UWF football versus Shorter University preview
by Christian Skewes
Saturday, September 14 the UWF football team will face the Shorter University Hawks at Barron Stadium in Rome, Georgia. This game also marks West Florida’s first match up in GSC conference play.
Last week the Argos (0-1 GSC 0-0) dropped a close away game to Carson-Newman in a 20-13 shootout. With another road game this week UWF has an opportunity to gain a 1-0 record in GSC play, however, Shorter (0-1 GSC 0-0) is going to make them earn it.
“Shorter plays extremely hard for how young of a team they are,” wide receiver Quentin Randolph said. “They are aggressive and have a relentless motor.”
The Hawks dropped their season opener against East Tennessee State University in a 48-10 game. Nonetheless, the Shorter offense still amassed 10 first downs, over 100 passing yards and managed to move the ball down the field.
Against Carson-Newman the Argo secondary did manage to hold them to 88 passing yards and only eight completions the whole game. However, UWF did struggle against the run giving up two touchdowns and 334 rushing yards.
All in all, defensively speaking if the Argos can manage to shut down the Hawks early on in the game and give the ball back to their offense West Florida has a chance to stun the crowd at Barron Stadium.
On the other side of the ball execution and finishing plays is the focus for the Argo offense.
“Overall as an offense we need to start taking pride in executing,” Randolph said. “We need to realize we can put up points abundantly; we are looking to make a statement this week.”
Against Carson-Newman UWF put up 262 yards of total offense: 194 passing yards for 15 completions out of 31 attempts and 68 rushing yards on 27 carries. The Argo rush game will need to play a big role in the game this week if they look to win.
“We need to prove that we can run the ball,” left guard Joe Wintrick said. “If we can establish a solid run game then the passing game will open up for us as well. We are already a great passing team but the run will complement the pass.”
In a season riddled with away games (UWF only has 5 home games for 2019) the players and the coaching staff have managed to keep a positive outlook on not playing at home for the first couple games of the season.
“We don’t mind away games, we actually have a better (overall) away record than our home record,” Wintrick said. “The coaches take care of us on the road with good food and constant Powerade and water. They lay out a pretty well organized plan for us and we manage to get about 10 of sleep every night on the road.”
When asked about the game this week, Wintrick said his teammates and him are confident in their game plan and are going into the game with a chip on their shoulder.
“Last week’s loss was tough,” Wintrick said. “We made a lot of mental mistakes and it costs us the game.”
Wintrick continued, “Nobody wants to open the season up that way. We are learning and growing every day and we plan on making a statement this week against Shorter.”