Blue Devils so close to pulling off win over eighth ranked Titans
MENOMONIE (October 5, 2013) - Missed opportunities and turnovers proved to be the difference in the game, as UW-Stout fell to the eighth ranked Titans of UW-Oshkosh 28-26 on a rainy afternoon at Don and Nona Williams Stadium Saturday.
In a game that looked like a blow-out early, the Blue Devils (2-2, 0-1) never gave up, coming back from a 21-0 first quarter deficit, outscoring Oshkosh (4-0, 1-0) 26-7 the rest of the way.
The Blue Devils scored on six straight possessions, but had to settle for field goals on four of them despite driving inside the opponent's 20-yard line on all six.
Stout's defense came up with a number of big stops, none bigger than a goal line stand with a minute to go that gave the Blue Devils a chance to win at the end.
With the rain coming down, Stout began the drive on their own one yard line trailing 28-26 with a minute to go. A roughing the passer call combined with an unsportsmanlike conduct on the very first play gave the Blue Devils a huge boost, setting them up on the 31 yard line on first down.
Two Hank Kujak (Jr, Blair) completions and a spike to stop the clock found the Blue Devils on Oshkosh's 46 with 21 seconds to go. On the next play, a tipped pass for an interception by Reece Dziedzic dashed the Blue Devil's hopes, sealing the win for the Titans.
Kujak finished 19-42 for 243 yards and a touchdown to go with three interceptions on the day.
Oshkosh got the scoring started early in the first, after an interception gave the Titans the ball at Stout's 29 yard line. Seven plays later, Cole Myhra punched it in from 3 yards out for a 7-0 Oshkosh lead.
After another Stout punt, Oshkosh took over at their own 43. After a 3-yard pickup on first down, Titan quarterback Nick Olla was able to buy some time with his feet, avoiding the rush and finding Joe Sommers down the sideline for a 54-yard touchdown pass, putting Oshkosh up 14-0.
Another three-and-out by Stout led to another Titan's touchdown, with Olla finding Zach Kasuboski for 52 yards and a 21-0 Oshkosh lead.
A penalty on the ensuing kick-off put the Blue Devils on their own 8-yard line to start the next drive. On the first play, Adolfo Pacheco (Fr, South Elgin, Ill.) took the handoff to the left and exploded for 54 yards, setting up Stout in Oshkosh territory.
Six plays later, Pacheco bulled his way into the endzone with three Titans hanging on to put Stout on the board, cutting the lead to 21-7.
Pacheco finished with a team-high 94 yards on 13 carries.
The Blue Devils were able to tack on a pair of Ricky Marteney (Sr, Greenfield) field goals from 22 and 25 yards out to go into the half trailing 21-13.
Setting up the second of his field goals was a fake field goal on 4th and four, when holder Tyler Naatz (Jr, Menomonie) found David Goebel (Sr, Minnetonka, Minn.) for a 19-yard gain to give the Blue Devils first and goal. Stout was unable to capitolize however, and had to settle for three anyway.
Oshkosh got the second half started with a 16-play, 75-yard drive that ate up over six minutes of clock, capped off by a scoring strike from Olla to Caleb Voss from 14 yards out. A Nate Ray extra-point gave the Titans a 28-13 lead.
Three Titan penalties on the Blue Devils next drive, including a facemask after a 33-yard catch by Cody Rosemeyer (Jr, Gilman) gave Stout the ball on Oshkosh's 7-yard line. Facing third and goal, Kujak was able to find Trevor Morning (Sr, Bloomer) in the back of the endzone for six to cut the lead to 28-20.
Morning, who also caught a 47-yarder from Kujak in the first half to set up a Stout field goal, finished with 4 receptions for 98 yards. Rosemeyer had 5 grabs for 75 on the day.
After a Oshkosh punt, the Blue Devils put together another impressive drive, going 70 yards on 16 plays. Another Marteney field goal, this time from 29 yards away, made the score 28-23 going into the fourth quarter.
Another Oshkosh punt on their next possession gave Stout the ball back, and Kujak led the team down the field, completing 4-9 passes for 31 yards and rushing for 22 more. A false start and a holding penalty pushed the Blue Devils back however, and they were forced to settle for a field goal. Marteney put it through from 44-yards out, a career long, and the Blue Devils drew within two, 28-26, with just over eight minutes remaining.
Marteney went a perfect 4-4 on field goal attempts and 2-2 on extra points, moving into second on the Blue Devils all-time scoring list. He now has 194 points for his career.
A big sack by defensive lineman Kevin Houts (Jr, Bloomington, Minn.) brought the Titan punt team back on the field and Stout took over on their own 39 with 6:21 to go. A Mitch Schultz interception on the second play of the drive seemed to kill the Blue Devils chances, as the Titans took over in Stout territory.
The Titans were able to convert a fourth-and-four to keep the drive alive, but the Blue Devils huge defensive stop on fourth-and-goal from the one gave Stout's offense one last chance to win the game.
Penalties were the story of the second half, as the Titans commited nine for 111 yards. For the game, the Titans had 15 total penalties for 156 yards, compared to only six for 50 yards against Stout.
Running back Tanner Kuehn (Jr, Fairchild) had 65 yards on a team-high 17 carries for Stout. Receiver Brian Alvarez (Jr, Atwater, Cal.) had 4 catches for 43 yards.
Leading the way defensively for the Blue Devils were linebackers Luke Bakkum (Jr, Oconomowoc) and David Lindell (Sr, New Richland, Minn.). Bakkum had 11 tackles, six solo while Lindell chipped in 10, three solo. Safety Jake Schiff (Sr, South Range) also had 10 tackles, five solo on the afternoon.
Stout will be at UW-Whitewater, Saturday, Oct. 12 at 2:30 p.m. in a game that will be broadcast on Fox Sports Network - Wisconsin.