By: Jake Krier, UWEC Sports Information
WHO: University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire vs. George Fox University
WHEN: Saturday, September 23 @ 3:30 CT
WHERE: Lemmons Family Field at Stoffer Family Stadium - Newberg, Ore.
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (blugolds.com) - In what is the first-ever meeting between the two teams, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire football team has made the trek west to Oregon to take on George Fox University. The Blugolds and Bruins face off on Saturday in what serves as homecoming for the school that produced notable alum, President Herbert Hoover.
The opportunity to make this trip has the team excited, for new competition and to get back on the field.
"It's not common at the Division III level to fly across multiple states for a football game, and it's something that's really exciting for us," said senior center Jake Coenen (Schofield, WI). "To actually be a part of this is really cool, and the guys are excited about it."
Heading into this match-up, the teams are coming off vastly different weeks. The Blugolds were able to rest up with their bye taking place a week ago, while George Fox upset No. 21-ranked Redlands, 13-10. The win for the Bruins came on the heels of nearly defeating nationally-ranked UW-Platteville in their season opener. Due to their successful start, they are now receiving votes in the most recent NCAA rankings.
Coenen added, "We're really excited about this opportunity. It's going to be a different style of football that they play out there."
More than anything, what the Blugolds can expect defensively is for the George Fox offense to run through their senior quarterback Grant Schroeder. The Bruins run a pass-heavy offense, throwing for three times as many yards as they do rushing. When Schroeder's not throwing the ball, he is manning their attack on the ground, leading the team in rushing yards in both of their contests.
Similarly, JT DenHartog (Jr.-Hopkins, MN) has proven that he can take over a game in the air and on the ground. He is coming off a performance of 248 yards passing, 91 yards rushing, and four total touchdowns in the Blugolds' win against Wisconsin Lutheran.
Eau Claire has shown a more balanced offensive scheme, averaging 180 yards passing and 160 yards rushing in their 1-1 start. They can expect to be tested by linebacker Charles Riga on Saturday, who has amassed an average of double digit tackles through two games.
Follow the action all season on Blugold Game Day.