2015 Team Statistics
*National rank in parentheses
Offensive PPG: 24.3 (T-49th)
Defensive PPG: 10.0 (2nd)
Total Offense: 311.0 (62nd)
Pass Offense: 172.3 (57th)
Rush Offense: 138.7 (53rd)
Total Defense: 190.3 (1st)
Pass Defense: 104.3 (4th)
Rush Defense: 86.0 (5th)
Turnover +/-: +1
Offensive PPG: 14.8 (T-72nd)
Defensive PPG: 40.5 (74th)
Total Offense: 285.0 (71st)
Pass Offense: 55.5 (84th)
Rush Offense: 229.5 (14th)
Total Defense: 461.0 (69th)
Pass Defense: 179.5 (T-23rd)
Rush Defense: 281.5 (79th)
Turnover +/-: -2
Head Coach: Vance Winter (30-38, 7th year)
Passing: TJ Austin – 27/61 (.443), 4 TD, 2 INT, 296 yds, 100.1 effic. (rushing: 33 att, 116 yds)
Rushing: Bryce Collins – 39 att, 157 yds, 4.0 avg, 1 TD (receiving: 8 rec, 43 yds, 0 TD)
Receiving: Jared Garcia – 9 rec, 120 yds, 13.3 avg, 1 TD
Defense: Trey Barnes – 17 tackles, 4.0 tfl’s, 2.5 sacks / LeDontrae Gooden – 19 tackles, 2.0 tfl’s, 2 INT
Head Coach: Greg Youngblood (6-31, 4th year)
Passing: Taylan Seaman – 18/39 (.462), 1 TD, 1 INT, 198 yds, 92.1 effic. (rushing: 38 att, 47 yds, 1 TD)
Rushing: Loken VandeVegte – 89 att, 340 yds, 3.8 avg, 4 TD
Receiving: Jason Miller – 14 rec, 128 yds, 9.1 avg
Defense: Alex Vasquez – 32 tackles, 1.5 tfl’s, 0.5 sacks
Nation’s top D
Following the bye week, the Concordia moved up to No. 1 in the NAIA in total defense with an average of 190.3 yards allowed per game. The Bulldog D also ranks highly nationally in several other key categories: first in pass efficiency defense (73.3), fourth in pass defense (104.3), fifth in rush defense (86.0) and sixth in third down defense (25.5 percent). A more experienced unit in 2015, Concordia has improved dramatically from its defensive rankings of 48th in yards (384.7) and 44th in scoring (27.5) from a year ago. In 2013, Patrick Daberkow coordinated one of the top defenses in program history. The Bulldogs led the nation in pass defense (134.7) that season while also ranking fourth in total defense (285.5).
Concordia will attempt to get its ground game back on track after being limited to 35 yards on 27 carries in the 17-14 loss at No. 9 Northwestern on Sept. 19. Returning first team all-conference back Bryce Collins managed just 15 yards on 10 carries. Last season Collins rushed for more than 100 yards in six of his nine games. He went for 157 yards and two touchdowns in the 2014 meeting with Dordt. A duplication of that effort would push Collins over 2,000 career rushing yards (currently at 1,877). Five other Bulldog ball carriers in program history have reached the 2,000-yard barrier. Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame member Cleve Wester (3,658 rushing yards). A year ago Collins became fifth player in program history to reach 1,000 rushing yards in a single season.
Safety LeDontrae Gooden has had plenty of impact in his first three games as a Bulldog. The transfer from 2014 NAIA national champion Southern Oregon University has already intercepted a pair of passes and ranks fourth on the team with 19 tackles. The native of Sacramento, Calif., has shown a big-play ability with the ball in his hands. His two interceptions have been followed by returns of 46 and 45 yards, the latter being a pick six that put the Bulldogs in front of Northwestern in the second quarter in Orange City. Darnell Woods, a 2013 NAIA All-American, owns the program record for interception return yards in a single season (176 in 2012). Last season Gooden made 45 tackles for the Eagles of the Frontier Conference.
After being held to five catches for 33 yards over the first two weeks of the season, sophomore receiver Jared Garcia hauled in four passes for 87 yards and a touchdown at Northwestern. He set up his own score in the second quarter of that game by getting behind the Red Raider secondary for a 67-yard completion that made it first and goal. Two plays later Garcia snagged a one-handed catch in the back of the end zone on a pass delivered by quarterback Garrett Folchert. The score marked the 12th career touchdown for Garcia, who last season broke the program single-season record for receiving touchdowns with 11.
Dominance versus Dordt
Since a 17-14 loss at Dordt in 2008, Concordia has won each of the last six meetings with the Defenders. The last three series matchups have been especially one-sided with the Bulldogs winning by an average score of 37.3 to 8.7. In those three games, Concordia has outgained Dordt by an average of 427.0 to 187.3. The Bulldogs’ 52 points scored in their win over Dordt in 2012 is a team high since Vance Winter took over the role of head coach prior to the 2009 season.
Bulldog backers rank among GPAC tackle leaders
Linebackers Michael Hedlund and Clay Mauro rank fifth and sixth, respectively, among GPAC players in tackles per game. Hedlund has racked up 28 stops (13 solos, 15 assists) through three games while Mauro has 26 (16 solos, 10 assists) following a career high 16-tackle game at Northwestern. Eight different Bulldogs have made 10 tackles or more on the season. Trey Barnes tops the team with 2.5 sacks.
Dordt is winless in 2015 with losses to Dakota State University (28-24), No. 12 Northwestern (47-7), No. 2 Morningside (49-0) and Briar Cliff (38-28) on its resume. The Defenders have lost eight-consecutive games since defeating Nebraska Wesleyan, 24-20, on Oct. 18, 2014. This season they average 229.5 rushing yards per game out of their triple option offense. Running back Loken VandeVegte ranks fifth among GPAC players with 340 rushing yards. Dordt relies very little on its passing game having attempted only 43 passes in four games. On the other side of the ball, Dordt has struggled to stop the run (79th in the NAIA in rush defense). Opposing quarterbacks have a 179.5 pass efficiency rating (10-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio).