UW-Stout kicked off their season with a resounding 31-0 defeat over the Jimmies of Jamestown College. After close contests the last two seasons versus the Jimmies, both of which were decided by three points, Stout's impressive defensive effort and a huge day from wide receiver Trevor Morning (Jr, Bloomer) helped the Blue Devils to a dominant season opening victory.
Morning turned in a career effort in helping the Blue Devils capture the victory, hauling in four passes for 155 yards and a touchdown.
On his first reception of the day, Morning caught the ball near the visitor's sideline and nearly outran the entire defense, taking it 85 yards midway through the second, putting the Blue Devils in position to score. Two plays later, quarterback Michael Blizel (Sr, Sturgeon Bay) ran in from 1-yard out for the only score of the first half.
Morning's first grab seemed to knock Stout of their offensive funk. In the first half, the two teams combined for five total turnovers and 13 punts.
Midway through the third period, Morning broke open again, this time splitting the cornerback and safety over the middle in hauling in a 49 yard touchdown reception.
Stout's defense also turned in a stellar effort, limiting the Jimmies to 157 total yards and only 16 yards on the ground.
They also forced two turnovers, the first a drive killing fumble at Stout's own 23 after the Jimmies offense drove the ball 44 yards and looked to be gaining momentum. After linebacker David Lindell (Jr, New Richland, Minn) fell on the loose ball, the Stout defense stepped up and Jamestown had only one drive the rest of the day that netted over 25 yards.
With a physical, attacking approach, the Blue Devils were able to put pressure on Jamestown's quarterbacks on nearly every play, sacking them a total of five times. Jamie Rohrig (So, Owatonna, Minn) led the way up front, recording two sacks. Stout's secondary also played a big role as they combined for six pass break ups and Damian Guggenbuehl (Jr, La Crosse) intercepted a pass to get Stout the ball back after a turnover.
Making his first career start at quarterback, Blizel turned in a solid effort, making up for two early interceptions to finish 15-29 for 262 yards and two touchdown tosses. He also impressed with his legs, at one point breaking off a 20 yard run through the middle of the Jamestown defense.
After punting the ball away six times in the first half, Stout's offense finally got going and scored on four of their six possesions in the half, putting together three drives of 60-plus yards.
After Morning's 49 yard score and a defensive stop forced Jamestown to punt, Stout marched back up the field and scored again on a Ricky Marteney (Jr, Greenfield) 43-yard field goal that matched his career long from a year ago. The Blue Devil defense came up with another stop as the fourth quarter began, getting the ball back for the offense.
Stout drove down the field and scored again, this time on a leaping touchdown catch by tight end Josh Peterson (Sr, Cedar Grove) from seven yards away, putting the Blue Devils ahead 24-0.
With a little over six minutes to go, Jamestown put together a drive of their own, going 51 yards downfield to threaten, but the Blue Devil defense dug in and forced a turnover on downs.
This set the stage for the drive that would end in what was by far the most bizarre play of the game.
Starting at their own 40 yard line, Stout's first play of the drive was a rush by running back Tanner Kuehn (So, Fairchild), who dashed up the middle for a gain of 22. Two more runs got Stout five more yards when back-up quarterback Hank Kujak (So. Blair) dropped back and hit a wide open Cody Rosemeyer (So, Gilman) who quickly turned upfield and sprinted towards the endzone. At about the five yard line he hit a Jamestown defender and as he fell forward the ball popped loose into the endzone, sending players from both sides hurtling toward the ball in an effort to recover. Two Stout players were the first to get there, but the ball squirted away toward two Jamestown players. They had just as much trouble picking up the ball as it danced away from them too and Jordan Nelson (Jr, Maple Grove, Minn.) came hurtling forward and snatched the ball before it could roll off again, scoring his first career touchdown, putting the Blue Devils ahead, 31-0.
Stouts offense also got a huge lift from running back Eric Brown (Sr, St. Paul, Min), who racked up 94 yards on 16 carries, and Peterson who caught five passes for 50 yards as well as a touchdown.
Whilel the Blue Devil defense was keeping Jamestown in check, the Stoutoffense tallied 452 total yards, 295 through the air and 157 on the ground.
Spencer Adler (Jr, Little Chute) finished the day with 12 tackles. eight solo, while Tyler Naatz (So, Menomonie) had 11 tackles, three solo, and two pass break ups. Jeremy Troupe-Masi (Sr, Fremont, Calif) had 10 tackles, six solo.
The Blue Devils will host 13th ranked North Central College, Saturday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m.