The Blue Devils defied the national standings on Saturday, Set. 9 when they triumphed over the fourth ranked St. Thomas Tommies. The scoreboard read 25-22 when the fourth quarter ended.
With the University of Wisconsin-Stout’s starting quarterback Jay Alston suspended, sophomore J. Dan Sturgeon (West Lafayette, Ind) took the reins at the quarterback position. While Sturgeon hadn’t started in a college game before, he said that he wasn’t nervous because he knew the team was ready to win.
Sturgeon threw for 248 yards and three touchdowns. One hundred and thirty three of those yards went to Kevion McDonald (Jr, Hopkins, Minn), who led the wide recievers for the day.
“Kev and I lived in Menomonie this summer and practiced together a lot. He’s my guy and we developed a good connection,” Sturgeon said. “It was fun to finally get to see it on the game field in live action.”
Head Coach Clayt Birmingham said that he was very happy with Sturgeon’s performance in the quarterback spot.
Birmingham also said that he and the coaching staff now know that they have two competent quarterbacks in Sturgeon and Alston. They haven’t determined how they are going to utilize both quarterbacks yet though.
According to Birmingham, the Blue Devils worked extra hard to win this game because they believed they had something to prove.
“If you want to gain respect in this conference or in this nation, you better earn your respect,” he told his team.
Birmingham believes that they accomplished that goal and the current national standings appear to reflect that. The most recent D3football.com poll placed UW-Stout at number 25 in the nation.
The win on Saturday put the Stout football team at an undefeated 2-0. The Blue Devils shut out the Simpson Storm 17-0 in their season opener.
Birminham attributes much of the team’s success so far to the leadership of the 24 senior players, whom he called “a very mature and dedicated class.”
The Blue Devils have a few weeks to prepare for their next game against the University of Wisconsin–Platteville Pioneers on Saturday, Sept. 30. Birminham said that they will make the corrections they need this week and then begin preparing for the Pioneers right away next week.
“Keep the stands rowdy and full and we will keep the dubs (wins) coming,” Sturgeon concluded.