Sometimes it’s not only how you play but who you play.
The Whitworth Pirates are struggling at 1-5, but those losses have come against opponents with a combined 22-5 record. That won’t be the case when Pacific, winless since bringing back its football program in 2010, visits the Pine Bowl at 1 p.m. today.
The Boxers (0-6, 0-3) were competitive in three nonconference losses, but they lost by 26, 42 and 43 to Northwest Conference foes Lewis & Clark, Willamette and Linfield – teams with a combined 13-3 record. Whitworth has dropped four straight games for the first time since 1999. The Pirates’ five losses are by two, 10, seven, three and eight points.
“The past few weeks it’s been a couple of plays, which is the case in all close games,” Pirates coach John Tully said. “Our players just need to somehow find a way to make that key play that puts us over the top.”
Whitworth turned to back-up quarterback Zac Hill in the second half and he directed two fourth-quarter touchdown drives in last week’s 30-22 loss to Lewis & Clark.
“Bryan (Peterson) had been beat up a little bit and we stalled on a couple drives, so decided to go with Zac,” Tully said. “He played pretty well.”
Hill will probably start, but a final decision hasn’t been made, Tully said. Peterson is battling a “hip problem,” Tully said, and hasn’t been able to practice this week.
Whitworth has yielded 34 sacks while registering just four. Linebacker Ryan Loutsis and receiver Devon Lind will return from one-game absences from concussions, but defensive lineman Ian Schneidmiller (concussion) won’t play.