October 17, 2013
THIS WEEK: The Dakota State University (2-5 overall record) steps outside of the North Star Athletic Association conference play Saturday afternoon as they return home at Trojan Field. The Trojans welcome Briar Cliff (2-4) in the annual 'Rushing for a Cure' football game at 1 p.m. to help raise cancer awareness. The DSU Football team will also recognize the seniors at approximately 20 minutes prior to the kickoff.
THE SERIES: Dakota State owns a 2-0 all-time series record versus Briar Cliff. The Trojans won the first-ever meeting at the Trojan Field on Oct. 15, 2011. DSU jumped to a 12-0 early lead in the first quarter and held off Chargers' late rally by scoring 16 points in the final quarter. The Trojans won by the score of 24-16. DSU won the last meeting at Briar Cliff on Oct. 13, 2012. The Trojans trailed 28-21 in the early fourth quarter, but rallied back for victory by scoring the final 14 points of the game to defeat the Chargers 35-28.
ABOUT BRIAR CLIFF (IOWA): Tom Rethman is currently in his sixth season as the Chargers' head football coach. The Chargers are 2-4 overall record and 2-3 in Great Plains Athletic Conference with victories over Dordt (Iowa) and Hastings (Neb.). The Chargers' home games are held at the University of South Dakota DakotaDome. Briar Cliff have a record of 1-2 at home and a record of 1-2 on the road. The Chargers are 14th in the nation in total pass offense with1591 passing yards and 18th in pass offense yards per game (265.2 yards).
DSU SENIORS: The Dakota State University football team will be recognizing eight seniors on Saturday prior to the game. The eight seniors are—Kris Dearie, Chad John, Ronnie Jorgensen, Perry King, Blake Kirschenman, Josh Licht, Dylan VandeGarde and Cole Whisenhunt.
TROJANS NEAR TOP OF CONFERENCE: Dakota State moved within a half-game behind the North Star Athletic Association conference's leader Valley City State (N.D.) in the conference standings. The Trojans defeated Jamestown (N.D.) 31-28 to improved their NSAA conference record to 2-1 and a second-place in the standings. VCSU is 2-0 in the conference, and suffered a 14-9 non-conference loss to Mayville State (N.D.) on Oct. 12. The Trojans have one remaining conference game on their schedule, a road contest at Mayville State on Nov. 2.
LAST TIME OUT: Dakota State jumped to a 21-6 lead at Jamestown on Oct. 12 and held off Jimmies' late rally with a 31-28 victory. The Trojans broke a 21-21 tie in the third quarter by scoring 10 straight unanswered points to earn the victory. DSU won their second straight NSAA conference road game (defeated at Presentation (S.D.) 35-28 on Sept. 21 in Aberdeen, S.D.) Briar Cliff fell short to Northwestern (Iowa) 24-17 in the home contest held at the USD DakotaDome on Oct. 12, despite outgaining the Red Raiders 409-369 in total offensive yards.
KING EARNS NSAA WEEKLY HONOR: The North Star Athletic Association selected Dakota State's Perry King as its Special Teams Player-of-the-Week honor, announced on Oct. 14. He was picked in the seventh edition of the NSAA weekly honors after helping the Trojans to a 31-28 road victory at Jamestown. He recorded five kick-off returns for 123 yards and averaged 22.5 yards per kick-off return. King recorded the longest kick-off return of 42 yards. According to the DakStats-NAIA statistical website as of Monday, King ranks second in the nation with 586 kick-off return yards.
TROJAN DEFENSE NATIONAL RANKS: According to the NAIA-DakStats statistical website as of Thursday, Dakota State's pass defense are ranked in the 'Top 10' in the nation. The Trojans are ninth in the nation in pass defense per game with an average of 154.9 yards. DSU is 25th in the nation in total defense per game with an average of 342.6 yards per game allowed. The Trojans held the opponents' 3rd-down conversions to a percentage rate of 35.4, which is 30th-best in the nation. Dakota State ranks 46th in rushing defense per game (187.7 rushing yards).
DSU EXCELS IN SPECIAL TEAMS: Two DSU players are ranked in the NAIA-Dakstats statistical website in special teams. Perry King is second in the nation in total kick-off returns with 586 yards. He is 35th in the nation in kick-off return yards per attempt (23.4 yards per game). Brendon Waldner is 33rd in the nation in punt returns yards per attempt (6.6 yards) and 40th in total punt returns with 79 yards.
DSU TEAM LEADERS: Dylan VandeGarde leads the Trojans' rushing attack with 278 rushing yards and averages 39.7 yards per game. Cole Whisenhunt records a pass completion rate of 57.7 percent and averages 108.6 passing yards per game. Bobby Tisch leads the team in receptions with 28 catches (4.0 catches per game). He is 35th in the nation in total receptions. Zach Ely records 475 receiving yards for DSU, which is 27th-best in the nation in total receiving yards. Ben Kullos tallies a total of 59 tackles this season (8.4 tackles per game). Tyler Poggemeyer records 2.0 quarterback sacks for the Trojans. He ranks 25th in the nation in total tackles for loss with 9.0. Preston Powell leads the team with total interceptions with 2, ranking him 38th in the nation with most interceptions.
FOOTBALL FORECAST: As of Thursday from weather.com, the weather forecast in Madison, S.D. calls for partly cloudy skies with a high degree of 45 degrees. The forecast for the wind comes from the west-northwest at 10-15 miles-per-hour, diminishing later in the day.
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 & LISTEN: Dakota State will have a live video and audio available for the Briar Cliff-Dakota State football game. Go to http://streaming.dsu.edu/Athletics-Live to view the webcast. Jon Hunter, the voice of the Trojans, will be doing the live audio of the football game. 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 heads on the road next Saturday, Oct. 26. The Trojans travel to Rapid City, S.D. to take on former Dakota Athletic Conference foe South Dakota Mines. The Hardrockers are a member of the NCAA Division II Independent. Kick-off from the O'Harra Stadium is set for 2 p.m. (Central Time)/1 p.m. (Mountain Time).
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director