OPENING HITS: UW-W AT TCNJ
(My goal with “Opening Hits” is to look at some interesting aspects of the game and post it the same day of the game. No need to duplicate game articles that can be read at UWWSPORTS.COM or other sources.)
*For those that even care anymore, the TCNJ pass that was ruled complete at the UW-W 1 did appear to hit the ground.
*The fumble recovered by cornerback Marcus Mclin was caused by safety Zach Nellis. Nellis played a great game with several big hits, two interceptions, the forced fumble, and 5 total tackles.
*Jake Kumerow was dominant from start to finish as he caught 9 passes for 184 yards and a TD. Whether it’s the off-season press or video, it seems like teams’ fear of Kumerow is as big a weapon as Jake himself. On his 31 yard possession on the second play of the game, he ran a simple curl 2 yards past the first down marker. The defender was 7 yards deeper than Kumerow, a wopping 19 yards off the line of scrimmage.
*The time of possession statistic in Whitewater games are not only meaningless, they are downright deceiving. The Warhawks ran off 12 more plays than the Lions, they out-gained them 535-88, they had drives of 99, 79, 79, 74, 55, and 53 yards. TCNJ had drives of 74, 44, 29, 17, 11, 8, 2, 0, (-1), (-7), (-11), and (-14). And TCNJ “won” the time of possession battle by nearly 5 minutes. There would be as much value in tracking which teams’ parents ate more hot dogs at the game than time of possession.
*Offensive line coaches looking for a “how to” video on offensive line play would need look no further than the video of today’s game. They were absolutely mauling. The UW-W line was physically dominant, clean in execution, displayed excellent timing and cohesiveness, and simply mauled the TNJC front seven. The pocket formed for the quarterbacks were a thing of beauty and the holes opened up in the running game were astounding. Taking nothing away from the skill players because they played great, but they would probably be the first to tell you the O-Line made their job easy today.
*Other than a couple of isolated problems hooking up with Justin Howard, quarterback Matt Behrendt and the wide receivers appear to be pretty well in-synch.
*The kick-off coverage unit is really strong. On one kickoff, the returner fielded the ball on the 19 and was greeted nearly immediately by Kevon Clunis. They actually spotted the ball on the 18. On another kickoff, the returner fielded the ball on the 5 and was swarmed at the 11 by Vince Mason and Shawn Shilcox.
*After Nick Patterson’s 11 carry for 101 yards and two TD day, he is averaging 10 yards per carry over the first three games. That’s kind of crazy.
*After three games, the Warhawks have not fumbled nor thrown an interception. And I really can’t think of any instances that they were close to doing so. This is just one piece of evidence (of many) that is has been a focused football team. Now the challenge will be to keep that focus and get better between now and October 5th when the Warhawks host UW-LaCrosse at Perkins Stadium.
*Undoubtedly the place-kicking game will be a focus over the next two weeks with the missed FG, the blocked FG, and the missed extra point. I’m guessing it’s just a matter of the Lake making a couple and the unit getting a rhythm.
Be sure to listen to tomorrow night’s podcast “Warhawk Wrap” as I discuss today’s game and take a look at the other WIAC games this weekend.