Your source for information, insight, and analysis of UW-Whitewater football. Wahawkfootball.com is not affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Summer is Not Vacation for 2016 Warhawks
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.
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.”
AN OVERVIEW OF THE 2016 UW-W RECRUITING CLASS
WHAT DID WE LEARN FROM THE MOUNT UNION GAME?
A POST-SPRING PRACTICE REPORT
2016 Warhawk Football Schedule
9/3/16 The College of New Jersey HOME Noon
9/10/16 Bellhaven HOME 1 PM
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
Dealing With Disappointment
“Disappointment is inevitable. How we respond to it is one of the great measures of character and one of the great determinants of our destiny.”-
It’s no secret that Saturday, December 12, 2015 was a disappointing day for the UW-Whitewater football team. After adapting to massive change in the coaching ranks and enduring significant injury adversity, a Warhawk season on the rise ended suddenly with a decisive 36-6 loss at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio. Congratulations must be offered to the Purple Raiders, who executed brilliantly and deserved to win the game. But without a doubt, the Warhawks are not used to losing games. And losing one by 30 points is a completely new collegiate experience for every player on the Warhawks’ roster. It is experiences like Saturday that test the character and togetherness of a football team. The Warhawks demonstrated a character and class on Saturday that can only be revealed in midst of disappointment. Comparatively speaking, responding appropriately in winning a championship is easy. Our response to winning a championship reveals our level of humility, which is an important value. But responding to disappointment reveals our character, the foundation from which all of our attributes flow.
If Saturday was a character check, then the UW-Whitewater football players passed with flying colors. Led by a senior class that are two-time national champions, the Hawks refused to quit on Saturday. Seniors led the way in reminding every player that Whitewater plays hard every play. With about six minutes remaining in the game and a 30 point deficit, one senior leader was reminding his teammates to “have fun”. His reasoning was a perspective lesson for anyone who loves competition. “We have six more minutes we get to play football” he exclaimed. That is leadership. Not to mention a perspective that goes way beyond his years.
While there was the normal sideline exchanges that happen during the course of a football game, there was no finger-pointing or excuse making at the end. It was what it was. The guys made a decision to stay in it until the end. With just over a minute left in the game, the defense made a stop on a third down play. The hoots and cheers on the sideline sounded like those made on a stop with the game on the line. The Hawks didn’t pout, they didn’t hang their heads, and they didn’t feel sorry for themselves. They fought until the scoreboard clock ran to zero.
Was the loss disappointing? Absolutely. Does it define the 2015 season? Absolutely not. Advancing to the National Semi-finals in a season in which so many people had to get to know one another and learn how to work together is an amazing accomplishment. This season serves as a foundation on which to build. The seniors did an amazing job in leading this year and passing on the values and ways of Whitewater football to the younger guys. They leave as two-time national champions who will never be forgotten. The juniors now step into the role as team leaders. They have the opportunity to step up and lead in the way they have seen others before them. The younger guys will have another off season to get bigger, stronger, faster and better as they follow the lead of the seniors-to-be. The coaching staff will be focusing on recruiting to bring the current group the help they need to be sure next season ends in no state other than Virginia. Along with recruiting, Coach Bullis and his coordinators will evaluate 2015 and make the necessary adjustments and improvements as the calendar turns to 2016.
Disappointment is inevitable. How we respond to it is one of the great measures of character and one of the great determinants of our destiny. Last Saturday’s result will in no way define Warhawk football moving forward. However, how we respond to that disappointment will go a long way in determining the heights to which the program will ascend in 2016.
Hawks Finish 12-2 After Loss at Mount Union
The Warhawks' season came to an abrupt end on Saturday, losing at Mount Union 36-6. Obviously, none of the players had experienced this type of defeat in their time with Whitewater. The manner in which they carried themselves and reacted to the moment should leave every Warhawk parent, alumn, and fan prouder than ever of this special group of guys. While most of the day needs to be left in the locker room and on the sideline, some general thoughts will be coming soon!
In the meantime, thank you to the coaches, the seniors, and the entire team for all you have poured into the 2015 season. It was a remarkable journey that we will all remember for the rest of our lives!
Warhawks and Purple Raiders: A Week Early?
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.”
HUGE OPPORTUNITY AWAITS HAWKS
Nearly 16 years ago, the world was getting caught up in bracing for a problem of unknown proportions. Concern of havoc created by vital computer systems being unprepared for the calendar turning to the year 2,000 spread internationally. Predicted maladies from security issues to famine to financial chaos to blackened electrical grid ran amuck. Y2K kits were sold. Over the top instructions were dispensed. With fanfare, the world braced for a disaster that never happened. While there were minor issues of convenience, there appear to be no lasting problems associated with Y2K. Except one. Beating Mount Union’s football team in Alliance. It appears that when the world’s computers capitulated and spun into the new millennium, the code for beating the Purple Raiders on their own turf was a casualty. Since the calendar turned to 2000, the Raiders have been nearly unbeatable on their home field. The only exceptions were a 21-14 Ohio Northern victory on October 22, 2005 and Mary Hardin-Baylor's 38-35 victory on December 11th of 2004. The Cru overcame a 14 point fourth quarter deficit to snap a 39 game Purple Raider home winning streak. So in all, Mount Union has not lost a home game in over 10 years. The UW-Whitewater Warhawks plan to do something about that on Saturday afternoon. The Warhawks and Purple Raiders meet in Alliance, OH in a NCAA D-III playoff game. Kickoff is set for 11:00 AM Central time. The game can be viewed online on ESPN3.
Of course, since UW-W arrived on the national stage in 2005, no other team has beaten Mount Union anywhere. They have won 23 consecutive conference championships and have played in 15 of the last 17 championship games. But the reality is that former Coach Larry Kehres brought the program to such a high level that few teams were even able to compete with the Purple Raiders. Enter UW-Whitewater. The Warhawks have met Mount Union in nine of the past 10 Stagg Bowls. After losing the first two, Whitewater has beaten Mount Union six of the last seven times they have played, including the last five. While Mount Union’s home record is daunting for many, it isn’t to Whitewater. As a result, perhaps no team has been so prepared to take down the Purple Raiders on their own turf as the Warhawks. “I’m embracing it,” says UW-Whitewater Head Coach Kevin Bullis. “If you talk to any of our seniors, our juniors, guys that have an opportunity to play against Mount Union, that sounds like a lot of fun.”
The Warhawks’ strength begins at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. UW-W has a front line on offense that is both massive and athletic. Jordan Ratliffe has found a rhythm with a line that has overcome injuries to three starters. But the same group has now been together for weeks and it is showing up on the field. In their quarterfinal victory over UW-Oshkosh, the Warhawks gained 240 yards rushing against the WIAC’s second most stingy rush defense. Chris Nelson has also been afforded time to throw by the O-line, who seems to be peaking as a group as the playoffs progress.
Defensively, the Warhawks’ front seven has been both disruptive and play-making. The group has been putting pressure on the quarterback, making life difficult for UW-W playoff opponents. While teams are gaining yardage on UW-W, the Warhawks have enough playmakers on defense that they are very difficult to score against if they prevent the big play.
Over the past two weeks, the Warhawks have defeated the nation’s sixth and third ranked teams on the road. Both provided good challenges readying the Hawks for the challenge ahead. Meanwhile, Mount Union cruised to victories against overmatched opponents their first 12 games this season. Then, last week, the Purple Raiders played a Wesley team that is a nationally recognized program. But the Raiders did a number on Wesley last year to the tune of a 70-0 lead after three quarters. This year was more competitive, but not remotely in doubt by halftime. Mount led 21-0 before Wesley scored a couple of touchdowns to make a game of things in the second quarter. But a second quarter onslaught gave Mount Union a 35 point halftime lead. So much for competitive.
This all provides a distinct challenge to Mount Union. How UMU will respond to adversity is simply unknown. Plus the physical match-up with Whitewater does not appear favorable. The Purple Raiders, always athletic and fast on both sides of the ball, have not matched up well in the trenches with UW-W over the past two years. Unless the Raiders have really improved along the line of scrimmage, UW-W will have an opportunity to do what only Mary Hardin-Baylor has done since those Y2K kits were issued back in late 1999. And while no calamity greeted the world on January 1, 2000, whether the same can be said of the Mount Union fan base on December 12, 2015 will be known by the middle of Saturday afternoon.
All West Region Team Announced by D3football.com
Eight Warhawks Recognized
Austin Jones, Jr OG FIRST TEAM
Justin Dischler, Sr. LB FIRST TEAM
Ryan Winske, Sr. S FIRST TEAM
Jordan Ratliffe, Sr. RB SECOND TEAM
Brandon Tamsett Jr DT SECOND TEAM
Tony Koepnick, Jr OT SECOND TEAM
Spencer Shier, Jr OT SECOND TEAM
Marcus Hudson, Jr. OT SECOND TEAM
Warhawks Eliminate Titans 31-29
The UW-Whitewater Warhawks have emphasized starting fast for the past several weeks. On Saturday, the Warhawks rode a fast start in both the first and second halves and hung on for a 31-29 victory over the Oshkosh Titans to advance to the NCAA D-III National Semi-finals for the tenth time in the last 11 years. Whitewater, the two-time defending National Champions, rose up when it mattered most to avenge a loss to the Titans earlier in the season. Much of the season remained when UW-W lost to Oshkosh on October 10th. But by virtue of this quarter-final victory, Whitewater plays on and Oshkosh is done for the season. But it didn't happen without a fight.
With 1:58 left in the game and trailing by 2 points, the Titans took possession at midfield. But four consecutive outstanding defensive plays shut Oshkosh down when it mattered most. On first down, Titan QB Brett Kasper was looking to pass to either tight end Joe Sommers over the middle or a pair of receivers running out patterns to his right. Defensive tackle Brandon Tamsett deserves a ton of credit on the play. The junior defensive tackle sacrificed his body to reach up and block Kasper's view just as he was trying to find Sommers, who was running free 15 yards downfield. Tamsett's reach put himself into a vulnerable position and he ended up being knocked on his back. It was the ultimate in selfless play and it was a huge part of the Warhawk victory. If Tamsett stays low, he would have kept his feet but Kasper may have completed the pass to a streaking Sommers. As it was, Kasper left the pocket and Trevor Boyle was there to pressure him so he threw the ball harmlessly out of bounds.
On second down, Paul Foster overcame some adversity and ended up making a great play to limit the gain to six yards. First, Foster was communicating with safety Ryan Winske and wasn't even looking at the line of scrimmage when the ball was snapped. Maybe it ended up helping him. UW-O ran a screen play which is based on deception. Foster didn't even have time to read pass and go into his drop, so he held his ground. Then he burst between two offensive lineman to disrupt the play but hit running back Devon Linzenmeyer too high, allowing Linzenmeyer the ability to duck under Foster and stay on his feet. But what happened next was nothing short of remarkable. Foster, who went flying over Linzenmeyer, landed flat on his back. But as soon as he hit the ground, Foster rolled to his stomach, got up, and was in front of the slowed down Linzenmeyer and this time brought him down with the help of a couple of teammates.
On third and six, Oshkosh opted for a drag pass to Sommers, who came all the way across the field after lining up on the right side of the formation. Sommers is one of the conference's premier players and it is no surprise Oshkosh would turn to him in crunch time. But three Warhawks came up big on the play. First Tamsett, made an incredibly quick inside burst move and split the guard and center. He created immediate pressure and forced Kasper to roll to his left. Kasper found Sommers and threw it to him 8 yards downfield. Matt Seitz, who lined up across from Sommers covered him in man coverage all the way across the field. Seitz is probably one of the few linebackers in the conference who could have stayed with Sommers that long (Justin Dischler may be another). Seitz closed on the ball and arrived just as it was getting to Sommers. But Sommers had a chance to make a great catch in spite of Seitz' excellent coverage. Enter cornerback Vince Mason who was guarding Sam Mentkowski on a sideline route. Mason had Mentkowski completely under control and read Kasper perfectly. Mason instinctively left Mentkowski and made a hard break toward Sommers. Less than one Sommers stride after the ball reached him, Mason lowered the boom. Mason dislodged the ball as Seitz threw Sommers to the ground. It was a great third down stop and left the Titans with just one more chance.
Kasper once again took the snap from the pistol formation. Whitewater's dominant defensive front ruined the play before it had a chance to start. Tamsett drove hard between the Titan's right guard and right tackle. Running a twist, defensive end Trevor Boyle burst down the line of scrimmage so fast the left tackle wasn't able to get a hand on him. Boyle broke inside the driving Tamsett and had a free route up the middle at Kasper. The Titan QB went in full retreat mode backpedaling a full 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage and threw a desperate pass that Linzenmeyer was barely able to touch before it fell harmlessly out of bounds. After an Oshkosh unsportsmanlike conduct penalty gave the ball to the Hawks at their own 44, two Jordan Ratliffe runs gave the Hawks the necessary first down to seal the victory and send UW-W to Alliance, Ohio to face the University of Mount Union in the Semi-finals next Saturday.
Ratliffe carried the offensive load for the Warhawks gaining 164 yards on 34 carries with two touchdowns. Marcus Hudson led the way though the air with 106 yards on six receptions. Hudson also scored twice on strikes of 48 and five yards from quarterback Chris Nelson. Nelson finished 14-30 for 170 yards and the two touchdowns. Ryan Winske and Dylan Morang led the Warhawks in tackles with 10 and eight respectively. It was a big day for W-W linebackers. Foster and Dischler had interceptions for the Hawks. Seitz and Dischler had sacks.
Every Unit Contributes to Playoff Victory
Offense, defense, and special teams. In the biggest of games, coaches will often cite the importance all three phases contributing if a team is going to be successful. Saturday’s NCAA D-III Level Two Playoff game is a perfect example. The Warhawks got key contributions from all three units as they decisively defeated the Wheaton College Thunder 31-17 in an impressive road playoff victory.
The Warhawk offense explode against a highly regarded Thunder defense with 31 first half points. After an opening drive in which the Hawks put the ball on the ground twice before punting, the offense caught fire, scoring TD’s on four of their next five possessions. Chris Nelson went 11 for 15 for 189 yards an a touchdown in the explosive first half. Jordan Ratliffe also ran for 69 yards and three touchdowns in the initial half, all of which help stake UW-W to a 31-14 lead at intermission. The offensive line was a crucial component of this victory. They gave Nelson plenty of time to operate and they paved the way for Ratliffe and his 192 yard rushing day.
While it was the offense that carried the Hawks for most of the first half, the UW-W defense made a huge stop of the Thunder near the end of the first half. Wheaton took possession at their own four yard line, trailing 28-14 with 1:04 left in the half. The UW-W defense forced a punt with 17 seconds left in the half. The Hawks were able to get a field goal before halftime to advance their lead to 31-14 at the break. In the second half, UW-W played classic bend but don’t break defense. The Hawks kept things in front of them and didn’t allow any strikes that would have brought the Thunder momentum or tightened the score. The Hawks turned the ball over to the offense as they won the battle of fourth down four separate times in the second half. The Warhawk “D” held a potent Thunder offense to three points in a half in which Wheaton needed points desperately.
Kicker Lake Bachar had three touchbacks in five kickoffs, tilting the field position toward the Hawks. Additionally, it was three special team plays in the final 30 seconds of the first half that expanded UW-W’s halftime lead from two scores to three. On a fourth kickoff, Bachar executed a perfect corner kick in which the Thunder returner attempted to return from a yard deep in the end zone. The Hawks coverage unit had the return blanketed and the returner was tackled at the four yard line. After the defense held, Jordan Gruettner blocked the Wheaton punt and UW-W took possession of the ball on the Thunder 28 with 17 seconds left in the half. Then, on the last play of the half, Bachar’s 45 yard field goal sent UW-W into the locker room with their commanding lead.
Hawks Win and Advance!
Warhawks Ride 31 Point First Half to Quarterfinals
Lake Bachar (13), Dylan Morang (21), and Zach Koch (55) prepare to take the field for warmups at Wheaton College on Saturday. UW-W beat the Thunder 31-17 to advance to round 3 of the playoffs.
15 Warhawks Garner All-WIAC Recognition
Senior Linebacker Justin Dischler Senior Running Back Jordan Ratliffe
Junior Wide Receiver Marcus Hudson Senior Safety Ryan Winske
Junior OL Tony Koepnick Junior DL Brandon Tamsett
Jr. Punter Lake Bachar Jr OL Spencer Shier
Sr. DL Zach Franz Jr. OL Austin Jones
So TE Tony Gumina So LB Matt Seitz
Sr CB Dylan Morang SR WR Joe Worth
Jr. CB Vince Mason All Sportsmanship: Sr. OL Lucas Skibba
NCAA PLAYOFFS LEVEL ONE: ST. NORBERT COLLEGE AT UW-W
LEVEL ONE: NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS
*The Warhawks 412 yards rushing was the first time UW-W gained at least 400 yards rushing since gaining 413 yards at River Falls on October 23, 2010.
*The UW-W turnover advantage (+4) was the best of the 2015 season and the first time UW-W has enjoyed a (+4) advantage since October 18, 2014 at Eau Claire.
*Quarterback Chris Nelson has not thrown an interception in his last 158 passes.
*The Warhawks scored touchdowns on five of their six legitimate first half drives on Saturday. The Hawks have now scored TD’s on 23 of their 33 first half drives over the past five games.
*The Warhawks’ shut-out victory was their first playoff shut-out since 11/19/2011, a 59-0 victory over Albion.
*The Warhawks outscored St. Norbert 14-0 in the first quarter and 35-0 in the first half. UW-W has now outscored opponents 157-14 in the first quarter and 294-60 in the first half this year.
*After holding the Green Knights to 8 completions in 25 attempts on Saturday, the Hawks have now held three of their last four opponents to a completion percentage of under 50%.
*After Jordan Ratliffe’s 161 yard rushing day Saturday, he has now gained 379 yards over the past two games. The last running back to have that many yards over two games was Levell Coppage who gained a combined 445 yards against Wesley College and Mount Union in the 2010 Semi-Finals and Stagg Bowl.
Warhawks Eliminate Green Knights in Level One 48-0
The more things change,the more they seem to stay the same. The UW-Whitewater Warhawks, under first year head coach Kevin Bullis and his revamped coaching staff, continued the tradition of Whitewater success in the playoffs as they dominated St. Norbert 48-0 in their first round game on Saturday. The Whitewater offense was clicking from the start despite most of the game being played in the cold, windy, and wet conditions of a winter storm. The Hawks scored TD's in five of their six first half possessions in racing out to a 35-0 halftime lead. The Green Knights never drove deeper than the UW-W 39 yard line until their 11th drive of the game, deep into the third quarter. The Warhawks registered their first post-season shut-out since 11/19/2011, when they steamrolled Albion 59-0.
The Warhawks out-gained the Green Knights 492 to 274. St. Norbert, the Midwest Conference Champions, finish their season with a 10-1 record. The Wahawk will play a Level 2 NCAA Playoff game in Wheaton, IL against the Wheaton College Thunder at noon on Saturday, November 28th.
Defensive Tale of the Tape: SNC at UW-W
Defending the Run
Percentage of All Offensive Plays the Opponents Run the ball:
Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game:
Rushing Yards Allowed per Attempt
Rushing First Downs Allowed
Rushing Touchdowns Allowed
Defending the Pass
Percentage of All Offensive Plays the Opponents Pass the Ball:
Passing Yards Allowed Per Game
Passing Yards Allowed Per Attempt:
Passing Yards Allowed Per Completion:
First Downs Passing Allowed:
Passing Touchdowns Allowed:
General Defensive Statistics
Points Allowed Per Game:
Opponents 3rd and 4th Down Percentage:
Opponents’ Red Zone Scoring Percentage:
Opponent’s Red Zone TD Percentage:
Offensive Tale of the Tape: St. Norbert at Whitewater
The sun sets on Perkins Stadium late Wednesday afternoon as the Warhawks prepare to battle St. Norbert College in an NCAA Division III Level One Playoff game on Saturday.
Due to lack of common opponents and differences between the WIAC and the Midwest Conference, comparative statistics are not a valid source of evaluating these two teams. However, the statistics below can reveal tendencies as well as a glimpse of who to look for when each team has the ball.
The Running Game
Percentage of offensive plays that are runs:
Percentage of total offensive yardage from running plays:
Team rushing yards per carry:
SNC: 5.3 ypc
UW-W: 5.2 ypc
Average yards rushing per game:
Rushing game comments (SNC): St. Norbert divides up their carries among four players, all of whom have more than 50 carries.:
Elija Fort: 132 att, 719 yds, 5.4ypc, 16 TD’s, 71.9 ypg
Brad Bookmeier: 144 att, 696 yds, 4.8ypc, 5 TD’s, 69.6 ypg
Jack Becker(QB) 78 att, 418 yds, 5.4ypc, 5 TD’s 41.8 ypg
Brandon Carter 59 att, 361 yds, 6.1ypc, 2 TD, 36.1 ypg
Rushing game comments (UW-W): The Warhawks’ have ridden workhorse Jordan Ratliffe most of the season. While this will likely be the case in the post-season as well, the next three running backs are probably healthier than they have been throughout the season.
Jordan Ratliffe: 172 att, 1100 yds, 6.4ypc, 17 TD’s, 110.0 ypg
Jarrod Ware: 58 att, 289 yds, 5.0ypc, 3 TD’s, 28.9 ypg
Tyler Glass: 45 att, 254 yds, 5.6ypc 4 TD’s, 42.3 ypg
Nick Patterson: 44 att, 172 yds, 3.9ypc, 4TD’s 24.7 pg
The Passing Game
Percentage of offensive plays that are passes:
Percentage of total offensive yardage from passing plays
Average yards passing per game:
SNC: 166.9 ypg
UW-W: 233.5 ypg
Starting QB statistics (comp-att-int-td-comp%-ave yards per game)
SNC: 119c-184a-4i-10td-64.3%-147.8 ypg
UW-W: 133c-193a-2i-16td-68.9%-193.0 ypg
Passing game comments (SNC): QB Jack Becker has six receivers at his disposal who have caught at least 10 passes this year. Zach Reeves leads the way with 34 reception for 484 yards and a TD. Brett Olson has caught 20 balls for 341 yards and 2 TD’s. Becker has not put up huge numbers by design of the offense, not capability. It is likely SNC will have a different game plan against UW-W than they have shown all year. Because St. Norbert will likely have a hard time establishing the run for the first time this year, Becker will likely have a career high in attempts Saturday if he plays the entire game.
Passing game comments (UW-W): QB Chris Nelson completed 70.5% of his passes for 227.3 yards per game with 13 TD’s and 2 interceptions in WIAC play. Due to lopsided games and the occasional competitive snaps allotted to back-ups Canton Larson and Cole Wilber, Nelson’s totals don’t entirely reflect the productivity of the UW-W passing game. As a team, UW-W threw for 269.1 yards per game in WIAC play. Marcus Hudson leads UW-W receivers with 41 catches for 729 yards and 6 TD’s. Joe Worth has caught 36 passes for 452 yards and 4 TD’s. Tony Gumina has caught 25 balls for 341 yards and 3 TD’s.
NCAA D-III PLAYOFFS LEVEL ONE:
Warhawks Host St. Norbert College at Noon on Saturday!
Link to Game Notes from UW-W: Click Here
Link to Game Notes from SNC: Click Here
Warhawks to Host St. Norbert College in Round One of Playoffs!
The UW-Whitewater Warhawks were selected as an at-large entrant into the NCAA D-III football playoffs on Sunday. The Hawks will host St. Norbert College at Noon on Saturday. MUCH MORE TO COME ON THIS GAME AS THE WEEK PROGRESSES!
2015 Warhawk Football Captains
Joe Worth Ryan Winske
2015 Captain 2015 Captain
Conner Peters Zach Franz
2015 Captain 2015 Captain
Don't Miss out on the Action!
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.