Loud crowd needed for conference clash on Saturday

Saturday is Homecoming for UW-Whitewater. It’s a big day for the university, but this Saturday will be even bigger for the Warhawk football team.

As usual, Homecoming’s main event will take place at 1 p.m. in Perkins Stadium.

This year, the ’Hawks will play a talented and hungry UW-Oshkosh team in what is their biggest regular season game in years.

For the first time since 2008, head coach Lance Leipold’s team actually seems vulnerable.

Even after they lost to Buffalo State University in the second game this season, the ’Hawks have not been as dominant as the past few seasons, especially offensively.

Last year, the Warhawks barely snuck out a 20-17 win at Oshkosh. Leipold said he knows the Titans have been eagerly awaiting another shot at the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Conference champions. Undoubtedly, the Titans will come to Whitewater and play with a vengeance.

According to D3football.com, the Titans are ranked 10th in the nation, while the ’Hawks are fifth. Despite the rankings, the Titans have a better record than the Warhawks and are coming off an impressive 34-13 win over UW-Platteville, who the ’Hawks beat by just one point.

The Warhawk offense will have to put forth its best performance of the season to win on Saturday, and a huge, electric crowd would definitely help the cause.

Experienced athletes, especially football players, like nothing better than going into an opposing stadium and silencing the crowd. The Titans know their only chance to win at Perkins Stadium is to steal the momentum early and never release it.

Junior linebacker Cole Klotz said the key to this Saturday’s game will be momentum. He said the crowd’s excitement and a great atmosphere can be key in that regard.

Even for non-football fans, the game on Saturday will be an experience every UW-Whitewater student should partake in.

Both teams are undefeated in WIAC play, so the winner of Saturday’s contest will gain control in the race for a conference championship.

Students, alumni and fans can help the ’Hawks get that advantage simply by being loud.

The key to a great home-field advantage is having great fans. To those watching the game on Saturday, do not stop cheering at any point during the game.

Whether the Warhawks are winning, tied or losing, they need and will use the crowd. Cheer loudly when the Titans are on offense, be quieter when the ’Hawks are trying to score and go crazy after every positive play.

UW-Whitewater students have been spoiled by the perennial greatness of the Warhawk football program.

Just because the team has been winning forever does not make it any less impressive. The program has brought so much positive publicity and recognition to the university.

Now, finally, the team might need our support to get through a tough game. The least we can do is go to Perkins Stadium on Saturday, be loud and let the Titans know whose house they’re in.

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