UWA looks to bounce back against Wolves

Published 10:10 am Friday, October 25, 2013

According to West Alabama head football coach Will Hall, there are two kinds of football teams and his Tigers may have been both in the last week.

“There are two types of teams in this earth, those that are humble and those that are about to be humbled,” Hall said. “We got humbled this past weekend at Midwestern State.”

So what’s next for the Tigers? At 5-2 overall and 3-0 in the Gulf South Conference, UWA is host to GSC rival West Georgia at Tiger Stadium Saturday at 6 p.m. The Wolves are 4-3 and 1-2 after throwing a scare into defending NCAA Division II national champion Valdosta State last week in a 35-30 loss.

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“West Georgia is a tremendous football program and they will be coming in here trying to end our season,” Hall said. “We have a lot to prove. We were a great football team for the first six weeks of the season and all of a sudden we looked like a bad junior varsity team with a bad head coach.

“If we want to win the conference then we have to win this game, but it’s really about more than that,” Hall said. “It’s about pride, character, integrity and protecting who you are as a human being and as a man. We misrepresented ourselves out in Texas last week.”

West Alabama comes into the game leading the GSC in total offense (529.6 ypg), scoring (45.4 ppg), rushing offense (293.1 ypg) and rushing defense (105.9 ypg).

West Georgia leads the GSC in total defense (322.9 ypg), pass defense (124.9 ypg) and pass efficiency defense (108.0). The Wolves have intercepted seven passes, returning two for touchdowns.

West Georgia leads the series 18-12, but West Alabama has won three straight over the Wolves and four of the last five. The Tigers and Wolves have split the last 10 meetings.

West Alabama has been good both at home and in GSC play under Hall. The Tigers have won eight straight regular season GSC games and are 14-2 at Tiger Stadium under their third-year head coach.

“We are a good football team when we play with passion, play with energy and execute,” Hall said, “We are a good football team when we play Tiger football the right way. We are itching to get back on the field and prove that.”

West Alabama and West Georgia are the top two rushing teams in the Gulf South Conference, combining for over 3,500 yards between them. The Tigers averaged 293.1 yards on the ground on the strength of running backs Kedrick Rhodes (89.6 ypg) and Javae Swindle (68.0 ypg).

Tiger quarterback Gary Johnston set the UWA career rushing touchdowns record last week with a 2-yard TD run at Midwestern State, giving him 23. Kyle Caldwell, who splits time under center with Johnston, has moved to second on the UWA career touchdown passing list with 40.

General admission tickets are available for $10 and may be purchased at the gate.

There will be no television for the game, but Tiger fans can follow the action locally on ESPN 104.9 or globally at www.espn1049.com with James Hardy and Hunter Gibson calling the Homecoming game action.