GAME #13: The USD Toreros (10-2, 8-0 PFL), under the direction of fifth year head coach Dale Lindsey, take their current 9-game winning streak to Fargo, North Dakota this Saturday for a second round NCAA Division I FCS Playoff game against the No. 2 seed North Dakota State Bison (10-1, 7-1 MVC). Kickoff is slated for 12:30 p.m. (Pacific) from the Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome (18,700).
RADIO/TV: ESPN3 and ESPN College Extra will televise the game live (Shawn Kenney, play-by-play; Al Groh, analyst). ESPN3 is available through participating internet service providers on WatchESPN.com and the ESPN app. ESPN College Extra is available on DirecTV and Verizon Fios. Jack Cronin calls the action for the Toreros on ESPN 1700AM radio dial.
FOOTBALL TICKETS: Tickets are available on GoBison.com/tickets. End zone seats are $30 and sideline seats are $40
SERIES RECORD: This is just the second meeting between USD and North Dakota State. The first meeting was in last year's second round match-up in Fargo with the Bison coming away with a 45-7 victory.
PFL STANDINGS: *San Diego (8-0 PFL, 10-2), Drake (6-2, 7-4), Campbell (5-3, 6-5), Jacksonville (5-3, 7-4), Valparaiso (5-3, 6-5), Butler (4-4, 6-5), Dayton (4-4, 5-6), Marist (3-5, 4-7), Morehead State (3-5, 4-7), Stetson (1-7, 2-9), Davidson (0-8, 2-9). *PFL Champion.
TOREROS STREAKING: With last Saturday's win over Northern Arizona, the Toreros head to North Dakota riding a 9-game winning streak... With their 35-7 win over Marist on November 18th, the Toreros closed out the regular season having won a Pioneer Football League record 21 consecutive PFL games... That mark ranks second among FCS programs with Jacksonville State owning 32 straight conference victories. San Diego has won four straight PFL championships, six of the past seven and nine since the 2005 campaign. Additionally, USD's home win over Marist improved their PFL home winning streak to 31 games.
TOREROS IN THE FCS PLAYOFFS: This is the third time in the past four seasons that the Toreros have earned the PFL's automatic qualifying spot into the NCAA Division I FCS Playoffs. Saturday's 41-10 win over Northern Arizona University marked the second straight season that USD won their post-season game. The Toreros held the NAU Jacks' to just 238 yards of offense while netting 439 yards themselves. Last season the Toreros earned the team's and PFL's first post-season victory in the FCS Playoffs with their 35-21 road victory at No. 20 Cal Poly on November 26, 2016. Senior RB Jonah Hodges paced the effort with 171 yards rushing on 35 carries, including three touchdowns. The Toreros totaled 473 yards of offense (177 rush, 296 pass) while limiting the Mustangs to 195 total yards of offense. QB Anthony Lawrence completed 26-of-40 passes for 296 yards and two scores. The following weekend the Toreros were handed a 45-7 defeat at the hands of No. 3 ranked North Dakota State. USD's first trip into the FCS Playoffs came in 2014. They faced the Montana Grizz in first round action in Missoula and were dealt a 52-14 defeat. Freshman wide receiver Justin Priest hauled in both touchdown receptions for the Toreros. With 6:05 to go in the game he caught a 27-yard pass from running back Dallas Kessman. With 2:48 to go backup quarterback Trey Wheeler connected with him from 11 yards out.
* USD Football is in its 55th season of play, and 25th season as a member of the Pioneer Football League... San Diego is second for most PFL titles with nine (Dayton leads with 12)... The Toreros have won six of the past seven PFL championships (2017, 2016, 2015c, 2014, 2012c, 2011c) and nine overall when adding in titles from 2007c, 2006, 2005. (c: denotes co-champions).
* Under head coach Dale Lindsey's watch, the Toreros are now 27-2 overall in home games at Torero Stadium, including a perfect 5-0 mark this season. Coach Lindsey has yet to drop a home PFL contest in five seasons (20-0 record) and the Toreros have now won 31 straight league home games and a PFL record 21 consecutive PFL contests. Lindsey, a two-time PFL Coach of the Year and two-time FCS Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year candidate, is 46-12 overall (79.3 winning percentage). His win over Marist moved him into San Diego's top spot for NCAA Division I football wins (he passed by Ron Caragher, 44-22; 2007-2012). Former coach Brian Fogarty is the prgram's all-time winningest coach (71-53 overall, with his last 16 wins coming at the Division I level from 1993-1995). Coach Lindsey has a weekly radio spot every Friday at 8:50 a.m. (Pacific) on the Dan Sileo Show on The Mighty 1090AM.
* Junior quarterback Anthony Lawrence (La Mesa, Calif.) is a finalist for the 2017 STATS Walter Payton Award... He was named the 2017 PFL Offensive Player of the Year and a All-PFL First Team selection... A three-time PFL Player of the Week, he has now completed 232-of-349 passes for 3,024 yards and 33 touchdowns... Against NAU last Saturday he 16-28 for 228 yards and 3 scores... He has tossed just two interceptions with one being a hail mary attempt at Princeton at the very end of the game... He tossed a personal-best 6 touchdowns in a road win at Jacksonville, and against Davidson he completed 24-28 passes for 403 yards and 3 TDs... In FCS ranks, he is second in passing TDs (33), 4th in passing efficiency (169.3), 12th in passing yards (3,024) and 17th in passing yards per game (252.0)... His three-year totals include 666-of-1,008 passing (66.1%) for 8,414 yards and 81 touchdowns (3rd all-time at USD).
* Senior defensive end Jonathan Petersen (Poway, Calif.) is a finalist for the STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award... He was named the 2017 PFL Defensive Player of the Year and a All-PFL First Team selection for the third straight year... The program's all-time leader with 41 sacks, Petersen ranks first in the FCS in both sacks (15; 1.25 per game) and tackles-for-loss (22.5, 1.9 per game)... He is 2nd in the FCS in forced fumbles (6, 0.50 per game)... Petersen needs just two more sacks to set a new all-time FCS mark of 43. Petersen entered the 2017 campaign as USD’s all-time leader in forced fumbles with 9. With six more this season, he has extended that total to 15. Among FCS active career leaders, he ranks No. 1 in sacks (41), sacks per game (0.87), tackles for loss per game (1.50) and forced fumbles (15).
* Besides Jonathan Petersen and Anthony Lawrence taking home the PFL Player of the Year awards, the Toreros were represented by nineteen players on the 2017 PFL Teams. First Team (10): WR Justin Priest, QB Anthony Lawrence, TE Ross Dwelley, FB Zach Nelson, OL Miles McArdle, OL, Joe Hurney, OL Daniel Cooney, DE Jonathan Petersen, NB Max Michaels, SAF Colton Giorgi. Second Team (3): RB Emilio Martinez, SAF Ray Clark, P Jack Flatau. Honorable Mention (7): WR Michael Bandy, LB Kim Mahoney, RS Emilio Martinez, CB Kishan Patel, OL Trevor Provencio, DT Connor Spencer, LB Marcus Vaivao.
* Senior NB Max Michaels was selected the 2017 PFL Scholar-Athlete of the Year (3.95 GPA, Accountancy)... He was joined on the All-Academic First Team by QB Anthony Lawrence (3.67 GPA, Accountancy), OL Jake Michaels (3.52 GPA, Biology), WR Justin Priest (3.40 GPA, Finance), DT Connor Spencer (3.78 GPA, Electrical Engineering) and P Jack Flatau (3.45 GPA, Communication Studies). Second Team honors went to DB Kishan Patel (3.42 GPA, International Business) and PK Patrick Murray (3.42 GPA, Real Estate).
* Freshman running back Emilio Martinez (Salinas, Calif.) was a nominee for the STATS FCS Jerry Rice Watch List... He was recently named to the 2017 All-PFL Second Team... He is first among PFL players in kickoff returns (25.3; #12 FCS) and is second in all-purpose yards per game (135.3 #T-9 FCS). He ranks fourth in the PFL in total rushing yards (1,011 yards; #19 FCS) and his 10 rushing TDs ranks second in the PFL. First year junior Joseph Binda Jr. has also turned in some solid runs this season with 447 yards (4.8 ave.) and 6 rushing touchdowns.
* Lawrence has two reliable seniors when looking down field...senior Justin Priest leads the PFL with 71 receptions for 1,047 yards (14.7 ave.) and 13 touchdowns (FCS, T5th), and tight end Ross Dwelley has hauled in 47 balls for 636 yards (13.5 ave.) and 10 touchdowns... Sophomore Michael Bandy has turned in a solid campaign with 24 receptions for 363yards (15.1 ave.) and two touchdowns.
* Including Petersen, season defensive leaders include safety Colton Giorgi (72 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 forced fumble), NB Max Michaels (69 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 3 breakups, 3 quarterback hurries), LB Kim Mahoney (64 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 2 breakups, 2 forced fumbles and 3 fumble recoveries) and safety Ray Clark (54 tackles, 3 tackles for loss). Senior CB Kishan Patel leads the defense with 11 pass breakups to go with two interceptions. Sophomore safety Daniel Tolbert was PFL Player of the Week (Nov. 20) following his 9 tackle, 2 interception (62 yards) performance against Marist.
* The Toreros rank in 12 FCS top-10 areas: #1 tackles for loss allowed (2.83), #1: third down conversion (51.6%), #1-tie: passes had intercepted (3), #1-tie: turnovers lost (8), #2: scoring offense (39.2), #2: sacks allowed (0.50), #2-tie: red zone defense (60.6%), #2: time of possession (34:16), #4: team passing efficiency (167.65), #5: rushing defense (76.6), #6: completion percentage (.658) and #10: scoring defense (15.8).
SCOUTING THE NDSU BISON:
* This week's opponent, the North Dakota State Bison, finished the regular season 10-1 overall and 7-1 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC)... They enter the FCS Playoffs as the No. 2 seed behind defending champion and No. 1 seed James Madison... NDSU had a league-high 11 players voted to the All-MVFC team... First Team selections were FB Connor Wentz, RG Austin Kuhnert, LS James Fisher, LB Nick DeLuca and safeties Tre Dempsey and Robbie Grimsley... For the season QB Easton Stick has completed 121-193 fro 1,821 yards and 17 TDs; he owns 493 yards rushing with 9 TDs... RB Lance Dunn has found the endzone 12 times while Bruce Anderson is the leading rusher awith 796 yards... The defense is paced by Jabril Cox (52 stops), Nick DeLuca (51 tackles) and Robbie Grimsley (50 tackles, 4 interceptions)... Head Coach Chris Klieman, the 2017 MVFC Coach of the Year, owns a 50-6 record... North Dakota State is ranked fourth in the final regular-season STATS FCS Top 25 and FCS Coaches Poll.
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Football: Pro Day
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Baseball: Toreros vs. Aztecs
USD take on cross-town rival SDSU
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Toreros prepare for the WCC quarterfinals against BYU
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Women's Basketball: Day in the Life with Myah Pace
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Women's Basketball: Vegas Bound
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Baseball: Defeating No. 4 Arkansas
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Men's Basketball: Day in the Life
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Men's Basketball: At LMU
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Women's Rowing: Day in the Life
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Men's Basketball: Youth Basketball Clinic
Toreros lead clinic in local community
Men's Rowing: Winter Camp 2018
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USD Honors Local Military Members
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Football preps for second round of playoffs at NDSU
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Football: Week Twelve
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Football: FaceTime with Lion's Jamal Agnew
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