Warhawks travel to take on Buffalo State

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Eric Schmoldt
Friday, September 20, 2013

WHITEWATER--The UW-Whitewater football team hit the road Thursday on a 650-mile trek.

Once the Warhawks arrive in Buffalo, N.Y., they’ll be charged with containing Casey Kacz, who is piling up nearly a quarter-mile’s worth of yards per game.

Buffalo State, which ended UW-W’s 46-game winning streak a year ago, hosts the Warhawks in a nonconference game at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

“They’ll be one of the fastest teams we see at skill positions,” Warhawks coach Lance Leipold said. “There’s a lot of challenges to this situation, much like last year.

“It’s time for us to go out and play well.”

The Bengals topped the Warhawks 7-6 last year at Perkins Stadium.

UW-W is 1-0. It beat Washington University (St. Louis), 17-7, on Sept. 7 and had last week off. Buffalo State is 2-0, with victories over Cortland (41-28) and Brockport (42-20 last week).

Mission No. 1 for the Warhawks will be stopping Kacz, who ranks ninth in the nation with 402.5 all-purpose yards per game. He’s thrown for 613 yards and three touchdowns in the first two games, while rushing for 192 yards and three scores.

“They have an outstanding quarterback who will be as good as the top guys we see this year,” Leipold said. “He can make things happen with his feet and has a strong arm.”

Offensively, UW-W will be looking for improvement up front. A youthful offensive line took its lumps against Washington University and now will see a different sort of test.

“They probably have the biggest defensive line we’ll see this year,” Leipold said. “It will be a tough test for our offensive line. It’s different from the first game, which was a group where they were smaller. We’ll probably see more blitzes from the outside.”

The Warhawks should get preseason All-American receiver Tyler Huber into the fold this week. Huber played just two games last year before suffering a season-ending injury.

Three players got at least eight rushing attempts in the Warhawks’ first game and Leipold expects to continue working with somewhat of a committee. Ryan Givens’ status is up in the air.

It’s just the second-ever meeting between the two teams. A victory would help the Warhawks avenge last year’s streak-ending loss. And it would make the 11-plus-hour bus ride home a bit more tolerable.

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