UW-Whitewater set to host Waldorf College

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Eric Schmoldt
Friday, September 27, 2013

Most football coaches, at any level, say their teams’ biggest improvement usually comes from game one to game two.

The UW-Whitewater Warhawks couldn’t have asked for a much better showing in that department.

Two weeks after a close victory to open their season at home, the Warhawks drubbed Buffalo State on Saturday, and now they return home for their third and final nonconference tilt. They host Waldorf College, an NAIA program, at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Perkins Stadium.

“I think we took a very big step in a positive direction,” Whitewater coach Lance Leipold said. “Do we have a lot of work to do after watching the film? Yes, we’ve got plenty to improve on yet. But I think if you go position by position, there’s a lot of positives that we’ve taken.”

The Warhawks are particularly excited about the strides made on offense.

They started a pair of freshmen on the offensive line, yet the offense still put up five first-half touchdowns, including four Matt Behrendt touchdown passes to four different receivers.

“We’ve talked a lot about our youth in the offensive line,” Leipold said. “For us to have that type of success offensively, it’s heading in the right direction and I think we’ll continue to grow.

“I really was pleased with (Behrendt’s) progression and field-awareness. It’s that step that you’re looking for your quarterback to take as he gains experience as the leader of the offense.”

The defense put points on the scoreboard at Buffalo State as well.

The Warhawks forced a whopping five turnovers, including two that were returned for scores. Though it’s still early, they’re tied for third in the nation in Division III turnover margin.

“I don’t know if I’ve been in a game where two corners had interceptions and two safeties returned fumbles for touchdowns,” Leipold said. “It’s kind of like (turnovers) go in streaks for you. Sometimes it’s really rolling and you’re getting them, and then there are times where it just doesn’t seem like you get enough of them.”

Waldorf comes to Whitewater with an 0-3 record. The Warriors lost 30-0 at Siena Heights University last week.

“To play another team that’s going to spread it out will be another good test for our secondary,” Leipold said. “I was talking to the coach from Waldorf and he mentioned they ran 102 plays in their game against Presentation. To run that many plays, there’s got to be some no-huddle.”

It will be the Warhawks’ final nonconference test before opening Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play at UW-La Crosse on Oct. 5.

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