The No. 3 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater football team suffered its only loss of the regular season Saturday night, suffering a 27-20 defeat at UW-Oshkosh in a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest at Titan Stadium in Oshkosh.
The Warhawks (9-1 overall, 6-1 WIAC), who now share the WIAC championship with the Titans, seek a Pool C, or at-large, bid to the NCAA Playoffs during Sunday’s Selection Show, which airs at 4:30 p.m. on NCAA.com. UW-W was ranked first in the NCAA West Regional rankings entering Saturday’s game. The NCAA Playoffs begin next Saturday. (UPDATE: The Warhawks will host Monmouth (IL) (7-2) on Sat., 11/23 at noon.
UW-Whitewater out-gained UW-Oshkosh (8-2, 6-1) 328-236 in total yards, held a 19-12 advantage on first downs and possessed the ball for more than 33 minutes, but committed five turnovers, the most by a Warhawk team since Oct. 21, 2006, in a win against UW-Platteville.
Junior running back Alex Peete rushed 20 times for 80 yards and one touchdown, and senior running back Jarrod Ware posted 11 carries for 72 yards. Junior wide receiver JT Parish caught five passes for 64 yards to lead the receiving corps.
Senior linebacker Jacob Erbs totaled a game-high 13 tackles to lead the defense. Senior linebacker Matt Anderson was one of four UW-W players who registered four stops, including one sack.
After turning the Titans over on downs to start the game, the Warhawks posted a 13-play, 61-yard drive capped by a 28-yard field goal by junior kicker Wojciech Gasienica to take a 3-0 lead with 6:25 left in the first quarter.
After a 15-play, 71-yard drive that ended with a UW-Oshkosh touchdown, UW-Whitewater responded with a four-play, 62-yard touchdown drive. Junior quarterback Zach Oles hit Parish for 29 yards, and Ware carried on the next play for 34 yards. Two plays later, Oles hit junior tight end Michael Berentes for a 3-yard score to make it 10-7 with 13:23 to play in the second quarter.
Later in the quarter, the Titans capitalized on a Warhawk turnover, driving 75 yards in eight plays for a 14-10 advantage at the 6:00 mark of the period.
UW-Whitewater forced another turnover on downs later in the quarter, and turned good field position into three more points as Gasienica nailed a 29-yard field goal to bring the Warhawks within 14-13 just before the half.
UW-Whitewater held the ball for more than 12 minutes in the third quarter, taking a 20-14 lead with 38 seconds left in the frame on Peete’s 3-yard touchdown run, his 11th of the season.
The Warhawks forced a three-and-out early in the fourth quarter, but a 67-yard punt by the Titans flipped the field, and the momentum turned to UW-O’s favor.
The Titans took the lead for good at the 9:14 mark of the fourth on a touchdown on fourth down. They added two more field goals and ended each of UW-Whitewater’s last four drives with turnovers.
Assistant Athletic Director, Strategic Communications and Branding
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater