SEWARD, Neb. – Head coach Vance Winter’s alma mater serves as the opponent on Saturday when the Bulldogs play host for their second-straight game. Concordia and Dakota State University will kick off at 6 p.m. in a battle underneath the lights inside Bulldog Stadium. It will be the fourth-consecutive season that the two teams have met.
“Dakota State is much improved,” Winter said. “They’ve got some talented running backs and they’re really moving the ball. We will have to play better than we did against them last year to beat them.”
Dakota State (2-2, 1-2 NSAA) at Concordia (2-1, 1-1 GPAC)
Saturday, Sept. 27, 6 p.m.
Site: Seward, Neb.
Stadium: Bulldog Stadium
Webcast: Concordia Sports Network
Play-by-play: Frank Greene
2014 Team Statistics
Offensive PPG: 33.0 (T-25th)
Defensive PPG: 30.3 (T-53rd)
Total Offense: 398.3 (35th)
Pass Offense: 197.3 (51st)
Rush Offense: 201.0 (22nd)
Total Defense: 455.7 (72nd)
Pass Defense: 260.3 (68th)
Rush Defense: 195.3 (T-58th)
Turnover +/-: +3 (20th)
Offensive PPG: 29.0 (T-37th)
Defensive PPG: 25.3 (T-35th)
Total Offense: 355.3 (50th)
Pass Offense: 99.0 (81st)
Rush Offense: 256.3 (10th)
Total Defense: 402.8 (55th)
Pass Defense: 264.0 (70th)
Rush Defense: 138.8 (27th)
Turnover +/-: +2 (T-30th)
Head Coach: Vance Winter (25-32, 6th year)
Passing: Von Thomas – 39/82 (.476), 8 TD, 1 INT, 592 yards, 138.0 effic.
Rushing: Von Thomas – 39 att, 262 yards, 6.7 avg, 5 TD
Receiving: Jared Garcia – 18 rec, 314 yards, 17.4 avg, 4 TD
Defense: Tarence Roby – 15 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, 3 pbu’s, 1 INT, 2 FR, 1 TD
Head Coach: Josh Anderson (9-46, 6th year)
Passing: Justin Summers – 36/64 (.554), 4 TD, 2 INT, 398 yards, 121.0 effic.
Rushing: Jeremy Christner – 67 att, 352 yards, 5.3 avg, 4 TD
Receiving: Brendon Waldner – 12 rec, 134 yards, 11.2 avg, 0 TD
Defense: Ben Kullos – 47 tackles, 4.0 TFLs, 2 INT
Bulldogs on the offensive
No Concordia football team has averaged more than the 32.0 points per game put up by the 1951 Concordia Athletics Hall of Fame team that went 8-1 and won the Central Church Conference title under then head coach Herb Meyer. Through three games, coordinator Curran White’s 2014 offense is averaging 33.0 points per game and 398.3 total yards per game. The program record for most total yards per game was set by the 2004 team that averaged 388.4 yards. At its current pace, the Bulldogs are also on track to break the school record for points in a season (326 by the 2001 co-GPAC championship team).
Thomas chasing Pimentel
Senior quarterback Von Thomas is closing in on a couple of career school records held by former star quarterback Jarrod Pimentel (1998-2001). With 5,934 yards of total offense over 34 career games, Thomas sits 377 total yards shy of Pimentel’s school record of 6,311. In addition, the native of Miami, Fla., needs two touchdowns (passing or rushing) to tie Pimentel’s program record of 52 total touchdowns (49 passing, three rushing) over 41 games. Pimentel still holds a substantial lead over Thomas in career passing yards, 6,435 to 4,568.
Turnovers key defensive effort
While Concordia ranks 72nd in the NAIA in total defense, it has been opportunistic. The Bulldogs are tied for the most takeaways in the GPAC with eight through three games. In last week’s 35-28 win over Midland, Concordia forced four turnovers, including a fumble that went for a 46-yard touchdown return by GPAC defensive player of the week Tarence Roby. A native of Rockford, Ill., Roby has recovered two fumbles and intercepted a pass. His touchdown was the first for a Bulldog defensive player since Matt Keener returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown in last year’s win at Dakota State University on Sept. 28. In addition, safety Michael Hedlund has two interceptions.
Scouting Dakota State
The Trojans, a member of the North Star Athletic Association, began the season with consecutive wins over Mayville State (28-20) and Dordt (41-7) prior to back-to-back losses to Valley City State (34-10) and Presentation (40-37). Dakota State has not won more than two games in a season since posting a 3-7 record in 2008. Head coach Josh Anderson’s squad has relied heavily upon a rushing attack that ranks 10th in the NAIA. The Trojan ground game features the trio of running backs Jeremy Christner (352 yards, 4 TD) and Jabree Shorter (341 yards, 2 TD) and quarterback Justin Summers (278 yards, 4 TD). The Dakota State 55th-ranked defensive unit is led by linebacker Ben Kullos, who has already racked up 47 tackles and a pair of interceptions.
Concordia and Dakota State are meeting each other for the fourth-straight season. The Bulldogs have won each of the past three meetings, winning by scores of 49-21 in 2011, 28-7 in 2012 and 24-0 in 2013. Both the 2012 and 2013 games were played in Madison, S.D. The 2011 contest took place in Seward.