Editor’s note: The following is from texasfootball.com. Regular sports readers may be expecting the usual timely report from Chris Lindeke, who served for a number of years as Assistant Athletic Director, Strategic Communications and Branding, UW-W. Lindeke recently accepted a position with another organization. He will be missed. The Banner does not know whether another individual is being sought for this position.
Evan Lewandowski led No. 6 UW-Whitewater to a thrilling 28-24 win over No. 1 Mary Hardin-Baylor, who received stellar play from quarterback Kyle King in the loss.
The Game of the Week lived up to expectations. Well, sort of – Mary Hardin-Baylor was expected to win, but it was Wisconsin-Whitewater’s touchdown with 19 seconds left that sent the Warhawks to a 28-24 win.
The victory is the 43rd consecutive win at Perkins Stadium for UW-Whitewater, and the 14,213 fans in attendance helped spur their team to victory. UMHB is now 2-7 all-time against the Warhawks and has never won two consecutive games in the series.
Neither team led by more than four points in a game that featured five lead changes, while both teams were close in rushing yards, with the Warhawks owning a slight edge (410-336) in total yards.
So, how did UW-Whitewater pull off the upset? Let’s dig into that.
The big Lewandowski
In the GOTW preview, I said the UMHB defense was the X-factor. I was wrong again. The X-factor on Saturday was UW-Whitewater quarterback Evan Lewandowski. The senior from Buffalo Grove, Ill., completed 28 of 35 pass attempts (80 percent) for 301 yards and three touchdowns.
Lewandowski’s first incompletion in the game happened with 7:30 left in the third quarter, and at least three of his seven incompletions were catchable passes dropped by the wide receivers.
The Cru stubbornly and, at times, frustratingly played a two-deep zone for the majority of the game. However, when UMHB started mixing in some man coverage from a two-deep look, Lewandowski scrambled and found an open receiver.
The UMHB defense had no answer for Lewandowski today, and to be honest, I don’t know if anyone would’ve had a response with how brilliantly he played.
When UMHB showed some chippiness in the second half, it felt more like a team flailing after being hit in the mouth. It’s possible the Cru “ate the cheese” after last week with so many pundits declaring them the national champion.
This loss may provide the motivation the Cru needs to play with a chip on their shoulders and lead to another national title run, but only time will tell. UMHB will be ready for Southwestern next weekend and will likely cruise to a win, but what happens against HSU in two weeks? Will that chip remain throughout the rest of the regular season and the playoffs? Again, only time will tell……
Game Ball: UW-Whitewater quarterback Evan Lewandowski
There are other candidates for this honor, including Tyler Holte, who had ten receptions for 124 yards and two touchdowns, and Tommy Coates, who had a breakout performance in a needed win for the Warhawks. But what Lewandowski did against the reigning national champions in the face of pressure earns him the game ball.