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
Oct. 24: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
Oct. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Hobart at RPI
Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
Massachusetts Maritime at Mass-Dartmouth
Preview Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Maine Maritime at Nichols
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Alfred
Video
12:00 PM
Salisbury at Ithaca
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Plymouth State
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Morrisville State at Southern Virginia
Live Stats Live Stats Video Audio
12:30 PM
Bowdoin at Wesleyan
Live Stats Video
12:30 PM
Middlebury at Trinity (Conn.)
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Alfred State
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Colby at Bates
Preview Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Tufts at Amherst
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Wesley at Virginia-Lynchburg
Audio
1:00 PM
Husson at Castleton State
Live Stats Video Tickets
1:00 PM
Williams at Hamilton
Live Stats Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
FDU-Florham at Stevenson
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
DePauw at Allegheny
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Moravian at Franklin and Marshall
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Kalamazoo at Olivet
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Albion at Trine
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Mount Ida at Gallaudet
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Cortland State at Kean
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Adrian
Live Stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Shenandoah
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Catholic at Emory and Henry
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Hope at Alma
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at St. Vincent
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Dickinson at McDaniel
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Guilford at Randolph-Macon
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Methodist at N.C. Wesleyan
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Ursinus
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Kenyon at Wittenberg
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Rowan at Montclair State
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Springfield at St. Lawrence
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Misericordia at Delaware Valley
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Wabash
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Hiram at Ohio Wesleyan
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Wilkes at Lebanon Valley
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Juniata at Muhlenberg
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
King's at Albright
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
William Paterson at TCNJ
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Sewanee at Millsaps
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Endicott at Coast Guard
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Mount Union
Preview Live Stats Audio Tickets
1:30 PM
Capital at John Carroll
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Rose-Hulman at Franklin
Live Stats Video Video Audio
1:30 PM
Grove City at Thomas More
Live Stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Widener at Lycoming
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Marietta at Heidelberg
1:30 PM
Waynesburg at Thiel
Video
1:30 PM
Rochester at Union
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Anderson at Mount St. Joseph
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Manchester at Bluffton
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Otterbein at Baldwin Wallace
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Utica at Buffalo State
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Brockport State at Hartwick
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Becker at SUNY-Maritime
Live Stats Live Stats
2:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Bridgewater (Va.)
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Washington and Jefferson
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Westfield State
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Benedictine
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
LaGrange at Huntingdon
Video
2:00 PM
Aurora at Lakeland
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Berry at Birmingham-Southern
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Rockford at Concordia (Wis.)
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-Eau Claire at UW-River Falls
Video Audio Tickets
2:00 PM
Carleton at St. John's
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Hamline at Concordia-Moorhead
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Augsburg at St. Olaf
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Lake Forest at Illinois College
Video
2:00 PM
Loras at Simpson
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Dubuque
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Beloit at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Carroll at Ripon
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Lawrence at Macalester
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Texas Lutheran
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Augustana at Carthage
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Illinois Wesleyan
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Millikin at North Park
Audio
2:00 PM
Central at Coe
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Luther at Wartburg
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Cornell at Monmouth
2:00 PM
Martin Luther at Minnesota-Morris
2:00 PM
Crown at MacMurray
2:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Greenville
2:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Westminster (Mo.)
Video
2:00 PM
Grinnell at Knox
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at UW-Whitewater
Live Stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at UW-Stevens Point
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Concordia (Mich.) at Maranatha Baptist
Video
2:10 PM
St. Thomas at Bethel
Live Stats Video Audio
2:30 PM
Rhodes at Centre
Live Stats Video
2:30 PM
Defiance at Earlham
Live Stats
2:30 PM
Washington U. at Chicago
Preview Live Stats Video
3:00 PM
Norwich at Anna Maria
Live Stats Video
3:00 PM
UW-Platteville at UW-Stout
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
3:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Howard Payne
Live Stats Live Stats Audio Audio
4:00 PM
WPI at Merchant Marine
Live Stats Video
4:00 PM
Linfield at Lewis and Clark
Live Stats Video Audio
4:00 PM
Willamette at Pacific Lutheran
Live Stats Audio
4:00 PM
Redlands at La Verne
Live Stats Video Audio
4:00 PM
Puget Sound at Whitworth
Live Stats Video Audio
4:00 PM
Pacific at George Fox
Live Stats Video Audio
5:00 PM
Western New England at MIT
Live Stats Video
5:00 PM
Worcester State at Western Connecticut
Live Stats
5:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Louisiana College
Audio
6:00 PM
Ferrum at Averett
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Muskingum at Ohio Northern
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Wooster at Denison
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Christopher Newport
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Bethany at Geneva
8:00 PM
Eureka at St. Scholastica
Live Stats Live Stats Video
8:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Wheaton (Ill.)
Live Stats Video Audio
10:00 PM
Chapman at Cal Lutheran
Live Stats Video Audio
10:00 PM
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Occidental
Live Stats Video Audio
10:00 PM
Whittier at Pomona-Pitzer
Live Stats Video
Oct. 25: All times Eastern
8:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Wheaton (Ill.)
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Washington and Jefferson
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Grove City at Thomas More
Live Stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Mount Union
Preview Live Stats Audio Tickets
1:30 PM
Capital at John Carroll
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Wesley at Virginia-Lynchburg
Audio
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Shenandoah
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Wabash
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Alfred State
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Kenyon at Wittenberg
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Misericordia at Delaware Valley
Live Stats Audio
3:00 PM
UW-Platteville at UW-Stout
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:10 PM
St. Thomas at Bethel
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
Hobart at RPI
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at UW-Whitewater
Live Stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Luther at Wartburg
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Texas Lutheran
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Hamline at Concordia-Moorhead
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at UW-Stevens Point
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Carleton at St. John's
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
4:00 PM
Linfield at Lewis and Clark
Live Stats Video Audio
4:00 PM
Willamette at Pacific Lutheran
Live Stats Audio
Oct. 24: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins

What We're Reading