/seasons/2011/contrib/20110826w0see1

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.

The definitive history of the USFL: Football for a Buck, by Jeff Pearlman. Available now!
Sep. 20: All times Eastern
Cancelled
Maryville (Tenn.) at Washington and Lee
Video Live stats Audio
Sep. 21: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Morrisville State
Live stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Bridgewater State
Video Live stats
Sep. 22: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Alvernia at Delaware Valley
Live stats
12:00 PM
Hobart at Endicott
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Massachusetts Maritime
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Buffalo State at RPI
Live stats
12:00 PM
Catholic at MIT
Video Preview Live stats
12:00 PM
Springfield at WPI
Live stats
12:00 PM
Lycoming at FDU-Florham
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Rochester
Video Live stats Audio Audio
12:00 PM
Alfred State at Nichols
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Southern Virginia at Kean
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Maine Maritime at Merchant Marine
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Bowdoin at Middlebury
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Hamilton at Amherst
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Colby at Williams
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Juniata at Muhlenberg
Video Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Moravian at Ursinus
1:00 PM
Montclair State at Christopher Newport
Live stats
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Carnegie Mellon
Video Preview Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Curry at Union
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Franklin and Marshall
Video Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Bates at Trinity (Conn.)
Video Preview Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Dickinson at Johns Hopkins
Video Video Live stats Live stats
1:00 PM
Misericordia at Wilkes
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Rowan at Frostburg State
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Gettysburg
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
DePauw at Wooster
Video Preview Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Stevenson at King's
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Cortland at Alfred
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Grove City at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Bethany at Westminster (Pa.)
1:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Allegheny
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
William Paterson at Wesley
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Apprentice at LaGrange
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Denison at Oberlin
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Anna Maria at Western New England
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Martin Luther at Greenville
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at St. Scholastica
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Minnesota-Morris
1:07 PM
Albright at Widener
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Norwich at Coast Guard
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Anderson at Defiance
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Mount Union
Video Live stats Audio Tickets
1:30 PM
Hanover at Bluffton
Video Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
Westfield State at Worcester State
Live stats
1:30 PM
Geneva at Waynesburg
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Brevard at Virginia-Lynchburg
2:00 PM
Greensboro at Ferrum
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Ithaca at St. John Fisher
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Muskingum at Wilmington
Video Video Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Otterbein
Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Hendrix at Austin
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at North Park
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Rhodes at Birmingham-Southern
2:00 PM
Cal Lutheran at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Millsaps at Sewanee
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Thomas More at Huntingdon
Video
2:00 PM
Carthage at Washington U.
Video Preview Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Augsburg at St. Olaf
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Hamline at Concordia-Moorhead
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Carleton at St. John's
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Illinois College at Chicago
Video Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Bethel
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Wartburg at Nebraska Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Coe at Buena Vista
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Central at Dubuque
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Grinnell at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Crown
Video
2:00 PM
Loras at Luther
Video
2:00 PM
Knox at Ripon
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Macalester at Monmouth
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Carroll at Elmhurst
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Cornell at Beloit
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Lawrence at Lake Forest
Video Live stats
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
Live stats Audio
2:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Earlham
Video Live stats
2:30 PM
Dean at Becker
Video Live stats
Postponed
N.C. Wesleyan at Bridgewater
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
Western Connecticut at Salve Regina
Video Preview Live stats
5:30 PM
Plymouth State at Mass-Dartmouth
Video Preview Live stats
6:00 PM
Wesleyan at Tufts
Video Live stats
6:00 PM
TCNJ at Salisbury
Video Live stats Audio
7:00 PM
Manchester at Rose-Hulman
Video Preview Live stats
7:00 PM
Thiel at Case Western Reserve
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Heidelberg
Video Live stats Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Berry at Centre
Video Live stats Audio
7:00 PM
Kenyon at Wittenberg
Live stats Audio
7:00 PM
Howard Payne at Hardin-Simmons
Video Live stats Audio
7:00 PM
Illinois Wesleyan at Augustana
Video Live stats Audio
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at McMurry
Video Live stats Audio
7:00 PM
Millikin at Wheaton (Ill.)
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Lakeland at UW-Platteville
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Louisiana College at Southwestern
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Texas Lutheran
Video Live stats
8:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Belhaven
Video Live stats
Sep. 22: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Alvernia at Delaware Valley
Live stats
12:00 PM
Buffalo State at RPI
Live stats
1:00 PM
William Paterson at Wesley
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Grove City at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Rowan at Frostburg State
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Franklin and Marshall
Video Video Preview Live stats
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Mount Union
Video Live stats Audio Tickets
2:00 PM
Ithaca at St. John Fisher
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Carleton at St. John's
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at North Park
Video Live stats
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
Live stats Audio
7:00 PM
Kenyon at Wittenberg
Live stats Audio
7:00 PM
Berry at Centre
Video Live stats Audio
7:00 PM
Thiel at Case Western Reserve
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Texas Lutheran
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Howard Payne at Hardin-Simmons
Video Live stats Audio
7:00 PM
Millikin at Wheaton (Ill.)
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Illinois Wesleyan at Augustana
Video Live stats Audio