Game 1 Preview: Concordia at Jamestown
GAME 1: Concordia (0-0) at Univ. of Jamestown (0-1)
DATE: September 6, 2014
LOCATION: Jamestown, N.D. (Taylor Stadium)
GAME TIME: 1 p.m.
RADIO: 1660-AM in the F-M area
SERIES: Concordia leads 3-0
SERIES STARTED: 1947
Cobbers vs. Jimmies Series History: CC leads 3-0
|2013||Jamestown 14 at Concordia 39|
|2012||Concordia 42 at Jamestown 26|
|1947||Jamestown 0 at Concordia 26|
Last year Concordia raced to a 32-0 lead at halftime and went on to beat the Jimmies 39-14.
Concordia quarterback Griffin Neal was the main catalyst behind the 32 consecutive points to open the game. He was nearly perfect in the opening half of play. Neal was 13-for-14 for 261 yards and two passing touchdowns in the first 30 minutes of play. He finished the game with 303 passing yards and ran for the Cobbers' only score in the second half.
Concordia's offense was nearly unstoppable in the first half. CC amassed 359 total offensive yards in the first two quarters and scored on five of their six possessions in the first half. The only possession that didn't result in a score came at the end of the half when the Cobbers chose to kneel on the ball.
The Cobbers were also able to rush for 197 yards as they totaled 500 yards of offense against the Jimmies. Cooper Gauldin had a game-high 62 yards on six carries.
The Cobber defense limited the Jimmie offense to 149 total yards in the first half and did not allow Jamestown to convert on any of their four third-down attempts in the opening two quarters.
Bryce Hentges and Nathan Boie had a team-high seven tackles for the day. Boie also had one of Concordia's 11 total tackles for a loss. The Cobbers had two sacks in the game and collected a pair of turnovers. Kenyon O'Brien jumped on a tipped ball in Jamestown's opening drive of the game and came down with one of the two turnovers. Erik Bye fell on a fumble in the second quarter after Jamestown had driven the ball deep into CC's territory.
Pick 6 - 6 Items To Help You Take It To The House:
1. Concordia enters the 2014 season opener having won three straight first games of the year. The last time the Cobbers lost the opener was back in 2010 at Dickinson State on a last-second tipped TD pass reception. Concordia is 9-4 in head coach Terry Horan's previous 13 season openers.
2. Concordia quarterback Griffin Neal enters the 2014 season needing only 1,239 more passing yards to break the school record for passing yards in a career. The current record holder is Ethan Pole who amassed 4,889 yards while playing from 1995-98. Neal is a two-time All-MIAC player who set the school record for passing yards in a season last year (2,158). He led the conference in completion percentage and was third in TD passes in conference games.
3. The Cobbers will start a new-look defensive secondary. The defensive backfield of cornerbacks Tyler Hansen and Christian Erickson with safeties Dan Berdan and Mitch Tauer or Matt Ahrndt have a grand total of zero collegiate starts between them. They also had a combined 32 tackles last season with three pass break ups.
4. While the defensive backfield might all be fresh faces, the defensive line will feature three regulars to Cobbers fans. Defensive ends Nate Adams and Nick Leen both started all 10 games last year while defensive tackle Carl Nelson was a solid contributor all year long. Adams is coming off an All-American season where he won the MIAC Mike Stam Award winner as the league's top lineman. He finished the year with 9.0 sacks in all games and 6.5 sacks in conference play. He led the team in total tackles with 69 and had 46 solo tackles. Adams had a share of at least one sack in seven of the team's 10 games this year and had at least one tackle for a loss in all but one contest. Led the MIAC in sacks and tackles for a loss.
5. He's back? A "Pick 6" preview wouldn't be the same without a mention of senior kicker Ben Wagner. That's right - he's baaaaaaack! Wagner decided to come back for one more season. He had only used up three of his four years of eligibility and had a few classes left to take so he decided to don the maroon and gold for at least 10 more games. Wagner was All-MIAC First team in 2013. Has has missed only one extra point in the past two seasons and is 85-for-86 during that span. He connected on a school-record 78 straight PAT's. Last year he led the MIAC in both field goal and PAT percentage in MIAC games and was tied for the lead in points among kickers in all games.
6. The Cobber coaching staff has gone through a few changes as they enter the new year. Fourth-year assistant coach Aaron Willits was promoted to Co-Offensive Coordinator where he will share those duties with Dale Hertel. Hertel is entering his 18th season on the sidelines for CC. Dan Kostich who continues to turn out All-MIAC offensive linemen after All-MIAC offensive linemen is now the Running Coordinator. The other coaching change comes on special teams where Brian Mistro has been made the Co-Special Team Coordinator to help out Tony Reno. Mistro also became the team's Co-Recruiting Coordinator to help out Willits. Horan also added one more member to his staff this season. Last year's All-MIAC defensive back Luke Peterson will now be in charge of the safeties.
Cobber SID Picks To Click:
This year we are adding a new feature to the Gameday preview. We will choose one offensive player and one defensive player who we think will have a chance to have a big game on Saturday. It will give the fans a chance to watch the "key" players on either side of the ball. It will hopefully give an insight into what the keys to success might be.
Offense - #89 Jon Baune, Jr. WR
The Cobber passing attack could have a big day on Saturday. Last year the Cobbers passed for 303 yards against Jamestown. It could be another "pass happy" game plan for Concordia as the Jimmies gave up 365 passing yards against Valley City State in their season opener last week. Baune will be the team's No.1 receiver until All-MIAC performer Brandon Zylstra comes back to the lineup after suffering a toe injury. Baune had 22 catches and five TD's last year. Look for him to see more of the ball in 2014.
Defense - #91 Nick Leen, Sr., DE
The betting money would favor going with All-American Nate Adams but the Cobber Gameday staff likes the underdog and we are predicting a good year from Adam's bookend partner Leen. While most of the offensive line will be tilted towards Adams in order to try and stop him from wreaking havoc on the backfield, it should leave Leen with 1-on-1 match-ups. Leen had a sack in last year's game against Jamestown and finished the 2013 campaign with at least one tackle in three straight games.
Coach Horan Preview Interview: