Much has been written and will continue to be written about the 2010 UW-Whitewater football team. A veteran offensive line that dominates the line of scrimmage. A ball hawking defensive unit that continually takes over games in the fourth quarter. The best running back in the country. A starting QB who compiled a stunning 21/1 TD to interception ratio before being injured in the last regular season game. A backup QB who never started a game and then went 4-0 against two Top 4 Gagliardi Trophy candidates, and defenses ranked first and third in the nation in total defense.
Momentum plays a huge role in the outcome of a football game. UW-W flat out refuses to give it's opponent much sustained momentum. One of the most impressive attributes about the 2010 Warhawks is their collective ability to respond to an opponent's score. Whitewater has allowed 21 TD's and 3 Field goals this year. To look at what happened after each of those scores, tells a story about the character and ability of this team. Here is a statistical breakdown of how UW-W responded to giving up a score:
Two scores were at the end of 70-7 and 49-17 blowouts.
Of the 22 remaining scores allowed, UW-W was the next team to score 21 times! Only in the first half "Trine Track Meet" did UW-W give up two consecutive scores. And what happened after that second consecutive Trine score? UW-W took just 1:47 to respond on a four yard Levell Coppage TD run.
Fourteen of Whitewater's 21 responding scores came less than four minutes after giving up points. Thirteen of the 21 responding scores came in less than three minutes of the opponent's score. Usually, a scoring play either seizes or neutralizes the momentum of a football game. Two consecutive scores almost always seizes and sustains that momentum. Often the character of a football team can be revealed by how the team responds to a challenge. In 21 of 22 occasions, UW-W has responded to an opponent's score, with one of it's own.
The Warhawks have not had the type of team that consistently wins games in blowout fashion like perennial Stagg Bowl opponent Mount Union. But in playing through some contested battles, UW-W has developed character that will serve them well against the Purple Raiders. And while both teams have much that can be written about, the Stagg Bowl will likely become a battle of wills between two very talented teams. Don't be surprised to see the Hawks respond. They have been doing it all year long.