SEWARD, Neb. – Following a fourth close loss last week, the Concordia University football team will be back on the road on Saturday in a clash with rival Doane (3-3, 3-2 GPAC). Kickoff from Al Papik Field in Crete is slated from 1 p.m. The Bulldogs are seeking their first win over the Tigers since 2005.
“I’m proud of how we responded and how we practiced,” head coach Vance Winter said of last week’s preparation. “We competed hard and played hard. Every week it’s been a blast to coach these guys. They really care. It’s not meant to be easy. We still have exciting things to play for.”
In last week’s action, Concordia fell, 27-21, to No. 12 Northwestern inside Bulldog Stadium. Winter’s squad has suffered all four of its defeats by a margin of seven points or less. Doane has been off since a 27-23 loss at No. 18 Dakota Wesleyan on Oct. 11. The Tigers had won three-straight games prior to that defeat.
Concordia (3-4, 2-3) at Doane (3-3, 3-2)
Saturday, Oct. 25, 1 p.m.
Site: Crete, Neb.
Stadium: Al Papik Field
Webcast: Tiger Sports Network
2014 Team Statistics
Offensive PPG: 30.4 (28th)
Defensive PPG: 27.3 (40th)
Total Offense: 417.9 (23rd)
Pass Offense: 210.1 (48th)
Rush Offense: 207.7 (16th)
Total Defense: 404.1 (54th)
Pass Defense: 246.0 (T-66th)
Rush Defense: 158.1 (36th)
Turnover +/-: -5 (T-69th)
Offensive PPG: 27.2 (T-44th)
Defensive PPG: 27.5 (42nd)
Total Offense: 382.8 (37th)
Pass Offense: 248.5 (27th)
Rush Offense: 134.3 (60th)
Total Defense: 408.5 (56th)
Pass Defense: 268.7 (81st)
Rush Defense: 139.8 (27th)
Turnover +/-: -9 (83rd)
Head Coach: Vance Winter (26-35, 6th year)
Passing: Von Thomas – 104/202 (.515), 16 TD, 9 INT, 1,466 yds, 129.7 effic. (rushing: 483 yds, 7 TD)
Rushing: Bryce Collins – 117 att, 605 yds, 5.2 avg, 4 TD
Receiving: Jared Garcia – 31 rec, 496 yds, 16.0 avg, 8 TD
Defense: Kyle Rakow – 53 tackles, 11.0 tfl’s, 4.5 sacks
Head Coach: Matt Franzen (38-40, 8th year)
Passing: Brandon Stuart – 77/181 (.425), 11 TD, 8 INT, 1,199 yds, 109.4 effic.
Rushing: Kenneth Boggs – 69 att, 323 yds, 4.7 avg, 3 TD
Receiving: Nick Reed – 19 rec, 349 yds, 18.4 avg, 2 TD
Defense: Aaron Hanlin – 35 tackles, 12.0 tfl’s, 5.5 sacks
Roby collects second GPAC weekly honor
A transfer from the University of Northern Illinois, Tarence Roby has made an immediate impact in his redshirt freshman season. The native of Rockford, Ill., took a first-quarter kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown in last week’s loss versus Northwestern. That play enabled Roby to be named the GPAC special teams player of the week on Monday. The 6-foot-3 cornerback was also tabbed the conference’s defensive player of the week on Sept. 22, two days after he returned a fumble 45 yards for a touchdown in the 35-28 win over Midland.
Roby began fall camp as a receiver but moved to defense after the Bulldogs suffered injuries to the defensive backfield prior to the start of the season. On the season, Roby has 39 tackles (2.5 for loss), two interceptions, seven pass break ups and two fumble recoveries.
Big play Garcia
No player has scored more touchdowns for the Bulldogs this season than freshman receiver Jared Garcia. The 6-foot-3 receiver from Humble, Texas, caught two more touchdown passes from quarterback Von Thomas last week, bringing his team-leading season total to eight. That number ties Erwin Hayes (1997) for the second-most touchdown receptions in a single season in program history. Garcia is closing in on the school record of 10 by Brian Naber in 1970. Garcia needs 12 more catches and 137 receiving yards to put his name into the top 10 of Concordia single-season charts in those respective categories.
With two touchdown passes last week, Von Thomas needs just two more to break Rod Giesselman’s school record of 17 touchdown tosses in 1970. Thomas already holds Bulldog single-season records for total offense (2,508), completions (197), passing attempts (334) and completion percentage (59.0). He owns program career records for total offense (7,029), total touchdowns (60) and completions (489). Below is a summary of additional records Thomas has a shot at breaking.
Up next for Thomas?
Passing yards (career)
Pimentel – 6,435
Thomas – 5,442
Passing touchdowns (career)
Pimentel – 49
Thomas – 44
Pass attempts (career)
Pimentel – 943
Thomas – 915
Passing yards (season)
Pimentel – 2,150 (2001)
Thomas – 1,466 (2014)
Passing touchdowns (season)
Rod Giesselman – 17 (1970)
Thomas – 16 (2014)
Rushing touchdowns (season)
Cleve Wester – 13 (1984)
Thomas – 7 (2014)
Rakow makes living in opposing backfields
While the Bulldog defense has fell short of lofty 2013 NAIA rankings in total defense (fourth) and scoring defense (sixth), senior defensive lineman Kyle Rakow has burst onto the scene with a monster statistical season. The native of Pleasant Dale, Neb., has flown by career highs in tackles (53), tackles for loss (11) and sacks (4.5). Rakow has at least one tackle for loss in six of seven games this season after adding two more versus Northwestern.
Doane runs through Nebraska rivals
Doane has a chance to go a perfect 4-for-4 against its GPAC Nebraska rivals by topping Concordia on Saturday. After dropping their first two games this season, the Tigers defeated Hastings (28-24), Midland (40-35) and Nebraska Wesleyan (55-29). Doane almost pulled off the feat last year with its only loss against in-state opponents being a 20-19 decision at Nebraska Wesleyan.
Doane enters Saturday with a record of 2-1 at home. All three of the Tiger losses have come against ranked opponents: No. 13 Northwestern (17-10, OT), No. 18 Dakota Wesleyan (27-23) and No. 19 Friends (33-7). Behind quarterback Brandon Stuart, Doane possesses the 27th-ranked pass offense in the NAIA. Stuart’s favorite target has been receiver Nick Reed, a former Tiger basketball star. Last season Reed led the GPAC in scoring with 22.3 points per game. Like the Bulldogs, Doane has been unable to duplicate its strong defensive numbers from a year ago. However, the Tiger pass rush has produced 21 sacks – tied for the fifth most among all NAIA teams. Doane has won eight-straight meetings with Concordia.