The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Football preparing to battle Augsburg

    Anna Nelson

    With one game under its belt, the football team is turning its attention to the next game.

    The team hopes excitement from their St. John’s victory will be enough to win the Clearwater Bowl at 7 p.m. Saturday at Carson Park.

    After pulling off the upset on the road against St. John’s, head coach Todd Hoffner is worried about the possibility of a letdown against Augsburg.

    “Absolutely, I’m concerned,” he said. “Any time you beat a national power like St. John’s, there is a little apprehension about the attention and focus on the next game.”

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    Hoffner thinks the game at home will add to the possibility of a letdown.

    “It’s the opening game, and there’ll be a festive atmosphere,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll feed off the excitement of the crowd and get a wake up call early in the game rather than later.”

    The game on Saturday will be the season opener for Augsburg, and the Blugolds can only speculate how this team will compare to last year’s. Augsburg defeated Eau Claire last year on the road.

    “Augsburg is a scary team right now,” Hoffner said. “We don’t know what to expect from them. They’ll have the upper hand in preparation.”

    After playing Augsburg, the Blugolds will play three straight road games, part of a schedule that has them playing only four of 10 games at home.

    “Hopefully we can fight through it,” Hoffner said about the schedule. “We’re hoping to win four or five out of the six road games. The schedule will definitely catch up to us in conference play.”

    Though the Blugolds have a difficult schedule, they will be helped by the fact that they’re bringing back 17 starters from last season’s 6-4 team. They’ll need every bit of that experience to compete in the WIAC, a league that Hoffner calls a juggernaut.

    “The league is so balanced,” he said. “There have been six champions over the last three years, so it will be a challenge.”

    One of the factors that will determine the Blugolds’ success this year will be the improvement of senior quarterback Brian Rasmussen. Rasmussen led the WIAC in passing yards last season, and should benefit from a year of experience.

    “Last year, I thought I could come in here and just take it over,” Rasmussen said. “This year I’m a lot more confident, and that comes from the year of experience.”

    The Blugolds will be a little shorthanded against Augsburg. Senior running back Darrell Souhrada is expected to miss his second straight game with a pulled hamstring. Senior nose tackle Adrian Wilson broke his wrist against St. John’s, but is expected to play Saturday.

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    Football preparing to battle Augsburg