After absorbing two straight losses to football teams that share the Northwest Conference lead, Whitworth entertains last-place Puget Sound today at the Pine Bowl.
It’s a favorable matchup on paper, but Pirates coach John Tully listed several concerns.
UPS (0-5, 0-2) has given up at least 55 points in each of its last four games, but the Loggers are an offensive threat with sophomore quarterback Braden Foley (1,334 passing yards, 11 touchdowns) and senior receiver Adam Kniffen (44 receptions, 731 yards, 10 touchdowns).
Whitworth (5-2, 1-2) lost starting cornerback/kick returner Paul Miller (knee) in last week’s 54-14 loss to Linfield. He’s the sixth defensive player to suffer a season-ending injury, including five starters.
“They’re a very good offensive team and they have the ability to put up some numbers,” Tully said. “Obviously, we’re challenged because we have some new guys playing. They’re going to have to step up. Whenever you lose the amount of guys we have, it doesn’t just impact the defense and offense. It impacts your special teams.”
Whitworth finished with just 225 total yards against Linfield, 101 coming on two fourth-quarter scoring drives. The Pirates struggled on both sides of the ball in the second half of a 38-24 loss to Willamette two weeks ago.
Whitworth’s 63-35 win over UPS to close the 2010 season was the beginning of the Loggers’ current 15-game losing streak.