By Jake Steen, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, WI. -- The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Men's Football team (0-1, 0-0 WIAC) opened the 2015 regular season on Saturday night with a 62-7 loss to St. Thomas (Minn.) at Carson Park.
The Blugolds offense struggled in the early going, gaining only one first down in the first half. St. Thomas took a 38-point lead into halftime, keyed by a 31-point second quarter, to put the game out of reach early.
"They're a good team and they're coached well," said Blugold Head Coach Todd Glaser. "They are playing with a lot of seniors, you can tell- they don't hurt themselves."
JT Denhartog (Fr. - Hopkins, MN) got the start at quarterback and went 6-10 for 88 yards and an interception. The Blugolds failed to get the running game going with just 73 yards on 37 carries, which in turn affected the passing game.
The Blugold offense showed some flashes when they started moving the ball better in the second half. Joel Newman (Sr. - Red Wing, MN) got some action at quarterback and connected with Daniel Brennan (Sr. - Prairie Du Sac, WI) for an eight-yard touchdown in the third quarter as part of an 11 play, 75-yard drive. Newman finished strong going 8-9 with 79 yards and a touchdown.
"Offensively we really never got anything going," said Glaser. "We can't turn over the ball and we weren't good on thirds downs on defense."
Linebacker Erik Hulman (Sr. – Milwaukee) had a strong game defensively with six tackles and one assist. Captain defensive end Jayden Dobbs (Sr. – Athens, WI) said St. Thomas's field position was a huge factor all game.
"One of our team mottos is don't let the other team cross the fifty-yard line, and when they start off past that it's kind of tough," said Dobbs. "I think Monday we learn from our mistakes, say okay and flush it then move on to Moorhead."
UW-Eau Claire will be back in action next Saturday, September 12, when Concordia-Moorhead (Minn.) comes to town for a 6:00 p.m. start under the lights at Carson Park.
"We're going to have to get ready," Glaser said about next week. "Look at the tape, fix our mistakes, get some guys back hopefully and be ready to go."