ELKHORN, Wi. – The UW-Whitewater football program is known for it’s dominance – winning 6 national titles in the last 11 years. They’re back in the mix again. The Warhawks practiced indoors for a few days this week to get them ready for the warmer temperatures that they will see in Texas, where they’ll travel to face Mary Hardin-Baylor Saturday in the NCAA D-III semifinals.
“[This game is] a little more pressure,” said UW-Whitewater quarterback Cole Wilber, after Wednesday’s practice. “But you can’t think of it that way. You got to just think of it as another game. You’ve got to play. You’ve have to have fun. That’s what the game’s all about. You just can’t let the title of the game get the best of you.”
Mary-Hardin Baylor – last year’s national runners up – boasts the best scoring offense in D-III. This year they’ve outscoring a high-powered Warhawk offense, 102-65 in touchdowns. They also average nearly 58 points per game.
Luckily, the Warhawk defense has been stout this year – allowing only 9.3 points per game. That ranks 4th in D-III. Unluckily for them, UMHB ranks first there, too – allowing just a 7.5 points a game.
“We focus on ourselves, and that to me is the big thing – that we focus on our preparation, our process and what we have to do as a team.” said UW-Whitewater football coach Kevin Bullis. “Mary Hardin-Baylor is a very good football team. But we’re a very good football team. You know, so you can have confidence to go down there and do the job we need to do.”
“[UMHB is] fast and physical,” said Wilber. But so are we. We pride on that and I just know it’s going to be a really good game.”
Should the Warhawks be victorious this weekend, they’ll play in the Stagg bowl, the D-III National Championship, on December 14th. It’s a title they last won in 2014.