Posted October 15, 2019
The UW-River Falls men’s football team has its homecoming game scheduled for Oct. 19 at David Smith Stadium against UW-La Crosse.
At UWRF the homecoming game is often one of the most popular on-campus events of the year. The crowd is larger, the fans are louder, and the university assembles to support its football team on home turf for one of the biggest games of the season.
However, for UWRF Head Coach Matt Walker, homecoming is just another game in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) against one of the best teams in the league. According to UWRFsports.com, in their last seven games against UW-La Crosse, the Falcons have an overall record of 2-5 with the most recent win coming in fall 2015.
“It’s like any other team in the league. They’re talented. The margin of error is small. We’ve had a couple of days where we haven’t played great and it’s hurt us,” Walker said. “For a while there we had a nice run going against them. In the last few years, we’ve struggled to finish them off.”
Against WIAC opponents like the UW-La Crosse Eagles — who have had a winning season for the last two years — Walker said he will plan around his veteran players to lead the team. Walker said he will take advantage of the big-game experience that many players on his roster already have.
“For new guys to the program or guys that haven’t played a lot of conference snaps, it’s taxing on those guys early,” Walker said. “So, they need guys like Max Praschak, Ben Beckman, Alex Herink and Charlie Sanders. These guys that have been through the dog fights of the league already. We need their leadership to help get guys through it.”
In addition to leadership from the senior members of the roster, the Falcon defense will have to take advantage of what has been one of La Crosse’s few below average areas: rushing the football. According to the WIAC Sports website, La Crosse is in last place in the WIAC for rushing offense. The Eagles are averaging only 73.3 yards per game through their three games this season.
If the Falcons want to have a winning season for the first time in nearly two decades, they will need to take advantage of their homecoming game and get their season back on course by defeating UW-La Crosse.
Homecoming events are scheduled to run throughout the day on Saturday with kickoff for the homecoming football game scheduled for 1 p.m. at Dave Smith Stadium.