(STATS) – Of all the amazing statistics during the FCS season, Trey Lance may have the highlight:
The starting quarterback at No. 1-ranked North Dakota State has not thrown an interception.
Lance’s incredible season – he’s thrown for 25 touchdowns without a miscue – has led to him earning the 2019 STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award, which honors the top rookie in college football’s Division I subdivision. The redshirt freshman outdistanced runner-up Jeff Undercuffler of UAlbany from a list of 20 finalists.
Lance will be honored with the Rice Award, which is named after the legendary Hall of Fame wide receiver and former FCS All-American, at the STATS FCS Awards Banquet Jan. 10 in Frisco, Texas – on the eve of the national championship game.
“As the year has progressed, we’ve continually given him more and more each week in each game plan,” NDSU coach Matt Entz said. “If you look at the (season-opening) Butler game plan, we were just trying to get out there and execute plays and figure out who we were in general, trying to keep it relatively simple for a first-time starter. As the season has progressed, Trey’s done an outstanding job of being able to handle more and more of the play-calling duties, getting us into the correct protection, getting us in and out of plays based on what we’re seeing from the defense, and we’ll continue to push the envelope with him as long as we can.”
Lance, a business administration major from Marshall, Minnesota, has helped North Dakota State (13-0), the Missouri Valley Football Conference champion and two-time defending FCS champion, back to the national quarterfinals. He has completed 161 of 235 passes for 2,356 yards, ranking No. 1 in the FCS in pass efficiency rating (187.5) and passing yards per attempt (10.03) and is No. 3 in completion percentage (68.5).
A dual-threat, the first freshman to receive the MVFC’s offensive player of the year award also has averaged over seven yards per carry while rushing for 829 yards and 11 touchdowns.
A national panel of 156 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries voted on the Jerry Rice Award following the regular season. Voters selected a Top 5 on their ballot.
The 2019 Jerry Rice Award results:
1. Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State: 116-20-9-2-0-691
2. Jeff Undercuffler, QB, UAlbany: 14-52-27-14-8-395
3. Javon Williams Jr., RB, Southern Illinois: 6-19-28-20-13-243
4. Tristan Wheeler, LB, Richmond: 0-8-14-29-11-143
5. Ailym Ford, RB, Chattanooga: 5-9-12-13-9-132
6. Omar Brown, CB, Northern Iowa: 1-8-13-11-10-108
7. Nick Eaton, DE, UC Davis: 3-9-11-3-15-105
8. Tyler Hudson, WR, Central Arkansas: 1-3-7-17-18-90
9. John Bachus III, QB, UT Martin: 3-6-5-8-12-82
10. Hajj-Malik Williams, QB, Campbell: 1-7-7-7-13-81
11. Keegan Shoemaker, QB, Lafayette: 1-3-8-5-10-61
12. Jacob Dobbs, LB, Holy Cross: 1-4-0-6-13-46
13. Xavier Gipson, WR, Stephen F. Austin: 1-0-5-5-8-38
14. Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim, WR, Alabama A&M: 0-2-4-5-7-37
15. Ian Corwin, QB, Drake: 2-2-3-1-1-30
16. Tyrese Chambers, WR, Sacred Heart: 0-3-1-3-1-22
17. Jacob Roberts, LB, North Carolina A&T: 0-1-1-3-2-15
18. Jake Stebbins, LB, Cornell: 1-0-1-3-0-14
19. Jalen Leary, RB, Stetson: 0-0-0-1-5-7
20. Tra Fluellen, S, Houston Baptist: 0-0-0-0-0-0
A first-place vote was worth five points, a second-place vote four points, a third-place vote three points, a fourth-place vote two points and a fifth-place vote one point.