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FB: Vikings vs. Trojans Preview

Sep. 13, 2011 8:19 AM | Author: Viking Sports Admin
The Vikings host former DAC rival Dakota State this Saturday at 6:00 pm at the newly renovated Shelly Ellig Field. VCSU is 1-1 and is coming off a dramatic 28-26 come from behind win at Dickinson State last Saturday. The Vikes will look to get their first home win of the season on Saturday as they take on the Trojans. The Vikings have played the Trojans nine times since 2004 and have won eight of the meetings including 54-10 and 62-39 Viking victories last season. The lone defeat came in 2007 in a 21-31 Trojan win at Lokken Stadium.

The Vikings have been moving the ball well through the air in the two games this season and Coach Dennis McCulloch has been pleased with the play at quarterback by Tommy Zinke. 'Tommy has been doing a very good job in his decision making and giving the backs and receivers a chance to make plays,' said McCulloch. Getting the assist with the Vikings 13th ranked passing attack is the group upfront: Major Hopp (SR, Milaca MN), Taylor Carvalho (SO, Honolulu HI), Kevin Murphy (SR, Tomahawk WI), Jordan Owen (JR, St. Cloud MN), Zac Johnson (SO, Fargo ND), and Thomas Grossell (JR, Deer River MN). The offensive line has allowed only two sacks this season. The leading rusher for the Vikings has been A.J. Pfeifer (SR, Buffalo ND) at 71.5 yds/gm. Pfeifer has also been a threat receiving the ball this season with seven receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown. The big play receiver has been Letheo Proctor (SR, Anchorage AK). Proctor had two 38 yard catches to set up touchdowns in last week's game.

The Viking defense will have to deal with a good group of skill position players from Dakota State this week. McCulloch says the defensive line will be a big key. 'So far, the group up front has done a good job keeping the offensive linemen off our linebackers and allowing them to make plays. Jordan Maher has really been doing an outstanding job and we will need him to get some pressure on their quarterback this week.' The last time the teams played, the Trojans put up 39 points and moved the ball well, so the Vikes will have their hands full containing the group from Dak St. The Vikings should be up for the challenge in the passing game as they are allowing only 111 yds/gm. The experienced secondary, includes five seniors, and has been living up to expectations to this point.

Keys for a Viking win:
Continuing to protect Zinke, limiting turnovers, and pressuring the Trojan quarterback should lead to a Viking victory.

2011 Viking NAIA Rankings
Ranks Number 1 in Division I in Field Goals Pct (1.000)

Ranks Number 7 in Division I in 4th Down Conv. (83.300)

Ranks Number 9 in Division I in Pass Defense per Game (111.000)

Ranks Number 12 in Division I in Opponent Penalties (63)

Ranks Number 13 in Division I in Pass Offense per Game (257.500)

Ranks Number 13 in Division I in Sacks Against (1.000)

Ranks Number 16 in Division I in Total Sacks Against (2.000)

Ranks Number 18 in Division I in Total Pass Offense (515)

Ranks Number 21 in Division I in Pass Efficiency (125.300)

Ranks Number 24 in Division I in Opp 3rd Down Conv. (27.300)

2011 Individual Rankings
Thomas Cortez Ranks Number 1 in Division I in Field Goals Pct (1.000)

Josh Hooey Ranks Number 9 in Division I in Tackles (All positions) per Game (11.000)

Tommy Zinke Ranks Number 12 in Division I in Total Offense Yds per Game (269.000)

Tommy Zinke Ranks Number 12 in Division I in Passing Yds per Game (257.500)

LeTheo Proctor Ranks Number 13 in Division I in Receive Yds per Game (104.500)

LeTheo Proctor Ranks Number 14 in Division I in Receptions per Game (6.500)

Tommy Zinke Ranks Number 14 in Division I in Total Total Offense (538)

LeTheo Proctor Ranks Number 14 in Division I in Total Receive Yds (209)

Tommy Zinke Ranks Number 15 in Division I in Total Passing (515)

LeTheo Proctor Ranks Number 16 in Division I in Total Receptions (13)

Colby Schmidt Ranks Number 21 in Division I in Fumbles Forced per Game (0.500)

Tommy Zinke Ranks Number 23 in Division I in Pass Efficiency (125.300)



Dakota State enters the contest at 0-3 and is allowing 51.7 points per game and 535 yards of offense per game. The leading tackler for the Trojans is linebacker Craig Hertz (JR, #22). Hertz is averaging 13.7 tackles per game, good for second in the nation, and has a total of 41 tackles on the season. The Trojans are led on offense by quarterback Brandon Large (JR, #10). Large is averaging 175 yards per game and is completing 49% of his passes. Running back Jeb Olsen (FR, #25) is the leading rusher at 68 yds/gm and the leading receivers are Robert Ortiz (SO, #16) and Wes Dauz (JR, #5) at 5.3 receptions/gm. Ortiz is currently leading the nation in all-purpose yards with 658 and leads the NAIA in kick-off return yards. Two issues that have plagued the Trojans to this point are turnovers and penalties. The Trojans have a -6 turnover margin and are 11th in the NAIA with 88 penalty yds/gm.

2011 Trojan NAIA Rankings
Ranks Number 1 in Division I in Field Goals Pct (1.000)

Ranks Number 11 in Division I in Penalty Yds per Game (88.700)

Ranks Number 17 in Division I in KickOff Returns Yds per Att (23.600)

Ranks Number 17 in Division I in Total Pass Offense (526)

2011 Individual Rankings
Robert Ortiz Ranks Number 1 in Division I in Total Kick Off Returns (573)

Robert Ortiz Ranks Number 1 in Division I in All Purpose Yards (658)

Dennis Lechner Ranks Number 1 in Division I in Field Goals Pct (1.000)

Craig Hertz Ranks Number 2 in Division I in Tackles (All positions) per Game (13.700)

Robert Ortiz Ranks Number 3 in Division I in All Purpose per Game (219.300)

DeVonte Garcia Ranks Number 7 in Division I in Total Interceptions (2)

Wes Dauz Ranks Number 7 in Division I in Total Receptions (16)

Josh Licht Ranks Number 7 in Division I in Total Tackles For Loss (5.000)

Brandon Large Ranks Number 14 in Division I in Total Passing (526)

Keith Knudsen Ranks Number 15 in Division I in Tackles (All positions) per Game (10.700)

Robert Ortiz Ranks Number 18 in Division I in Kick Off Return Yds per Att (26.000)

Brandon Large Ranks Number 19 in Division I in Total Total Offense (508)

Robert Ortiz Ranks Number 22 in Division I in Total Scoring (TDs) (18)

Robert Ortiz Ranks Number 22 in Division I in Total Scoring (18)

Jeb Olsen Ranks Number 22 in Division I in Total Rushing (205)

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