, outrunning the Morningside cornerback in the process. The offensive line once again created a huge hole on the left side of the Mustang defensive front seven. Patterson, who has rare burst, speed, and power will nearly always turn those kind of holes into huge gains. Unfortunately, the drive turned into no points when the Hawks failed to get another first down and then missed a field goal. 

 After the teams exchanged punts, Morningside had the ball at their own 42 yard line. Running back Tyler Kavan, who gained 66 yards in his 20 rushing attempts, ran to his left and was met in the hole by linebacker Paul Foster. Foster dislodged the ball and linebacker Beau Martin pounced on it at the Morningside 48.

 That gave the Warhawks excellent field position and a chance to add to their 28-13 lead with 5 minutes left in the third quarter.  However, once again the Mustangs stopped the Hawks. A Schwichtenberg punt was downed at the seven. At this point, one play made the game very interesting. Solsma, who threw for 500 yards on the afternoon, hit Tanner VerSteeg on a 93 yard touchdown pass. VerSteeg led the Mustangs with 9 catches for an incredible 272 yards. After a successful two point conversion. The Whitewater lead was reduced to 28-21.

 Morningside seized the momentum of the game on the next possession as a Cole Wilber pass was intercepted by safety Britton Barrior.  Barrior returned the ball to the UW-W 42 with 1:53 left in the third quarter.  The Mustangs drove down as deep as the UW-W four, but a false start penalty, an incomplete pass, and a missed field goal kept them from drawing closer.

 After a Warhawk punt, the defense turned Morningside over for the fourth time of the afternoon. Colin Buck intercepted a Solsma pass at the Warhawk five yard line, and returned it eight yards to the 13.   On second and nine, Nelson, who threw for 234 yards, hit Marcus Hudson down the right sideline for 55 yards to the Morningside 31. Two plays later, the pair struck again as Hudson, once again streaking down the right sideline, hauled in a 34 yard TD pass from Nelson. Will Meyer's extra point provided the final margin.  Nelson finished the day with four touchdown passes and Hudson caught four passes for 142 yards.

 The Warhawks defense shut out Morningside the rest of the way to seal the victory. Ware led the Warhawks in rushing with 91 yards and Patterson had 85 along with 51 yards receiving.  Tony Gumina caught 5 passes for 66 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, Bennett Young had 11 tackles, three pass break-ups, and an interception.  Vince Mason added eight tackles and Matt Seitz had seven tackles and a pass break-up. Cornerback Famus Hasty recorded three tackles, a forced fumble, and two pass break-ups.

 The Warhawks open the WIAC portion of their schedule on Saturday as they travel to Platteville to take on the Pioneers at Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1:00.

WIAC PREDICTIONS

This Week:           7-0

Season Record:  22-2

 (Prediction in blue, Results in Red)

 

UW-Platteville   56

Lakeland           10

 

UW-Platteville  56

Lakeland           0

 

 

UW-River Falls   27

Southwestern     24

 

UW-River Falls    42

Southwestern     22

 

 

UW-Oshkosh     84

Morthland           0

 

UW-Oshkosh    77

Morthland          0

 

 

UW-Eau Claire            34

Wisconsin Lutheran   13

 

UW-Eau Claire           40

Wisconsin Lutheran  14

 

 

UW-Stevens Point    38

Adrian                       14

 

UW-Stevens Point    44

Adrian                       19

 

 

UW-LaCrosse         51

Carroll                     10

 

UW-LaCrosse        41

Carroll                     7

 

 

UW-Whitewater     34

Morningside          17

 

UW-Whitewater    35

Morningside         21

 

 

 

 

 

Young Running Backs Key to 2016 Offense

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Jarrod Ware                                            Drew Patterson

         A group of young, talented running backs are expected to do some heavy lifting for the Warhawks in  2016.  Comprised of five sophomores and three freshmen, running back is the one position group on the entire 2016 roster without an upper classman.  However, youth does not put a damper on the expectations of this group.

         Currently, sophomores Jarrod Ware and Drew Patterson are splitting the majority of snaps evenly.  While it would be tempting to consider them a “Thunder and Lightning” duo, that tag might not do them justice. Ware, 5’10”, 182 pounds, whose elusiveness and speed are worthy of a “lightning” tag, has uncommonly strong legs for a back his size. He can drive a pile as well shift gears and make people miss at the second and third levels. Patterson, a scholarship athlete at Western Illinois before transferring to UW-W, is a powerful back at 5’11” and 208 pounds who loves to lower his shoulder and is certainly worthy of the “Thunder” Tag.  However, he is more than that. With a 40 yard dash time of 4.55, Patterson is a threat to score every time he touches the ball.

        Cam Maly, a 5’9”, 180 pound freshman from Middleton is also in the mix at running back. Maly, who had an impressive showing in this summer’s high school large school WIAA all star game, gained 2,147 yards and scored 35 touchdowns as a two year starter in High School. Maly runs a 4.58 40 yard dash and is expected to earn some carries as a freshman.

         Sophomore Cameron Bishop also provides depth at running back after being on the roster as a freshman in 2015. While Bishop had only five carries last year, he made the most of them, gaining 9.2 yards per carry.  Bishop gained 833 yards and scored 12 touchdowns his senior year at Kenosha Indian Trail High School. Bishop held the Indian Trails school record in the outdoor 55 meter dash until broken this past spring by freshman Warhawk teammate Christian Jones. Sophomore Ronny Ponick a 5’8” 191 pound sophomore from Stanley-Boyd High School also provides depth. Ponick transferred to UW-W from Augsburg College where he was a part of their wrestling program. At Stanely-Boyd, Ponick recorded a career wrestling record of 166-25 with two third place finishes at WIAA Division 2 State meets.

          Sophomore Justin Prostinak is a 5’9” 168 pound speedster from Lake Country Lutheran High School. Timed at 4.43 in the 40 yard dash, Prostinak  gained over 1300 yards and scored 17 touchdowns as a senior at Lake County Lutheran High School. Prostinak is an athlete with an obvious extra gear on the field and could provide big play potential to the Warhawk backfield for years to come.

         Freshman Bryce Niemi, a 5’11” 193 pound freshman from Owen-Withee High School adds further depth.  Niemi led Owen-Withee to the WIAA Division 7 State Championship, rushing for 2,110 yards and 29 touchdowns.  Nick Hoheisel, a 6’0” 190 pound freshman from Marshfield is another among the talented stable of running backs for the Warhawks.  Hoheisal gained 1,449 yards and scored 16 touchdowns for Marshfield High School.   

Warhawk Quarterback Room Filled with Competitors

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UW-W Senior QB Chris Nelson

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 UW-W Sophomore QB Cole Wilber

       

     One of the most important qualities the UW-Whitewater football coaches look for in an athlete is a willingness to compete.  With championships, come interest from high level athletes. With an abundance of talented athletes comes competition. In large doses.  When second year head coach Kevin Bullis announced in January that every position on the roster is an open competition, it caught the attention of the athletes throughout the roster.  It has led to players at every position group to work to be the best they can be and compete for spots.  The quarterback position is no exception to that.

         The returning starter is Chris Nelson. Nelson, a 6’2” 216 pound  senior from Wilmot High School led the Hawks to a 12-2 record last year. He completed 65.5% of his passes for 2528 yards and 20 touchdowns against only four interceptions.  Through his experience, he has an excellent grasp of the offense and an ability to smoothly make adjustments to the defense he sees in front of him.  Pushing him for the starting spot is talented sophomore Cole Wilber, a 6’3” 210 pounder from Dana Hills, CA.  Wilber sought out UW-Whitewater in the winter of 2014-2015.  After making the 2015 roster, he became Nelson's primary backup halfway through the season.    What Wilber lacks in experience, he may make up for in arm strength, pocket awareness, and internal clock.  With Nelson sidelined for the first game of the season, the confident sophomore started and played the first half against The College of New Jersey.  Wilber completed 14 of 18 passes for 191 yards and 2 touchdowns.

         The other quarterbacks on the roster Include Ryan Curran a 5’10” 201 pound sophomore from Sun Prairie. Curran is a natural leader who threw 5,576 and 63 touchdowns for Sun Prairie High School.  Curran was also a part of the 2014 Warhawks National Championship team.  Rounding out the current quarterback room for the Hawks is Merrick Gentile, a 5’11 209 pound freshman from Grayslake, IL.  Gentile was a dual threat QB his junior year at Grayslake North High School.  Along with UW-Whitewater, a number of NCAA Division I schools showed significant interest. A week before the 2015 season, Gentile tore his ACL and his senior season was lost.  Other schools disappeared. UW-W didn’t.  Gentile appreciates UW-W’s loyalty and the Warhawks' coaching staff appreciates his character and athletic ability.  While Curran and Gentile may be the “other” quarterbacks in the room at this moment, that isn’t likely  be the case their entire careers.  Their willingness to compete has them on UW-W’s roster and there’s no limit to where it could take them from here. 

 

Tight Ends Play Key Role in Warhawk Offense

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Warhawk Tight End Brent Campbell (photograph by Daryl Tessmann, D3photography.com)

 (Over the course of this week, we will be looking at each position group as the Hawks head into the meat of their schedule, beginning with a September 24th clash against Morningside College, currently ranked as the #2 team in the nation in the most recent NAIA Coaches Poll released September 12th.)

       In most offenses, having a tight end who can both block and still pose a receiving threat is a bonus.  When that same tight end can pose a downfield threat in the passing game, the word luxury comes to mind. How do you even describe an offense with not one but two tight ends who can block, catch, and beat a defense deep?  For WIAC fans, one answer the question is UW-Whitewater.  The Warhawks’ one-two punch of Tony Gumina and Brent Campbell is one of the best in the country.  Gumina, a 6’3” 238 pound junior, caught 35 passes for 410 yards and four touchdowns in 2015. His longest reception of the year was a 54 yard touchdown against Morningside College, a play which landed Gumina on ESPN’s SportsCenter Top Ten List as the national #2 play of the day.  Campbell, who was plagued with injuries last year, caught eight passes for eight catches for 108 yards (a 19.8 ypc average) and two touchdowns.  Campbell’s long reception for then year was 41 yards. 

     Tight ends in the multiple sets utilized by the Warhawk offense can line up on the line, as an H-back (A yard into the backfield and just outside the tackle), or as a fullback.  They are crucial to the Warhawks’ power running game.  Because of the multiple looks and capabilities of Campbell and Gumina, the offensive coaches are afforded a lot of flexibility in terms of schemes and play design.  Providing depth is 6’5” 250 pound junior Jack Deichl,  6’3” 228 pound sophomore Bryce Bellefeuille, and Jack Piper, a 6'2" 220 pound freshman.   Also, converted offensive lineman Julio `Perez, a 6’3” 252 pound freshman is working with the tight ends. Perez saw some significant snaps already this year lining up as a fullback in short yardage situations.  Natural fullback Jordan Gruettner a 6’0” 239 pound senior returns this year as well.  Gruettner has missed the first two games due to injury, but is expected back soon. 

Hawks Rely on Both Experience and Youth to Achieve  Goals

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        OFFENSIVE LINE

         The 2016 offensive line is both experienced and deep. The Warhawks have the rare luxuries of having two four year starters and six players who started at least seven games last year.  Returning at center is four year starter Spencer Shier. Shier, a 6’4” 307 pound senior, missed the first two games of the season, but is expected back by the first conference game against UW-Platteville.  Starting at center in his stead has been Nate Trewyn, a 6’4” 302 pound sophomore transfer from Minnesota State, an NCAA D-II school. Trewyn started all 12 games for the Mavericks as a freshman in 2015.  Over the first two games of the season, 6’4” 316 pound Pat Costello has worked with the second team at center. Costello played in eight games in 2015. He will provide valuable depth to the line at various positions when Shier returns.

         Anchoring the right guard position is senior Co-Captain Austin Jones,  6’3” 300 pounds.  Jones played in 13 games both his sophomore and junior seasons.  Backing up Jones is the only freshman on the two deep roster, Dominic Swanson, a 6’1” 300 pound freshman from Union, IL.  Swanson, who won conference championships in shot put and wrestling, also entered power lifting competitions in high school and set age and weight division records at World Powerlifting Congress competitions according the Northwest Herald newspaper.

         Mitchell Schauer, a 6’3” 285 pound junior starts at left guard.  Schauer played in 12 games in 2015, starting the last seven games of the season.  Currently backing up Schauer on the two-deep is 6’2” 285 pound Elliot Klim.  Klim, a sophomore out of Bettendorf, Iowa played in three games as a true freshman last year.

         Starting at left tackle for the Warhawks is 6’5” 286 pound Jordan Mueller. Mueller played in 11 games last year, including starting the final eight games of the year.  Backing up Mueller on the two-deep is 6’4” 275 pound sophomore Paul Jacobson. 

         Four year starter Tony Koepnick anchors the right tackle position for the Warhawks. Koepnick, a 6’3” 322 pound senior from Sussex Hamilton has started 39 games for the Hawks.  Ben McFall, a 6’4” 313 pound junior, backs up Koepnick on the right side. McFall played six games last year.

         Beyond the two-deep roster, the Warhawks have a great deal of depth in the offensive line. Many players not currently on the two-deep are excellent players pushing to appear on the two-deep and competing for playing time before the season’s end.  As the season moves on, no one should be surprised to see new names appearing on the two-deep roster from time to time. “This team is all about competition,” second year Head Coach Kevin Bullis stressed. “The guys know the two-deep is never set in stone.”

        

 

 

 

 

WIAC PREDICTIONS

This Week: 2-0

Last Week: 6-1

Season:  15-2

 

UW-Oshkosh at Finlandia

UW-Oshkosh  63

Finlandia          3

Actual

UW-Oshkosh    68

Finlandia            7

 

UW-Stout at Mayville State

UW-Stout        30

Mayville St.    20

Actual 

UW-Stout      23

Mayville St    13

 

 

 

Did Response to Sloppy Start Reveal Identity?

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Jarod Ware carried the ball 21 times for 169 yards and a touchdown Saturday against Belhaven.

(photo by Daryl Tessmann, D3photography.com)

"Show me someone who has done something worthwhile and I will show you someone who has overcome adversity."- LOU HOLTZ

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks knew they would face their share of adversity this season.  Most observers of the program weren't expecting it quite this early in the season and no one associated with the program expected it to be self-inflicted.  Granted, referring to a 13-7 second quarter deficit as adversity is a bit of a stretch.  But self-infliction was definitely an ingredient in the early going when the Warhawks faced Belhaven Saturday afternoon. The assortment of first half errors was very uncharacteristic of a Warhawk football team. Four times the defense jumped off sides. Four first half turnovers.  A dropped touchdown pass. An ill-fated fake punt attempt. 

With all the mistakes, the Warhawks still held a 17-13 halftime lead.  But the seeming lack of focus was a concern the scoreboard didn't completely override.  How would UW-W respond to a first half that didn't come anywhere near their expectations?  They got physical.  The Warhawks outscored Belhaven 42-0 in the second half en route to a 59-13 victory.  The Warhawks defense forced four second half Blazer turnovers and applied continual pressure to QB Hunter McEachern. In spite of the lopsided score and the obvious pounding he was taking, McEachern played the entire game, throwing 76 passes for 454 yards. However, McEachern also threw six interceptions.  The Warhawk defense earned eight take aways on the afternoon.  Safety Colin Buck forced a fumble on the goal line and intercepted two passes, the second of which he returned 79 yards for a touchdown. 

Offensively, the Warhawks' physical running game took over.  In all, the Warhawks rushed for 476 yards and scored seven rushing touchdowns. Drew Patterson led the way with 227 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 22 carries.  Jarod Ware gained 169 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries.  Cam Maly scored two touchdowns on the ground and Ronny Ponick added one for the Warhawks. 

While the Warhawks will undoubtedly work to clean up the errors on both sides of the ball, the physical nature of the Warhawks play was not lost on Head Coach Kevin Bullis. "I think our physicality took it's toll in the second half. With our D-line rotation, I think we were able to wear out their offensive line. That was our plan going in and it came to pass.  We were able to hit the quarterback which will lead to the ball coming out early," Bullis elaborated. 

One of the byproducts of the early season is the forming of an identity.  One of the components of the 2016 identity appears to be physicality.  Anchored with strength along the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, the Warhawks appear determined to impose their will on opponents.  Physicality is what took over the Belhaven game on Saturday. And physicality is likely what the Warhawks will turn to when adversity strikes again this season.  

 

Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I'll show you someone who has overcome adversity.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/adversity.html

Warhawks Use Ground and Pound to Smash Belhaven 59-13


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The UW-Whitewater rode a physical style of football to a home win on Saturday as the Warhawks won their second game of the season, a 59-13 victory over the Belhaven Blazers in front of 4,554 at Perkins Stadium. Belhaven, who hails from Jackson, MS, held a 13-7 lead with 12:14 left in the second quarter, but the Warhawks scored 52 consecutive points the rest of the way to seal their second victory of the season.

Offensively, the Warhawks relied on a physical running attack to wear down the Blazers.  The Hawks rushed 59 times for 476 yards and seven touchdowns.  Sophomore running back Drew Patterson led the way with 22 carries for 227 yards and three touchdowns.  Jarod Ware carried 21 times for 171 yards and a touchdown.  Cam Maly also scored two rushing touchdowns and Ronny Ponick one for the Warhawks.

Defensively, the Hawks went after QB Hunter McEachern. It was a long day for  McEachern, who endured hit after hit trying to implement Coach Hal Mumme's "Air Raid" offense. Belhaven threw the ball 76 times. McEachern threw for 454 yards, threw six interceptions, was sacked twice, and endured countless hits on the afternoon. 

There will be much more on the Warhawks' victory later this evening. With the win, UW-W moves to 2-0 on the season. They now move into their bye week before beginning preparations for a 1:00 September 24th game at Perkins Stadium against Morningside College.

WIAC Predictions

Last Week's Record:  7-1

Season Record:         7-1

 

UW-River Falls at Gustavis Adolphus

The Falcons were slow out of the gate last week against Coe, falling behind 28-0. They kept battling but the Kohawks were clearly the better team last week.  North Dakota State Transfer QB Michael Veldman had an excellent debut for the Gusties. It sounds odd, but River Falls is actually quite a step up for GA after playing Westminster (MO) last week.  The Falcons will be determined after their disappointing showing last week.

River Falls                  34

Gustavus Adolphus  28

 

GA            24

UW-RF     21

 

St. Francis (IL) at UW-Platteville

The Fighting Saints, ranked #14 in the NAIA, lost 42-35 to  the NAIA's 10th ranked team last week when St. Xavier scored with 30 seconds remaining to break a 35-35 tie.  UW-Platteville, ranked #10 in the NCAA D-III, won 35-0 on a long road trip against George Fox. This should be a pretty good game but the Pioneers have too much for St. Francis.

Platteville      38

St. Francis    24

 

UW-P             26

St. Francis     7

 

 

 

UW-Eau Claire at Concordia-Moorhead

This is a dangerous game for the Cobbers, who need to crank up their passing attack after throwing for only 86 yards against Jamestown last week.  If the Blugolds had caught C-M last week, they may well have won.  It still could happen, depending on how coach Terry Horan's Cobbers respond to last week's disaster.

Concordia-Moorhead   34

Eau Claire                     20

 

C-M         25

UW-EC     7

 

UW-Stout at St. Thomas

The Blue Devils gained 521 yards in their 45-30 win over Simpson last week. They also gave up 469.  The Tommies are still trying to find answers along the offensive line. But after a slow start, St. Thomas rocked Eau Claire 42-6. Sounds about right.

St. Thomas 42

Stout             6

 

St. Thomas    57

UW-Stout      17

 

Ripon at UW-LaCrosse

The Eagles down-shifted their non-conference schedule after facing brutal competition the past few years.  After thrashing Luther last week, they get more of the same with Ripon.  A second straight option team that does not have the horses to  match up with the UW-LaCrosse defense.

LaCrosse   51

Ripon         13

 

UW-L          65

Ripon        14

 

Albion at UW-Stevens Point

The Pointers step up in class slightly after easily defeating St. Norbert last week.  Last year Albion embarrassed the Pointers by hanging 65 on them. Don't think Point doesn't remember.

Stevens Point  48

Albion              28

 

UW-SP             50

Albion             13

 

 

Belhaven at UW-Whitewater

The Warhawks won in Mississippi last year 62-6. Belhaven appears to be much improved after defeating Milsaps last week. A year ago, the Blazers lost to Milsaps by 29.  Whitewater may well be better than their national semi-final team of a year ago. The Warhawks have too much Whitewater in them to allow Belhaven to stick around in this one.

Whitewater  58

Belhaven       6

 

UW-W         59

Belhaven   13

 

 

 

Belhaven to Test Whitewater's Pass Defense Saturday

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      In UW-Whitewater's opening game of the 2016 season, the Warhawks faced a The College of New Jersey team that looked to establish the run.  It is hard to conceive facing a much different foe when the Warhawks host coach Hal Mumme's "Air Raid" offense on Saturday afternoon.  Mumme's Belhaven Blazers threw 56 passes in their 28-25 season opening victory against their Jackson, MS rival Millsaps on Thursday night, September 1st.  Senior wide receiver LaMiquell Roberts set a school record with 220 receiving yards and tied a school record with 14 receptions last week.  In all, freshman Blazer QB Hunter McEachern completed 30 of 55 passes for 334 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Meanwhile, Belhaven ran just enough to keep Millsaps honest, keeping the ball on the ground 21 times for 86 yards. 

      Along with filling the air with passes, Coach Mumme is known for unorthodox decisions as part of his philosophy.  He will often choose to go for first down rather than punting deep in his own territory. at other times he will line up in a shotgun formation on fourth down and have his quarterback punt from that position.  It is all part of a philosophy that Coach Mumme believes keeps his offense on the attack. He believes in an extremely fast paced, short passing attack that is designed to keep defenses off balance and wear them out. There are some who believe Coach Mumme is the most influential football coach in the game today.  While coaching the University of Kentucky Wildcats, he brought his air show to the SEC, the hotbed of college football.  Many believe it is through Coach Mumme's influence that turned college football from being a ground and pound game into an air show. 

     "It will be a great challenge for our pass defense," Warhawks' Head Coach Kevin Bullis remarked.  The Warhawks, who beat Belhaven 62-6 last season, are coming off a 51-3 victory over The College of New Jersey.  "We will be focusing on what we do. We need to be disruptive to the quarterback and throw him off his mark. We need to be disciplined with our coverages.  THis will be a good experience for our guys," Bullis emphasized.  The fact that the Warhawks have only one returning starter in their secondary, senior cornerback Vince Mason, doesn't concern Bullis.  "Our other guys have played a lot of meaningful football.  In Colin Buck, Bennett Young, and Jake Gierlak, we have guys who have a lot of experience.  Have they been the guys to start the games in past years?  Not necessarily.  But have they played as early as the first and second quarter in competitive games? Absolutely.  They have all had great fall camps and I have a lot of confidence in them." 

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Beyond the numbers...

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The Warhawk defense was excellent on Saturday, allowing only 2.6 yards per play.  The College of New Jersey had 14 possessions and averaged less than 13 yards per drive.

The offensive line for the Warhawks met their challenge on Saturday.  The Lions stayed in their 4-4, "8 men in the box" defense all day long.  The Warhawks still established the run to the tune of 216 yards, 5.4 yards per carry, and 4 rushing touchdowns. 

The Hawks made the most of their opportunities, scoring touchdowns on all six of their trips to the red zone.

45 of the Warhawks 51 points were scored by either a freshman or a sophomore. The sole exception was a 19 yard TD catch by junior tight end Tony Gumina. Who threw it? Sophomore Cole Wilber. 

On the Warhawks' 7 touchdown drives, the offense averaged 9.6 yards per play. 

This game is another indicator of the folly of assigning any value to the Time of Possession statistic. TCNJ held the "edge", 35:55 to 24:05.  To hold the ball for 36 minutes with only 12 first downs shows a lot of patience on the part of the Lions. 

The Warhawks had 7 plays of 20 or more yards, TCNJ had none.  The Warhawks had 20 plays of 10 or more yards, TCNJ had 7.

Ben Franzen averaged 61 yards on his 9 kickoffs with 3 touch backs.  The Lions' average field position after receiving a kickoff was their own 23 yard line. The Warhawks' average field position after the two Lions' kickoffs was the Warhawk 44 yard line.

The Warhawks' starting offense consisted of:

5 Sophomores, 3 juniors, and 3 seniors.

The Warhawks' starting defense consisted of:

8 Seniors, 2 juniors, and 1 sophomore

 

Warhawks Roar Past Lions 51-3 in Season Opener

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Sophomore QB Cole Wilber pulls the ball down and runs during his first career start on Saturday. Wilber completed 14 of 18 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns.(photo by d3photography.com)

No Chris Nelson, no Marcus Hudson, No Spencer Shier, no problem.  While the three prominent returning starters had the day off, their offensive teammates didn't miss a beat as the Warhawks scored 41 first half points in a 51-3 season opening victory over The College of New Jersey Saturday afternoon on a beautiful, sunny day in Perkins Stadium.  The Warhawks scored touchdowns on six of their seven first half possessions.  The Warhawks featured a balanced attack on the afternoon as they gained 266 yards through the air and 215 on the ground. Drew Patterson lead the Warhawks in rushing on Saturday with 89 yard on 8 carries.  Patterson scored three rushing touchdowns, all in the first half.  Cameron Bishop chipped in 63 yards on 9 carries.  Starting running back Jarrod Ware added 34 yards on 9 carries with one rushing touchdown. 

Sophomore receiver Mitchell Dess led the Warhawks in receiving with six receptions for 79 yards.  Canton Larson had 44 receiving yards on three catches and a touchdown,  In all nine Warhawks had receptions on Saturday.

The Warhawk defense was dominant on Saturday, limiting the Lions to 57 yards in the first half and a total of 186 yards on the day.  In the second quarter, the Lions scored their only points of the afternoon when they booted a field goal. They had taken over at the Warhawks' 35 yard line after a punt and gained 18 yards on the drive before settling for the field goal. Bryce Lesczynski, Brandon Tamsett, and David O'gorman led the Warhawks with 5 tackles apiece. 

UW-W's next game is Saturday, September 10th at Perkins Stadium against Bellhaven. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM.

WIAC PREDICTIONS

John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh

This is an intriguing WIAC/OAC match-up. Most people agree the WIAC has a huge edge in bottom tier teams. However, these two teams represent the upper stratosphere of each conference. UW-O is 18-3 in the WIAC the past three season, while John Carroll is 23-4 in OAC over the same span.  While both teams would probably prefer to hang their hat on their defenses and in the trenches, the difference in quarterbacks could well spell the difference.

 UW-OSHKOSH    41

JOHN CARROLL  13

Actual:

UW-O              33

John Carroll   14

 

UW-LaCrosse at Luther (IA)

Coach Mike Schmidt era begins as the Eagles travel south to Decorah, Iowa to take on Luther. A year ago, LaCrosse won at home 26-19. While Sdchmidt aims to change the culture at UW-L, that will take some time.  There’s no reason to expect either team to pull away in this one.

 LaCrosse 23

Luther  20

Actual:

UW-L        45

Luther     14

 

 UW-River Falls at Coe

While playing in a a weaker conference is not usually a strength when playing non-conference competition, it may actually work to the Kohawks favor on Saturday.  This is a program that is used to doing a fair share of winning in the 11th ranked IIAC.  UW-RF has been improving, but still has a 34-104 record since 2002.  These are the games UW-RF needs to help turn the corner. But until they started getting them, they are also difficult to win.

Coe         27

UW-RF    20

Actual:

Coe         35

UW-RF   20

 

 Stevens Point at St. Norbert

The physicality of a mid to upper level WIAC Pointer team will be difficult for the Green Knights to contend with.  The Green Knights will likely contend in the 23rd ranked Midwest Conference.  While the Pointers are not expected to crack the top two in the WIAC, they are probably right next to Platteville as the team most ready to crash the Warhawk/Titan party at the top of the league.

 Stevens Point  34

St. Norbert       23

Actual:

UW-SP           37

St. Norbert    14

 

 Simpson (IA) at UW-Stout

This game shapes up to be pretty evenly matched. While I would like to think a 3 win WIAC team would hold up very well against a 4 win IIAC team, something tells me that Matt Jeter will get his first win as the head coach of his alma mater.

 Simpson    37

UW-Stout   31

Actual:

UW-Stout     45

Simpson      30

 

St. Thomas at  UW-Eau Claire

The best team of the nation’s #2 conference against the worst team in the #1 conference is not a good match-up.  While Coach Larson will probably ultimately do well at UW-EC, facing the Tommies will likely define just how far the Blugolds have to climb to get where they want to go.

 St. Thomas  51

UW-Eau Claire 13

Actual:

St. Thomas   42

UW-EC            6

 

 UW-Platteville at George Fox

The Pioneers make the long trek to Newberg, OR to take on third year program George Fox.  The Bruins won four games last year in just their second year of existence.  The Pioneers return an experienced offense that should have an opportunity to get off to a fast start against the upstart Bruins.

 UW-Platteville   38

George Fox       10

Actual:

UW-P                 35

George Fox        0

 

The College of New Jersey at UW-Whitewater

The Lions' Interim Head Coach Rocky Hager believes in fundamental football.  He stays in his base defense, believes in establishing the running game on offense, and emphasizes controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.  It is a solid plan. However, a bigger, faster, and stronger UW-Whitewater team will thwart that plan decisively if they play up to their capabilities.

UW-Whitewater 38

TCNJ                   0

Actual:

UW-W     51

TCNJ        3

THE WAIT IS ALMOST OVER!

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The 2016 Warhawks prepare for Saturday's season opener on a beautiful Thursday afternoon at the  Perk

     In spite of the fact that the 2015 season extended two weeks into December, this off-season has felt particularly long to the returning coaches and players in the UW-Whitewater football program.  A 30 point defeat to post-season rival Mount Union will slow the clock down immeasurably.  It is clear from talking to players and coaches that last year's disappointing ending drives them daily to put in whatever extra effort is needed to get better.  The sense of commitment probably falls somewhere between driven and maniacal.  The sense of purpose includes a sense of urgency to use every opportunity available to improve.  But with each meeting and each workout comes an increased desire to get the 2016 season started.  "We will have had 40 practices without a game," Assistant Coach John O'Grady commented after practice on Thursday.  "We need to play a game. Saturday can't come fast enough."  Understandably, Coach O'Grady's sentiments were echoed by coaches and players throughout the program.  "I can't wait to get on the field for the first game," Co-Captain Austin Jones exclaimed.  Senior cornerback Vince Mason said, "We have worked so hard all year long for this.  Then, camp went pretty fast until this week.  This week time has gone slowly.  Now we are getting to the season where time moves fast again."  ,

     Head Coach Kevin Bullis is looking at Saturday as a measuring stick as to how well the coaches have prepared the players over the past 40 practices.  "We demand a high level of execution from our players.  We expect to play up to our capabilities on Saturday.  The position coaches and coordinators see the level of execution as a reflection on our coaching.  And ultimately that reflects on me and the job I am doing as a head coach," Bullis revealed. 

     The Warhawks take on The College of New Jersey on Saturday at Perkins Stadium.  The kickoff is scheduled for noon.  Bullis believes the cohesiveness that comes with the coaching staff being together for a year will be a significant change over last year.  "The coaches know each other, the players know the coaches, and the coaches know the players," Bullis noted.  "The chemistry on the staff is fantastic. It was last year as well, but we have worked together for over a year now.  It enables us to bring our focus on details to a higher level.  We have always focused on details here, but with all the changes last year, a lot of time was spent on communication and other things inherent with a new staff.  This year, we have the time to spend on the minute details that separate the great programs from the others.  Our whole mindset is to get better every single day. We will find out Saturday where we are at right now.  Then the goal from there will be to get better each and every day from Saturday and beyond."

    The College of New Jersey won their last four games last year after dropping their first five.  That winning streak included a 20-0 shutout of traditional New Jersey Athletic Conference power Rowan in the last game of the season.  Interim Coach Rocky Hagar is a man Coach Bullis has respected for years. 

"He won national championships at North Dakota State. One thing I know about Rocky is that his team will be very physical. They are going to want to own the line of scrimmage defensively and offensively. They are going to want to establish the run game and that is something we are going to have to take away from them and force them to throw the ball.  We need to try to force them into doing something they don’t want to do. That is where the challenge lies for our defense.

    On defense, they are going to try to do the same thing. They will put a lot of people around the box. They are going to try to take away our run game.  Establishing the run game is something we hang our hat on. So it is a great match up in that manner. We are excited to get a chance to play them," Coach Bullis continued.  Without a doubt, everyone in the program is excited to get to get back on the field on Saturday.  One game doesn't make a season. But it will go a long way to putting the end of the last one in the rear view mirror for good.

 

 

 

 

2016 UWW WARHAWK FOOTBALL COACHES SHOW SCHEDULE

AND QUARTERBACK CLUB MEETINGS

9/1:         Salamones – Prior to 1st game vs. College of New Jersey

9/8:         Second Salem – post College of New Jersey and pre-Belhaven

9/15:      841 – post Belhaven, Bye week

9/22:      Saxes – pre-Morningside

9/29:      Salamones – post Morningside and pre-Platteville (WIAC opener)

10/6:      841 – post Platteville and pre-Oshkosh (WIAC home opener)

10/13:   Second Salem – post Oshkosh and pre-La Crosse

10/20:   Saxes – post La Crosse and pre-Stevens Point

10/27:   841 – post Stevens Point and pre-Eau Claire

11/3:      Salamones – post Eau Claire and pre-River Falls

11/10:   Second Salem – post River Falls and pre-Stout

11/17:   Salamones – post Stout and pre-Play-off’s.  **Salamones will host any potential play-off shows on 11/23 (wed), 12/1 and 12/8, or as long as UWW is in the play-offs.

Click Here For the QB Club Application

Hawks Flash Big Play Ability in August 19th Scrimmage

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Early camp scrimmages can be sloppy and the Warhawks’ August 19th session with the College of DuPage was certainly no exception.  However, the Hawks also showed some very good things as they scrimmaged in only their second day in pads.  One of the most important components of a dangerous offense is to have playmakers- athletic players capable of making big plays.  The Warhawks flashed some of that capacity on a sunny afternoon at Perkins Stadium.  On their second possession of the more game-like portion of the scrimmage, the Warhawks drove 98 yards for their first score.  From their own two, quarterback Chris Nelson hit wide receiver Marcus Hudson deep over the middle for a 73 yard gain.  Hudson showed explosive open field ability as he sliced through defenders for 30 yards after the catch.  Drew Patterson capped the drive with a 14 yard run up the middle as the offensive line blew open a huge hole at the line of scrimmage. 

         Dupage countered with a 65 yard drive on their next possession to pull even in the session.  Most of the yardage was through the air and missed tackles were part of the issue.  While missed tackles are never good, the fact that this was the Hawks’ second day in pads could mitigate some of the concern.

         After a disjointed Warhawk possession, undermined by a holding penalty, a short punt gave DuPage the ball on the UW-W 46.  Playing against some young Warhawks on defense, DuPage was able to drive to their second score of the scrimmage. 

         The Warhawks struck back quickly. On the first play of their next series, QB Cole Wilber hit WR Manny Jones for a 50 yard gain.  The next play, SR running back LaCurt Evans gained 14 yards, slicing up the middle and breaking a second level tackle.  Sophomore RB Cameron Bishop then scored from the one.

         After UW-W held DuPage to negative yardage their next possession, the Warhawks took over on their own 35. On the first play, sophomore QB Ryan Curran hit sophomore WR Mitchell Dess for a 39 yards. Curran capped the drive with an 18 yard TD pass to JR slot receiver Tommy Miller.  After forcing a turnover on DuPage’s final possession, the Warhawks once again started from their own 35. With time running out in the scrimmage, Chris Nelson hit SR WR Ryan Storto for a gain of 29 on a 4th and 10.  Storto made an athletic catch, jumping over the top of a defender from behind to haul in the pass.  On the final play of this section of the scrimmage, Nelson hit Hudson with a 40 yard TD pass on a post pass. Nelson hit Hudson in stride at the 20  and Hudson outran the secondary to the end zone.

         This past week the Hawks have continued fall camp in preparation for their September 3rd opener against The College of New Jersey at Perkins Stadium.  The 2016 roster will be finalized by Monday and the team will begin their game week preparations for next Saturday’s noon kick

Warhawks' Scrimmage Features Big Plays

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(This is the first of two reports on Friday's Scrimmage. The other will focus on the "Quarter" part of the scrimmage)

In only their second day of full pads, the UW-Whitewater football team hosted the College of DuPage in a scrimmage last Friday afternoon.  After a combined practice in the morning, the Warhawks and Chaparrals scrimmaged for 90 minutes in the afternoon.  There were two portions of the scrimmage. One included a "Six Play" sequence in which each team had three possessions from the opposing team's 40 yard line and three possessions from the opposing team's 25 yard line.  Each possession consists of six plays. If a team scores before their six plays, they were allowed to run their remaining allotment, going back to the same starting point (40 or 25). If a teams failed to gain a first down, the ball went back to the starting point as well. 

While there was plenty of good, bad, and ugly as with any early season scrimmage, the Warhawks also showed plenty of great as well.  A slew of big plays and stout defense gave the coaches plenty to be happy about in this early season workout.  Many will remember a year ago when these two schools battled to a somewhat even scrimmage.  This year, the Warhawks appear much more dynamic than at this time a year ago. Defensively, DuPage was limited to one touchdown in their six possessions.  And that touchdown was on DuPage's last possession which was extended past their six plays. In that last possession, it took the Chaparrals 11 plays to score while starting from the 25 yard line. The Warhawks mixed in a lot of young defensive players during these Six Play sequences and many played extremely well, including many freshmen who were getting their first taste of action as Warhawks.

Offensively, the Warhawks scored three touchdowns on their first sequence alone. The scoring plays were as follows:

A 24 yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Jarrod Ware.

A 40 yard TD pass from Sr. QB Chris Nelson to sophomore receiver Mitchell Dess.

A 40 yard TD run by sophomore running back Drew Patterson (On the next play, the final play of the sequence, Patterson took a screen pass 35 yards to the five yard line).

The rest of the UW-Whitewater significant plays in the Six Play portion of the scrimmage included:

A 30 yard pass from sophomore QB Ryan Curran to freshman WR Josh Ringelberg. (Or SR WR Ryan Storto, couldn't tell because you had your jersey pulled up covering part of your number. C'mon man! :)  )

A 10 yard scoring strike from Curran to freshman WR JT Parish.

A 39 yard pass from sophomore QB Cole Wilber to junior WR Tommy Miller

A one yard touchdown run by freshman running back Cal Maly.

A 24 yard TD pass from Nelson to sophomore WR Canton Larson.

The Warhawks continue to prepare for their 2016 season opener against The College of New Jersey at Perkins Stadium on Saturday, September 3rd.  Kickoff is slated for noon. 

 

WARHAWKS FALL CAMP UNDERWAY!

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UW-W Assistant AD for Compliance Keri Carollo takes Warhawk football players through student expectations and eligibility requirements.  

The UW-Whitewater football team reported to fall camp on Saturday to prepare for the 2016 season. The Warhawks welcomed 135 players into camp.  The roster includes 42 incoming freshmen, 5 transfers, 8 players who were invited after spring tryouts, and 4 players who were out with an injury last year. 

UW-W will practice with helmets only Sunday and Monday, helmets and shoulder pads Tuesday and Wednesday, and full pads on Thursday, August 18th.  

For the coaching staff, Saturday was a little like making a long journey to a beach vacation and then only getting to dip your toe in the water on the first day. "We are so excited to see all the players again and get working with them. Then we see them early in the morning and they are shuttled off to get all of their administrative details taken care of.  We really don't see them again until dinner" according to Defensive Coordinator Rob Erickson. 

 

 

Hawks to Report to Camp Saturday

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   Football is back! Members of the  Warhawk football team will be reporting for fall camp on Saturday morning to begin preparations for the 2016 season.  The Warhawks have high expectations of themselves in Coach Kevin Bullis' second year as the head coach.  "To a man, the seniors have set the bar of meeting their goal this year. Last year did not end the way they wanted," Bullis empasized.  Once camp gets underway, long term goals will not be mentioned again.  The heart of the Warhawk program is their one day at a time approach.  "We will mention our ultimate goal on the first day of camp. After that, we will focus on getting better every single day.  We trust our process.  Every one of us from coaches to players to training and support staff will work as hard as we can to get better every single day.  There is always something we can improve on. In class, on the field, in the meeting room, or in coaches' meetings.  If we put everything we have into getting better every single day, we believe we will have done everything we can to get where we want to go," Bullis continued.

   Along with a strong veteran nucleaus coming back on both sides of the ball, the Warhawks welcome in an outstanding recruiting class and a couple of outstanding transfers in the mix for 2016.  "We are extremely pleased with the athletes we were able to add this year," according to Recruiting Coordinator Craig Smith.  "The linebacker and offensive line groups are really outstanding. We have an unusually large number of high level players in those areas.  And I'll tell you what, the defensive line isn't too far behind either.  We have some outstanding young players coming in," Smith added.  

As far as returning players, the Hawks have eight starters returning on offense and six returning on defense.  Smith, who is also the Hawks' offensive coordinator is expecting a much improved offensive unit in 2016.  "There is no way too sugarcoat it, we weren't good enough on offense last year," Smith openly proclaimed.  "I had a confused quarterback and that was 90% my fault," Smith continued.  With a strong nucleus returning and a year of getting familiar with each other, Smith is expecting different results.  "Having a year together and then a full off-season together is huge," Smith emphasized.  "Last year, the guys basically had to learn in-season how we want to run up-tempo, for example. Now they did a great job with it, but they were basically learning it on the run.  This year, we will have our up-tempo fully installed and the guys will know exactly how we want to run it," Smith continued.  Smith explained the offense will continue to strive for balance and will not always be in no-huddle mode.  "There's something about Whitewater breaking the huddle and those lineman coming up to the ball ready to dominate the line of scrimmage. We never want to lose that," Smith emphasized. 

Defensive Coordinator Rob Erickson is welcoming back six starters for the 2016 campaign. In addition, a good mix of players with game experience will join the starters.  "We are excited about the group of athletes we have competing for spots this year," Erickson exclaimed.  "We have a lot of talent across the board.  There will be excellent competition at all three levels of the defense."

The Warhawks' first game will be a noon kickoff against the College of New Jersey on September 3rd at Perkins Stadium.  

'

Summer is Not Vacation for 2016 Warhawks

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          If there is a theme that has come out of UW-Whitewater’s National Semi-final loss at Mount Union, it can be summed up in one word: "Competition".  “We went into the spring semester with a great emphasis on competition,” Head Coach Kevin Bullis said recently.  “January is when a team starts shaping itself and forming an identity. Coach Bracius had the players doing some heavy competing in the weight room. That served as a great foundation for where we were taking spring football,” Bullis continued.

       The theme extended to spring practices where the second year head coach served notice to his players that no one is assured of a starting job.  “On the first day of spring practice I announced that every position on the team was an open competition. We have a depth chart. But that depth chart can and will change based on who is earning a spot. It is great to see how the team is responding to that. Because when you get on the game field in our conference, it will be nothing BUT competitive,” Bullis emphasized.  

       That mentality led to one of the most intense springs that Bullis can remember since he first arrived on campus prior to the 2008 season.  Bullis said the emphasis on competition extended to every phase of spring football, “In the drills we fostered competitiveness in every facet that we could.  It was great to see the seniors lead the way in that competitiveness we were instilling. Our offense wants to beat our defense on every drill. Our defense wants to beat our offense and take great pride in that. It makes our practices a lot more fun and a lot more challenging with guys pushing themselves to new levels.” 

       Bullis challenged the players to extend their competitive approach to their summer workouts. “It’s easy to compete and push one another when the guys are in school and able to work out with teammates.  But summer can be a different story if they aren’t intentional. We told them to find a workout partner. Find someone you can compete with all summer long so you come back here ready to fight for a job in the fall.”

       While Bullis didn’t specifically refer to the Warhawks’ 36-6 semi-final loss to Mount Union, it was clear that game has served as a motivator within the program.  “We didn’t achieve what we wanted to achieve last year.  When I talked individually with the seniors, to a man they are determined to improve upon last year.”  At UW-W, that improvement comes one day at a time. Getting better every day is one of the trademarks of the football program.  Every day. Winter, spring, summer, and fall.  Bullis is confident the players will take seriously the challenge to improve themselves over the summer. “We recruit kids who love to compete.  We had a great spring and we can’t wait to get the guys back this fall,” Bullis mused. 

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Familiarity Key as Coaches Eye Productive Spring

         Without a doubt, 2015 was a year of change and transition in the UW-Whitewater football program.  With the departure of Head Coach Lance Leipold and four assistant coaches to the University at Buffalo, the Berezowitz Student Athletic Complex football offices were more learning labs than they were planning headquarters at this time last year.

        New Head Coach Kevin Bullis was formally hired as Head Coach on January 30th.  Defensive Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach Rob Erickson,  Offensive Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator/Quarterback Coach Craig Smith, Offensive Line Coach Brent Allen, and Defensive Run Game Coordinator/Linebackers Coach Jace Rindahl all were added to the staff the first week of March.  That left them precious little time to get to know one another, much less the players, before spring practices began.

       Both Coordinators acknowledged the challenge in post-spring interviews a year ago.  “We started off kind of slow. When offense and defense would do 7 on 7 or different drills, there is a certain speed we are used to going. I think between the new coaches offensively and new coaches defensively, we were a little slower and it took some time to get into rhythm”, Erickson revealed.  Smith was equally candid.  “In the spring, I had to adjust to the way we practice.  The Whitewater way of doing things.  While I have things to bring to the program, at Whitewater you don’t make a change just for the sake of change. So in some ways, the kids were showing me the way in some of those things."

       Now, with more than a full calendar year on the job together, the coaching staff has a different mindset than they did during the spring of 2015.  “We know each other”, Erickson emphasized while contemplating the second season of spring practices in the Kevin Bullis era at UW-Whitewater. “This year we have defined objectives for the spring based on where we are as a team. Defensively, we know we have a lot of talent. But every team is different. We are looking to continue the hard work the kids have put in since January, discover the leaders, and build the chemistry of the 2016 defense.” 

       Coach Smith is looking to take his nucleus to the next level in 2016.  “I don’t think we were a bad offense (in 2015), but we weren’t a good offense. There is no other way to really sell that” Smith commented, noting “Last year was the first year in 10 years that I was coaching an offense that was not some type of option.”   He has worked hard in the off-season to be sure any deficiencies that occurred last season won't happen again.  “We were blessed this off season when Coach (Eric) Studesville came down after winning the Super Bowl.  He sat down with us for a day. He took us through some of the things they do. It really helped me in terms of calling more of a pro-based offense. We got Payton Manning stories and how he likes his protection.  That was an amazing experience. Then Coach Allen and I sat down with Coach (former UW-W offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Steve) Dinkel.  We watched our inside/outside zones and some of the power stuff we were doing.  We got to tap into two Whitewater guys who flourish in this world.  Through that input and a full off-season, we have been able to finalize how we want this offense to be run.”

        Smith clearly looks forward to a spring and fall camp where the focus is beyond getting familiar with one another.  “We have a good nucleus coming back.  While we lose some key pieces, we get some pieces back we were supposed to have a year ago. We get a Dennis Moore back. We get an Adam Korpela back. Brent Campbell who missed half the conference season, we will hopefully have for a full season. But even more importantly we get to all work on this offense together, in a proper time frame. A full off-season, a full spring, a full fall camp, a full pre-season. It will really allow us to hone in on who we are and what we want to do.”

 

2016 Warhawk Football Schedule

9/3/16       The College of New Jersey    HOME         Noon

9/10/16     Bellhaven                                 HOME         1 PM

9/1716      BYE

9/24/16     Morningside                             HOME          1 PM

10/1/16     UW-Platteville                           at UW-P       1 PM

10/8/16     UW-Oshkosh                            HOME          1 PM

10/15/16    UW-LaCrosse                         at UW-L        1 PM

10/22/16    UW-Stevens Point                 HOME            1 PM

10/29/16    UW-Eau Claire                       at UW-EC       1 PM

11/5/16      UW-River Falls                       HOME            2 PM

11/12/16    UW-Stout                                at UW-S         2 PM

Warhawks and Purple Raiders: A Week Early?

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Since 2015, UW-Whitewater and the University of Mount Union have met each year, with the exception of 2012. Each of those games were played in Salem, Virginia with the National Championship at stake.  In 2012, UW-W did not make the playoffs so the teams had no opportunity to meet.  But in each of the other years, Whitewater and Mount Union played their way through their sides of the bracket of 32 teams and wound up in the pinnacle game of NCAA D-III football. Can two teams from different conferences who have no guarantee of playing each other at the start of a season be considered a rivalry?  UW-Whitewater Head Coach Kevin Bullis commented in Wednesday's media conference call,  "It's neat to see the respect these two teams have for each other.  I don't want to necessarily say it's a rivalry, but it's as close as something to be a rivalry without being a conference game to be honest with you. Our guys are excited to get a chance to go see Alliance. They really are.  Our kids have shown a tradition of being able to travel well, and we're looking forward to a fantastic trip and a fantastic Saturday." 

While the Warhawks and Purple Raiders may relish the opportunity to knock heads for the championship each season, the rest of the D-III world is likely more than ready to see different teams in Salem.  While an NCAA national committee puts together the bracket each year, one of the topics creating the most conversation this year is the placement of Whitewater and Mount Union on the same side of the bracket.  While some feel separation has been long overdue, others believe it should have been up to another team to upend one of the "purple powers' to deny yet another championship rematch.  Since 2005, UW-Whitewater and Mount Union are a combined 82-0 in playoff games  that don't involve the other school.   Asked his thoughts on bracket placement in today's conference call, Coach Bullis took a pass. "That’s not for me to decide," Bullis explained.  "I have no power over that decision. I guess I’m not concerned if it’s in Salem or wherever. There’s quite a tradition with it, which is why I think it comes up in discussion, that people think they should be on opposite sides of the bracket. With the way rankings work, we lost a game. The committee has to rank everybody, and based off of rankings, they’ve got to build the seedings, and we ended up being on the same side. I don’t think there’s anyone to blame or anything like that, by no means. I guess if you want to blame anybody, it’s on us for losing a game during the season. If we win that game, then more than likely, Mount Union and UW-Whitewater are the top seeds and are on the opposite sides of the bracket. I guess I’ll take more blame than anybody.” 

 

 

 

 

 

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A very special THANK YOU to Chris Gehant for making the Warhawkfootball.com photo galleries possible!  Chris took literally thousands of pictures throughout the season and gave full permission for Warhawkfootball.com to use them.  He makes his entire gallery available to any Warahwk players or parents who would like access to them.  Any Warhawk players or parents can private message me at my Twitter address Warhawkfootball.com@warhawkfbdotcom to access Chris' entire season gallery.  

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UW-W prepares for Conference Opener against Platteville

        The non-conference games have concluded.  Now it is time for the real tests to begin- WIAC style.  The Warhawks open up the conference portion of their schedule on Saturday as they host the UW-Platteville Pioneers at 1:00 PM at Perkins Stadium.  The Warhawks (3-0) and the Pioneers (3-0) were predicted to finish first and second respectively in a pre-season poll of WIAC coaches and sports information directors.

      The Pioneers, coming off of a bye-week, started the season with victories over Buena Vista (49-13), Dubuque (31-7), and North Central (35-28).  Platteville is currently ranked #14 in the nation by the D3football.com Top 25 Poll. 

      Platteville comes into Saturday’s contest riding the arm of  QB Tom Kelly.  Kelly has completed 65.8% of his passes for 908 yards and nine touchdowns in three games. Kelly ranks 47th in the nation in passing efficiency (155.2) and 32nd in passing yards.  Justin Johnson is the leading rusher for the Pioneers averaging 62.7 yards per game and 4.3 yards per carry. Ryan Fish averages 34.3 yards per game and 6.1 yards per carry.  Kelly spreads the ball around, primarily to Dan Arnold (17 receptions), Mitch Munda (16), Patrick Sheehan (16), and Russell Martin (13).  Arnold leads the Pioneers with three touchdowns and Martin leads in yards per catch at 16.7.

       Coach Kevin Bullis described the challenge facing the Pioneers offense. “When you compete against Mike (Platteville Coach Mike Emendorfer), it is always a chess match.  He is going to adjust and then he is going to make us adjust.  The key thing is keeping it simple for our players.  Against Platteville, we need to keep it simple because of that passing attack,” Bullis emphasized. The first year head coach feels his team benefited from the pre-season slate. “

The Belhaven and Morninside games were really good preparation for us coming into this.  Especially with Belhaven being a true spread offense.  What they run at Platteville is a true spread offense.  They run the ball more than Belhaven.  It will be exciting for us to see how we perform.”

       The Pioneers boast extremely tall receivers with the top four receivers ranging from 6’3” to 6’6” tall.  While UW-W defensive backs need to be aware of the height issue, Bullis explained that it would not force any schematic changes.   “The big thing is they have to come down with the ball. We work hard with our guys working that ball out as they come down.  That is something (Whitewater Defensive Coordinator Rob Erickson) Coach Erickson works very hard on every week. That becomes a little more important this week,” Bullis responded when asked about playing against taller receivers. 

       While the Pioneers gain 70% of their yardage through the air, the Warhawks gain 2/3 of their yardage on the ground.  Jordan Ratliffe is the Warhawks’ leading rusher with 354 yards (7.9 YPC), Nick Patterson has added 141 yards (6.1 YPC).  Quarterback Chris Nelson has completed 62% of his passes for 339 yards and 3 TD’s. Joe Worth leads the Warhawk receivers with 11 catches for 141 yards and a TD. 

       Along with huge WIAC implications, this game is also the 21st annual George Chryst Memorial Bowl.  The winner annually receives possession of the Miner’s Pick, the rivalry game's trophy.  Coach Chryst had coached at Platteville for 14 years when he died suddenly in 1992.  Coach Chryst was a man of impeccable integrity who sought to make a difference in the young men he coached.  According to an article dated December 4, 1992 in the Wisconsin State Journal, “Chryst once told a reporter that ‘after my players go out in the real world, I want them to feel like I've helped out in a small way.’ ''  

       Helping the players understand the history and traditions of the WIAC and UW-Whitewater is important to Bullis.  “We traditionally address that in our Friday afternoon meeting.  We will talk about the Pick and we will talk about Coach Chryst. I got the privilege of meeting Coach Chryst. I know he and Coach Berezowitz had a very close relationship with.  That’s the kind of guy Coach Chryst was, he seemed to have good relationships with everyone.  It really is a great tradition and we will teach the younger guys and remind the older guys on Friday night what that’s all about,” Bullis said.

       While the relationships formed beyond the competition are important,  they do not take away from the intensity of the rivalry or the importance of Saturday’s football game. “There’s no doubt the familiarity with one another and the rivalry do amp up the level of competition.  When you get into the conference season, the level of intensity comes up. 

And preparing for WIAC opponents the level of intensity at practice comes up and his has again this week without question,” Bullis emphasized.