For the first time in Missouri Valley Football Conference history a conference member went 12-0 in the regular season, and that team was rewarded by sweeping the league's top honors. North Dakota State QB Trey Lance has been named the league's Offensive Player of the Year, the league's Newcomer of the Year and the league's Freshman of the Year; teammate Derrek Tuszka has been voted the league's Defensive Player of the Year; and coach Matt Entz has been tabbed the MVFC Coach of the Year. The Bison have won 33-straight games, matching an FCS record which they established.
(The full Missouri Valley Football Conference team will be announced on Monday, Dec. 2)
Lance, a Walter Payton Award and Jerry Rice Award nominee, is the first freshman to earn the MVFC's top offensive honor, and he's the fourth freshman to win both the league's Freshman and Newcomer of the Year honors. Previous first-year players to sweep those two awards include QB Sawyer Kollmorgen (UNI) in 2012, RB Martin Ruiz (YSU) in 2013, and LB Jabril Cox (NDSU) in 2017.
Notably, an MVFC school has earned Offensive, Defensive and Coach of the Year honors five times in our 35 year history, including this year. UNI (1985), UNI (1993), Western Illinois (2000) and UNI (2007) were the others to do it. The league has selected those three awards each of our 35 seasons, but the Newcomer (1994) and Freshman (1999) honors were added later.
Offensive Player of the Year: QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
Defensive Player of the Year: DE Derrek Tuszka, North Dakota State
Newcomer of the Year: QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
Freshman of the Year: QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
'Bruce Craddock' MVFC Coach of the Year: Matt Entz, North Dakota State
BIOS ON MVFC SPECIALTY AWARD WINNERS
QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State, 6-3, 221, RFr., Marshall, Minn. (Marshall HS)
FCS leader in passing efficiency (187.5) and yards per passing attempt (9.99) and ranks second in completion percentage (.689)...Led NDSU to 12-0 record and No. 1 national ranking...Has thrown 220 career passes with 23 TDs and zero interceptions...His 2,187 passing yards this year are sixth in MVFC history by a freshman QB...Top rushing QB in the MVFC and second leading rusher at NDSU with 741 yards, 7.0 yards per carry and 10 TDs...Had 301 total yards and six TDs in the season-opener to earn Offensive Player of the Week and Newcomer of the Week...Also Newcomer of the Week with 232 total yards and three TDs at Illinois State.
DE Derrek Tuszka, North Dakota State, 6-5, 246, Sr., Warner, S.D. (Warner HS)
2019 Buck Buchanan Award nominee...Shrine Bowl invitee...MVFC active career leader with 26.5 sacks, which ranks sixth at NDSU and 10th in FCS...Currently third in the MVFC with 10.5 sacks...Ranks 10th in the FCS with 0.95 sacks/game...Ninth in NDSU history with 38.5 career TFLs in 49 games...Splits time on a deep defensive line that has played the third-fewest snaps in the MVFC...Has 37 total tackles including 15.5 tackles for loss while starting in 11 of 12 games this year...Also has three pass breakups, one forced fumble and six quarterback hurries...NDSU leads the MVFC in passing defense (144.7), total defense (274.2) and scoring defense (12.2).
Matt Entz, North Dakota State, 1st season, 12-0 overall, 8-0 MVFC
First-year head coach...Inherited a team that lost 24 seniors and 15 full-time starters...Led NDSU to the No. 1 national seed for the FCS playoffs with a 12-0 record, the best start by a first-year coach in NDSU and MVFC history...The Bison beat six Top 25 teams including four on the road...NDSU leads the FCS in scoring defense (12.2) and the MVFC in total defense (274.2), scoring offense (40.0) and total offense (493.4) among other categories...Team tied the FCS record of 33 straight wins set by NDSU from 2012-14...Spent 21 years as an assistant coach at six different schools including the last five seasons as NDSUís defensive coordinator.