September 11, 2013
THIS WEEK: The Dakota State University (0-2 overall record, 0-0 North Star Athletic Association conference record) and Valley City State (N.D.) (1-1, 0-0 NSAA) battle in the first-ever North Star Athletic Association football conference game on Saturday evening. Kick-off is set for 6 p.m. in Valley City, N.D.
THE SERIES: Dakota State and Valley City State will meet for the 22nd time in the series meeting history. The Trojans are seeking to end VCSU's six-game winning streak in the series. The last time DSU had defeated the Vikings was on Sept. 22, 2007 in Valley City by the score of 31-21. In the last four contests between DSU and VCSU, both teams combined for more than 70 points in the game.
NSAA CONFERENCE KICK-OFF: DSU and VCSU will be the first NSAA football conference game to be played on Saturday evening. The schedule consists four NSAA conference games for each school member including Dakota State, Jamestown (N.D.), Mayville State (N.D.), Presentation (S.D.) and Valley City State. The Trojans will play all of the NSAA conference games on the road this season—Sept. 14 at Valley City State, Sept. 21 at Presentation, Oct. 12 at Jamestown and Nov. 2 at Mayville State.
ABOUT VALLEY CITY STATE (N.D.): Dennis McCulloch enters his 20th season at Valley City State and his 17th overall as the head football coach. He has guided the Vikings to a 92-70 overall record and three NAIA playoffs appearances. The Vikings finished the 2012 season with a 7-3 record and was ranked No. 24 in the NAIA Football Postseason Coaches' Top 25 national poll. Currently, VCSU is in the receiving section in the NAIA Football Coaches' Preseason Top 25 poll. Valley City State is the NSAA's preseason favorite to win the league title, voted by the NSAA's football coaches.
LAST MEETING: Dakota State jumped to a 17-7 second quarter lead over Valley City State at the Trojan Field in both teams' last meeting on Sept. 15, 2012. The Vikings answered back by outscoring the Trojans 34-14 to gain a 41-31 victory. DSU tied the game at 24-24 in the third quarter, but VCSU scored 17 straight points to seal the victory. Valley City State outgained DSU 413-291 in total offense yards.
LAST TIME OUT: DSU fell short in their home opener versus Dordt (Iowa) on Sept. 7. The Defenders held on to a 14-13 victory over the Trojans after DC blocked a 39-yard field goal with two seconds remaining in the game. Valley City State dropped a 56-28 road contest at NAIA's top-ranked preseason and last year's NAIA Football National runner-up Morningisde (Iowa) in Sioux City on Sept. 7. The Mustangs racked up 638 total yards of offense compared to the Vikings' 288 yards.
POWELL NAMED TO NSAA FOOTBALL POW: Preston Powell was tabbed as North Star Athletic Association Football Defensive Player of the Week honor. He recorded the first interception of the season for the Trojans versus Dordt. Powell intercepted DC Bryce Rusler's pass late in the first quarter. He had eight tackles in the game—four solo and four assist tackles. According to the NAIA-DakStats statistical website as of Wednesday, Powell is ranked 19th in the nation in total interception.
DSU TEAM LEADERS: Justin Summers leads the Trojans' passing category as he recorded eight completed passes out of 11 attempts through two games for DSU. He averaged 43.0 passing yards per game. Cole Whisenhunt averages 46.5 rushing yards per game (2 games—93 total yards). Bobby Tisch ranks 28th in the nation in total receptions with nine catches. Ben Kullos leads the team in total tackles with 19 (9.5 tackles per game).
INDIVIDUAL NATIONAL RANKS: According to the NAIA-DakStats statistical website as of Wednesday, Perry King ranks 11th in the nation in total kick-off returns of 154 yards. Brendon Waldner is 19th in the nation in punt return yards per attempt (8.7) and 25th in total punt return yards with 26 yards. Trevor Cassels ranks 42nd in the nation in punt yards per attempt (37.4).
DSU NATIONAL RANKS: Dakota State is ranked fourth in the nation in sacks against (1.0). The Trojans are seventh in the nation in pass defense per game with an average of 91.0 yards. DSU is 20th in nation in 4th down conversion (25.0%), 22nd in opponent 4th down conversion (25.0%) and 3rd down conversion (42.9%). As a team, DSU is 25th in the nation in total rushing offense with 291 yards and 27th in punt returns yards per attempt (9.4). DSU is 35th in scoring offense with 34 points and 41st in rushing offense per game (145.5 yards per game).
FOOTBALL FORECAST: As of Wednesday, the weather forecast in Valley City, N.D.. calls for cloudy skies in the morning and sunny skies in the afternoon with a temperature of 72 degrees for a high. Wind forecast is from the south-southwest at 5 to 15 miles-per-hour. The forecast for the overnight calls for partly cloudy skies with a low temperature of 44 degrees.
DSU FOOTBALL HISTORY LESSON: Dakota State is in its 94th year of competition. The Trojans own an all-time record of 270-461-17. DSU opened their first year of competition in 1908 with an overall record of 4-1-1. Dakota State is in their first year membership with the newly-formed NAIA's conference—the North Star Athletic Association conference.
WATCH IT/LIVE STATS: Valley City State will provide a live video feed and live stats of the football game. To view the video, go to http://www.ihigh.com/vcsu/broadcast_309391.html?silverlight=1. The live stats are available on http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/WebcastPlayByPlay/WebcastPBPData.aspx?association10&sg=MFB&compID=45996. The link will be available on www.dsuathletics.com on the 'Live Games' tab above the upcoming events.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Dakota State football and athletics all season long on www.dsuathletics.com. The Trojans are also on Twitter, just log onto www.twitter.com/GoDaSUAthletics. The Dakota State University Athletics group page can be found on Facebook on https://www.facebook.com/DSUTrojanAthletics.
UP NEXT: Dakota State stays on the road next Saturday for another NSAA conference game. The Trojans travel to the Swisher Field in Aberdeen, S.D. to take on Presentation (S.D.). Kick-off is set for 6 p.m.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director