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Andy Wittry | | February 4, 2022

Trey Lance: College stats, best performances, records at North Dakota State

Trey Lance's 2019 FCS playoff highlights for North Dakota State

Former North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz was an NFL MVP candidate in 2017, when he threw for 3,296 yards, 33 touchdowns and just seven interceptions in 13 games. Wentz was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and five years later, North Dakota State had another top NFL draft pick in quarterback Trey Lance. 

Lance was selected No. 3 overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2021 NFL Draft. He was the third quarterback off the board, behind Clemson's Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars, No. 1) and BYU's Zach Wilson (Jets, No. 2).

Lance's time on the football field was limited for North Dakota State. He attempted just one pass while appearing in two games during the 2018 season and he played in North Dakota State's only game last fall, a 39-28 win over Central Arkansas. But his star burned bright in the season between. During the 2019 season, Lance completed roughly two-thirds of his passes for nearly 3,000 yards, all while not throwing a single interception.

Here are the essentials from his college career:

  • Trey Lance played in 19 games for North Dakota State — two in 2018, 16 in 2019 and one in 2020.
  • North Dakota State was 19-0 in the games in which Trey Lance appeared. His college career came amid a 39-game winning streak for the Bison.
  • Lance won two national championships with North Dakota State in 2018 and 2019, but the former came during a season in which the quarterback appeared in just two games, the last of which was a win over South Dakota on Oct. 27, 2018. For the season, he rushed eight times for 82 yards and two touchdowns, while completing his only pass for 12 yards.

But the next season, in 2019, Lance exploded as North Dakota State's quarterback, as he completed 192-of-287 passes for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns and zero interceptions, while rushing for 1,110 yards and 14 touchdowns. In a 28-20 win over James Madison in the 2020 FCS National Championship, which concluded the 2019 season, Lance rushed a season-high 30 times for a season-best 166 yards, while completing a season-low six passes on just 10 attempts.

Trey Lance's North Dakota State Records

Lance holds four North Dakota State program records:

  • Career passing efficiency (minimum 200 attempts): 173.8
  • Career total offense/play: 8.38 yards/play
  • Passing efficiency in a season: 180.6
  • Total yards of offense in a season: 3,886 yards

Other notable achievements at North Dakota State

North Dakota State has had a lot of good quarterbacks, so there are other statistical categories in which Lance ranks highly, but isn't No. 1. Here are some of those achievements:

  • Career completion percentage (min. 200 attempts): 65.2 percent (second all-time)
  • Total offense per game in a season (min. five games): 242.9 yards/game (second all-time)
  • Passing touchdowns in a season: 28 passing touchdowns (tied for second all-time)
  • Longest pass completion in a game: 88 yards (tied for second all-time)
  • Passing yards in a season: 2,786 passing yards (third all-time)
  • Career average yards/pass (min. 200 attempts): 9.3 yards/pass (third all-time)
  • Touchdowns responsible for in a season: 42 touchdowns (third all-time)
  • Average yards/pass in a season: 9.7 yards  (third all-time)
  • Completion percentage in a season (min. 100 attempts): 66.9 percent (fourth all-time)
  • Total offense/play in a season: 8.52 yards/play (fifth all-time)
  • Most touchdown passes in a game: Four (tied for fifth all-time)
  • Pass completions in a season: 192 completions (sixth all-time)
  • Highest percentage of passes completed in a game (min. 10 attempts): 90.9 percent (sixth all-time)
  • Most net yards gained in a game: 355 yards (sixth all-time)
  • Most consecutive passes completed in a game: 11 (tied for sixth all-time)
  • Career passing touchdowns: 30 (seventh all-time)
  • Most passing yards in a game: 313 passing yards (tied for eighth all-time)

What was Trey Lance's best game as a passer?

Well, it depends on how you define "best." His single-game career-high in passing yards came against Western Illinois in 2019, when he threw for 313 yards, which is tied for eighth in program history. The game in which he recorded the highest completion percentage and most passing touchdowns was in North Dakota State's season opener in 2019 against Butler, when he completed 10-of-11 passes and threw for four touchdowns.

What was Trey Lance's best game as a rusher?

Based on total rushing yards, Lance's 2020 FCS Championship Game performance against James Madison takes the cake, when he ran 30 times for 166 yards and a score. However, his performance against Butler that season, when he took five carries for 116 yards and two touchdowns resulted in a ridiculous 23.2 yards-per-carry average.

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