The UW-La Crosse football team has defeated UW-Stout 10 consecutive times.
The 13th-ranked Eagles (2-1) will look to make it No. 11 Saturday afternoon, as they open WIAC play for a game that will be streamed on WKTY, beginning at 1:45 p.m. with Drew Kelly and Terry Erickson on the call.
Despite the success against the Blue Devils (2-1), UW-L coach Matt Janus told his team to not expect an easy afternoon.
“We’re going to get their best shot,” Janus said. “I know that. We both hate each other. It’s going to be an extremely physical game. This will be the best game this team plays all year.”
UW-L spent its off week a little differently than other programs might have.
“We know we’re going into the meat of our schedule here the next four weeks,” Janus said. “We took a day and structured our practice around Whitewater one day. The next day it was Platteville, then Wednesday we covered Oshkosh and then Thursday we started on Stout.”
Janus admitted the team needed to get some rest to heal their bodies for the upcoming schedule, which he referred to as a bloodbath.
UW-L is averaging 28 points per game, including two games in which they scored over 30. A major catalyst for that production has been the growth of second-year quarterback, Keyser Helterbrand.
The senior from Hudson, Wis., has completed 76 percent of his passes, throwing for 609 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Janus sees the difference in his play from last year.
“There was stuff he was still working on last year,” Janus said, “and relying on a set of different plays and much more of a quarterback run game with him as opposed to opening it up and throwing it all the time. And there’s confidence for him that he’s the guy.”
Going into Saturday’s contest, Janus said his main focus will be trying to slow down Blue Devil wide receiver Arthur Cox. The senior was a first-team all-conference wide receiver last season, racking up 688 yards and 7 touchdowns. He was also named Special Teams Player of the Year, compiling 297 kickoff return yards.
“I don’t know if our defensive staff has slept this week,” Janus said. “We’re going to try to do a lot of different things. Their staff has had two weeks also. He’s not just going to play receiver. They’re going to use him 9,000 different ways.”