August 26, 2011

Blue Devils lose some of the star power of years past

More news about: UW-Stout

The UW-Stout football team comes into the 2011 season, the 100th year since the beginning of Stout football, without some star power carried over from the past couple of years.

Due to graduation, the Blue Devils will be without three-time first team all-conference, all-everything running back Craig Warminski and All-American Patrick Mengelkoch, Stout's all-time leading receiving tight end.

In addition, Stout lost second-team all-conference running back Carlos Concepcion and the Blue Devils need to look deep on last year's stat sheet to find someone who returns that caught more than five passes last year.

"It looks like we shouldn't be too excited because we lost so much star power," second year head coach Clayt Birmingham said. "But, we think we have one of the better overall receiving corps we have had in a while. We return nearly the entire offensive line."

Defensively, the Blue Devils return nearly the entire defensive crew that ranked second in the league behind only defending national champion UW-Whitewater. Stout last season finished 6-4 overall, but two of their losses were by one point and a third was by one touchdown. Stout finished third in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) for the second consecutive year.

A key cog in the Blue Devils' success will be third year starting quarterback Ross Carey, a two-time team captain.

While the returning receiving corp had a total of 14 receptions and no touchdowns last year, Carey has proven himself capable of using his entire supporting cast. Carey tossed passes to 13 different players and threw 15 touchdown passes, while running for two more.

Carey completed an efficient 154-for-273 and threw a league-low (for starting quarterbacks) three interceptions. For his career, Carey is 248-for-438 with 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions. While Carey didn't run as much last season as he did the previous season, he did gain 128 yards, third best on the team. In 2009, Carey rushed for 414 yards.

"Carey is a good field general and has a knack for leading the team," Birmingham said. "He may not have the strongest arm, but he is a very efficient, accurate passer. And he can run. Teams know they can't just blitz him because he will take off."

Backing up Carey again this year will be Michael Blizel. Blizel saw limited action at quarterback last season behind Carey, but did complete 4-of-6 passes for 56 yards. At 6-foot, 3-inches, Blizel has good size and a strong arm, Birmingham said. Blizel saw the majority of his action last year as the team's punter and averaged 37.9 yards. Blizel is expected to return as the punter and could see some time as a wide receiver.

The receiving corp is basically an untested and young, but talented group, Birmingham said. The Blue Devils have one senior and the rest are sophomores and juniors and perhaps a sprinkling of freshmen.

Jordan Peterson  is the lone senior of the receiving group. "Jordan is a good route runner," Birmingham said. "He knows how to set up the defense."

Trevor Morning had a strong spring camp. Mike Gervenak caught four passes last season, including a 17-yard pass against UW-La Crosse.  Ryan Haugen will also fit into the receiving scheme.

Josh Peterson is expected to jump into the tight end role vacated by Mengelkoch. Peterson has the most receptions of any returning receiver with seven and averaged 11.1 yards per reception.

Joining Carey in the backfield will be David Goebel at fullback. Goebel started all 10 games and was a very pleasant surprise, Birmingham said.

Goebel played juniors hockey before coming to Stout and has already made in impression with the coaching staff. Goebel averaged 4.1 yards per carry on 16 totes, but led the way blocking for Warminski and Concepcion. He also caught three passes.

Damian Guggenbuehl moves from defensive back where he was fifth on the team in tackles and returns to the offensive backfield. Guggenbuehl was recruited as a running back, but helped to shore up the defensive backfield last season.

"He was such a good athlete, we had to get him on the field," Birmingham said.

The Blue Devils are expecting Eric Brown, a transfer from Fergus Falls Community College where he played not only running back, but quarterback, to work his way into the backfield.

Paul Bernier and Daniel Vyvyan both showed flashes of excitement during last season and should figure into the mix at running back.

The Blue Devils return four of five starters on the offensive line, led by preseason All-America candidate Tyler Butzler at one of the tackles. Grant Weltzin returns as the tackle opposite Butzler.

Joe Gerber earned the starting center spot where he developed in a vocal leader for the offense. Tim Lau started all 10 games last year at guard and proved to be a tough-nosed player throughout the season.

Birmingham expects David Reyes, Devon Greiber, Kody Zahrte, Cody Seibert  and Bemidji State transfer Bryce Nelson to vie for starting and back-up spots.

In contrast to the offense, the Blue Devils return a great deal of their defensive team.

Up front, Cody Price came back last season following a medical red-shirt season to start eight games at defensive tackle. Jamie Rohrig and Dylan Sincere will be looking at spots.

Chris Haynes and John Van Gundy will vie for the nose tackle spot. Haynes played both offensive and defensive line last season. Van Gundy has seen considerable action over the last two years.

Jake Johnson, Travis Mueller, Ryan Ericksen and Kyle Ahrens will be looking at the defensive end spots. Johnson, Mueller and Ericksen have seen action.

Ryan Pearcy and Trevor Fiege anchor the linebacker spots, and both are very solid players, Birmingham said.

Pearcy earned first team all-conference selection last season and Fiege was an honorable mention choice. The team's top two tacklers, Pearcy was fourth in the WIAC in tackles with 81, 32 solo, while Fiege was ninth with 71, 40 solo.

Lee Kostick, Spencer Adler and David Lindell will assume linebacker roles.

The defensive backfield lost first team cornerback Adam Churchill, but return the rest of the crew.

Tyler Park (So, Susanville, Calif) and Billy Rosenthal (Jr, Wyoming, Minn) both worked opposite Churchill last year. Rosenthal matched Churchill for team honors with three interceptions.

Stout returns Aaron Kobes and Jason Brenner at the safety positions.

Kobes, who had floated around offensively as a quarterback and wide receiver before switching over to defense last season, found a home at strong safety.

"Aaron is just a work horse," Birmingham said. "We needed to have him on the field. He is a great captain and a hard hitter." Kobes was third on the team last year in tackles with 65 and led Stout with eight tackles for loss.

Brenner has been a quarterback on defense, Birmingham said. "He is a smart football player who gets the guys lined up," Birmingham said.

Birmingham is also waiting to look at a number of incoming freshmen to see where they will be able to fit in.

Speaking of fitting in, Richard Marteney earned his spot last season as the team's place kicker. Starting with the second game where he won the game, 27-24, on a last minute field goal, Marteney made 30 consecutive extra-point attempts, missing his final attempt of the season. Against Eureka, Marteney set a school record by making nine extra-point attempts. Marteney connected on 11 field goals throughout the season.

"Ricky just got more confidence as the season went on," Birmingham said.

On special teams, the Blue Devils will need to find return specialists. Concepcion and Warminski took care of the majority of the kickoff returns and Warminski handled the punt return duties.

"We will get our best guys and put them back there," Birmingham said.

"Our men are excited about the year," Birmingham said about the upcoming season. "This is one of the best-led teams. This senior class is a bunch of good leaders.

"This is our year. We need to make our move."

The Blue Devils will open their season Saturday, Sept. 3 when they host NCAA Division II Black Hills State University at 1 p.m. at Don & Nona Williams Stadium.

comments powered by Disqus
Sep. 4: All times Eastern
8:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Tex. A&M-Commerce
Audio
Sep. 5: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Anna Maria at Worcester State
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Albright at Kean
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
Live Stats Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
WPI at Curry
Live Stats Live Stats
7:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Bridgewater State
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
William Paterson at SUNY-Maritime
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Ursinus at TCNJ
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
Live Stats Video
7:30 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
Live Stats
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats Live Stats Audio Audio
8:00 PM
Waldorf at UW-Whitewater
Live Stats
Sep. 6: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Dickinson at Hobart
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
Holland College (PEI, Canada) at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Otterbein at St. John Fisher
Live Stats Audio Audio
12:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
12:00 PM
Pomona-Pitzer at MIT
Preview Video
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
Video
12:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Johns Hopkins
Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Cortland State at Buffalo State
Live Stats
1:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Coast Guard
Video
1:00 PM
Thomas More at Wesley
Live Stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton State
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
Audio
1:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Averett
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Wabash
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Kalamazoo
Live Stats Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Wilmington at Olivet
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Alfred State at Morrisville State
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Brockport State
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Montclair State
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Southern Virginia at Methodist
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Marietta at Kenyon
1:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Apprentice
1:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Sewanee at DePauw
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Bluffton
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Adrian at Defiance
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
RPI at Norwich
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Alma at Heidelberg
1:30 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Bridgewater (Va.) at Gettysburg
Video Audio
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
Audio
1:30 PM
St. Vincent at John Carroll
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Bethany
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Franklin at Illinois Wesleyan
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Rhodes at Austin
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Platteville at Buena Vista
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Washington U.
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at St. John's
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Crown at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Simpson at Iowa Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Lawrence at Rockford
2:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Audio
2:00 PM
Coe at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
Presentation at Luther
Video
2:00 PM
Martin Luther at Maranatha Baptist
Video
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Culver-Stockton
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Dakota Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
Ripon at St. Scholastica
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Hendrix at Westminster (Mo.)
Video
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
Audio Audio
3:00 PM
St. Norbert at Carthage
Live Stats Video
4:00 PM
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Puget Sound
4:00 PM
Lewis and Clark at Whitworth
Live Stats Video
4:00 PM
College of Idaho at Pacific
Live Stats Video Audio
4:30 PM
Arizona Christian at George Fox
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Salisbury at Christopher Newport
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Case Western Reserve
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Stevenson at N.C. Wesleyan
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Butler at Wittenberg
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Preview Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Taylor (Ind.) at Anderson
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Denison at Earlham
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Aurora at Illinois College
7:00 PM
Albion at UW-Stevens Point
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at North Park
7:00 PM
Beloit at Chicago
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Howard Payne at Trinity (Texas)
Audio
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Millsaps
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas Lutheran
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at UW-Oshkosh
7:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Dubuque
Live Stats Video
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
Video
7:30 PM
Central at Benedictine
Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
St. Olaf at Northwestern (Minn.)
8:00 PM
Hamline at Minnesota-Morris
8:00 PM
Lake Forest at Wisconsin Lutheran
Live Stats Audio
8:00 PM
Wartburg at Augsburg
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
8:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
Dec. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at UW-Whitewater 52, Mount Union 14
@ Salem Stadium; Salem, Va.
Recap Photos Photos
Dec. 14: All times Eastern
Final
UW-Whitewater 16, at Mary Hardin-Baylor 15
Recap Recap Photos
Final
at Mount Union 41, North Central (Ill.) 40
Box Score Recap Recap Photos

What We're Reading