UW-Whitewater will host UW-La Crosse in the regular season finale on Saturday, November 13, at 1:00 pm in Perkins Stadium on the UW-Whitewater campus.
Won-Lost: Whitewater is 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (W 35-0 vs. Adrian College, W 70-7 vs. Dakota State University, W 37-7 vs. Campbellsville University, W 49-17 vs. Platteville, W 30-7 vs. Stout, W 45-0 vs. Eau Claire, W 63-14 vs. River Falls, W 27-14 vs. Stevens Point, W 48-21 vs. Oshkosh). La Crosse is 3-6 overall and 3-3 in the WIAC. The Eagles opened the season with a loss at home to East Texas Baptist University (33-20), then a loss to Mary Hardin-Baylor University (Texas) (24-19), then lost the next two on the road to Missouri University of Science and Technology (31-24) and UW-Oshkosh (28-17), followed by a 37-20 win over UW-River Falls, losses to UW-Platteville 21-6 and UW-Stevens Point 31-17, and wins over UW-Stout 29-28 and UW-Eau Claire 49-14 last week.
By the Numbers: The Whitewater offensive line averages 274 pounds. The offense will start seven seniors, three juniors, and one sophomore. The UW-W defensive line averages 248 pounds. The Warhawk defense will start six seniors, four juniors, and one sophomore. The La Crosse offense starts five seniors, three juniors, and three freshmen. The "O" line averages 272 pounds. The Eagle defense starts four seniors, four juniors, two sophomores, and one freshman. The defensive line averages 253 pounds.
Win Streak Longest in the NCAA: UW-W has a twenty-four game win streak, dating back to the 2008 loss to Mount Union in the Stagg Bowl. The win streak is the longest in NCAA football, all divisions. Division I Boise State is second, right behind the Warhawks with a twenty-three game win streak.
WIAC Streak: UW-W has won sixteen consecutive games in the WIAC, dating back to the 17-16 loss to UW-Stevens Point October 25, 2008 in Perkins Stadium.
Non-Conference Streak: Not on the line this week, but UW-W has won 11 straight non-conference games dating back to the 31-26 loss to Mount Union December 20 in the 2008 Stagg Bowl.
Home Streak: The Warhawks have won nineteen consecutive games at Perkins Stadium, dating back to the 17-16 loss to UW-Stevens Point, October 25, 2008.
Streak vs. La Crosse: UW-Whitewater is trails in the series, which began in 1917, 32-26. The Warhawks won the last meeting by a score of 58-24 during the 2009 season. That was the most points UW-W has scored against the Eagles. The most points La Crosse has scored came in a 59-0 win in 1917. The largest combined score between the two teams occurred during a 60-32 Warhawk victory over the Eagles in 1987. The fewest points the teams produced, a 1-0 loss came in forfeits by UW-W in 1919 and 1971. Whitewater's longest winning streak in the series is six contests (current, 2005-2009), and the Eagles' longest victory streak was five games, which they have achieved twice.
National Polls: UW-W is ranked first in both the AFCA and the D3football.com polls. The Eagles are not ranked.
UW-W Head Coach: Lance Leipold is in his fourth year at UW-Whitewater, his only head coaching position. He is 51-3 (.944) during his tenure with UW-W, including a 26-1 (.962) mark in the WIAC. The Warhawks have won the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles all three years (and five in a row) and advanced through the NCAA III playoffs to the Stagg Bowl all three years (and five in a row), winning national titles in 2007 and 2009.
La Crosse Head Coach: Head coach and offensive coordinator Larry Terry is in his 11th, and final, year at La Crosse. Terry joined the Eagles' staff as offensive coordinator in 1988. He has compiled a 65-47 record, including WIAC titles in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Terry was named WIAC Coach of the Year each of those years. Terry has maroon blood, having served as a ballboy during his father's tenure as an assistant coach for the program. He also played for the Eagles. Before coming to La Crosse, Terry served as the head coach at Ripon College, the offensive line coach at John Carroll University, and a a graduate assistant at Bowling Green University. During the 2009 season, the Eagles went 5-5 and finished tied for fifth in the WIAC standings.
About the Eagles: UW-L may be down, but as last week's lopsided win over Eau Claire showed, the Eagles are not out. Larry Terry has announced that the game in Whitewater will be his last on the sidelines for La Crosse, and the respect he has earned will certainly be reflected by his players on the field. UW-L can point to several bright spots, ranking third in total offense in the WIAC, ranking second in pass defense, leading the league in punt returns, and ranking third in first downs and fourth down conversions. Running back Lee Lauters averages 103.3 yards per game and 5.1 yards per carry, second only to Levell Coppage in the WIAC. QB Nick Anker is number one in the WIAC in passing yards per game (222.7). Travis Bordeau is number two in the WIAC in receptions, (6.78/game), one notch ahead of Whitewater's Aaron Rusch. Linebacker Jim Litscher is third in tackles, averaging 8.2 per game, and DB Billy Niggemasnn is tied for the league lead with three interceptions. Their punt return team is the highest ranked part of their squad, listed 39th in the NCAA III statistics. You put all the pieces together and that gives opponents something to be concerned about any time in the game. And the schedule didn't do the Eagles any favors. UW-L opened with a loss to East Texas Baptist from a highly competitive league, and followed with a loss in week two to nationally ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor. No one in the WIAC can say they started with two tougher opponents.
About the Warhawks: UW-W clinched sole possession of the WIAC title with last week's 48-21 win at Oshkosh. Whitewater has equaled the longest string of championships in the history of WIAC football, also held by La Crosse (1949-54). The Warhawk football program is also one step closer to equaling the longest streak of conference championships by a UW-W team, currently standing at seven by the wrestling team (1974-80). Senior wide receiver Aaron Rusch is just one catch shy of tying for second place in the WIAC record book for career receptions. Rusch has 253 and Theo Blanco of UW-Stevens Point had 254 (1985-87). Jeff Gosa, another Pointer (1973-76) is number one with 276. Rusch also needs just 50 yards to move in to third in career receiving yards, currently occupied by Scott Fredrickson of UW-Stout (1986-89), and two more TD's will tie him with Chuck Brown of Point (1978-81) for fifth place. Former Warhawk Derek Stanley (2003-2006) holds the record with 35. Junior tailback Levell Coppage has moved in to second place in the WIAC record book with 4,583 career yards, with Whitewater's Justin Beaver in front --- by almost exactly 2,000 yards. Every rushing TD Coppage scores adds to his WIAC career record, currently standing at 70. Greg Corning of UW-River Falls, 1984-87, is second with 51. Rusch's running mate at wide receiver, Adam Brandes, is also making his mark. Brandes is one TD away from tenth place in career touchdowns with 16, and he is sixth with 2,061 career yards, just 38 behind Neil Mrkvicka (2004-2007) in the school's record book. Whitewater remains number one in total offense in the NCAA III statistics (522.6 yards per game), sixth in scoring (44.9), and ninth in rushing (305.4). Coppage has moved into fifteenth place among individuals with 125.9 yards rushing per game, but Antwan Anderson (91.2 per game, 5.8 per rush) and Booker Stanley (78.9, 8.1) may give Coppage a rest but they aren't any breather for defenses. The UW-W is fourth in scoring (9.7), fifth in total (214.2) and fourth in rushing (52.0) in the NCAA III national stats. The ultimate team concept, no Warhawk defender leads the league in any statistical category, and no UW-W player ranks among the top fifty in any of the NCAA III lists. While there have been plenty of headlines about the offense and defense, several categories may have gone overlooked. Whitewater leads the WIAC in kick returns (Shane Covington's 86 yard TD last week a big reason) and turnover margin.
La Crosse-Whitewater Last Year: Whitewater won 58-21 on November 14, 2009 at Roger Harring Stadium in La Crosse. The win in the season's final game gave the Warhawks their fifth straight WIAC title outright. The victory also earned Whitewater an automatic bid into the National Collegiate Athletic Association DIII championship. In the first quarter, the Warhawks opened with a 14-0 lead. Jeff Donovan connected with Jordan Wells for both touchdowns, once on a four-yard toss and the second on a 61-yard strike. La Crosse scored a touchdown roughly two and a half minutes into the second quarter on a one yard touchdown run by Lee Lauters after a Warhawk turnover. UW-W extended their lead to 21-7 on another Donovan touchdown toss, this time to Adam Brandes, at the 8:23 mark of the second quarter. The Warhawks blocked a punt that went out of the end zone in the last minute of the first half to go into the locker room with a 23-7 lead. Levell Coppage scored two rushing touchdowns in the third quarter, giving him 24 on the season and tying him for first in the Warhawk record book with Justin Beaver for touchdowns in a season. Beaver accomplished the feat in the 2005 season. Coppage rushed for 144 yards on 15 carries against the Eagles. Coppage also broke the career rushing touchdown record that day as he eclipsed Beaver's mark of 44 on his second touchdown of the afternoon. Antwan Anderson carried the ball 18 times for 69 yards and two rushing touchdowns, both of which came in the fourth quarter. The Warhawks tacked on their fifth rushing touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter when CJ Miller punched one across the goal line after an eight yard run. The Warhawks racked up 594 yards of total offense compared to the Eagles' 288. The Warhawks more than tripled UW-L's rushing output by covering 313 yards on 43 rushes compared to UW-L's 98 yards on 40 rushes.
Follow the Warhawks:
The game will be carried by long-time partner WKCH radio, 106.5 FM. The station's website and the UW-W athletics site (www.uwwsports.com
) will stream the broadcast. Fans can also check www.uwwsports.com
for live stats throughout the event. The game will be broadcast live by UW-W TV, carried on Charter Cable in south central Wisconsin. (Check local listings for channel.) The TV broadcast will also be available on the web at www.pennatlantic.com
, and the UW-W campus radio station, WSUW 91.7 FM, will be on hand.
Tickets for all UW-W home games can be purchased in the University Center ticket office on the main campus mall during normal business hours. The Perkins Stadium ticket window opens at least ninety minutes prior to kickoff for each home game. You can access ticket information at http://www.uwwsports.com/sports/2007/8/7/ticket_info.aspx?tab=tickets, or call the ticket office at 262-472-1147.
Coming Up: UW-W will begin play in the NCAA III championship playoffs November 20. A win over La Crosse would help the Warhawks in their bid to host a first round game. The NCAA III playoff situation will be announced Monday, November 15. The Warhawks are looking to make their sixth consecutive NCAA III playoff appearance.