The Southwest Minnesota State football program announced its 2012 team awards on Saturday at its annual team banquet. The members of the squad selected nine individual awards, with senior running back Gannon Moore earning the top award as the Mustangs' most valuable player.
Moore was named All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference South Division and finished seventh in the conference in rushing yards with 782. He led the team with nine touchdowns on 137 carries and also caught a team-high 37 passes for 39 yards and two touchdowns. Moore finished his career with a school record 34 touchdowns and rushed for 1,803 yards, which ranks eighth in program history.
Senior running back Warren Matthews was chosen as the offensive player of the year, junior linebacker Dashawn Miller was the defensive player of the year, and senior Dan Timm was seelcted as the Mustangs' special teams player of the year.
Matthews ranked fifth in the NSIC with 883 yards rushing. He had eight touchdowns on 153 carries while earning first team All-NSIC South honors. He ranked third in the NSIC in all-purpose yards with 147.6 yards per game. Matthews finished his career with 2,264 yards, ranking fourth in school history.
Miller played and started 10 games for SMSU, finishing sixth on the team with 59 tackles. He also had five tackles for loss, including three sacks, and an interception.
Timm, a senior, had three tackles on the season with two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble on special teams.
SMSU senior quarterback Tyler Peschong received the program's "True Mustang Award", which is given to the student-athlete who embodies the ideals of the SMSU football team on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
Peschong threw for 2,423 yards and 19 touchdowns with seven interceptions while starting 11 games in 2012. He also rushed for 219 yards and five touchdowns. He started 23 games in his career and ranks fifth in school history in total offense (6,260 yards), fifth in completion percentage (55.7), eighth in touchdown passes (43), eighth in passing yards (5,599) and 10th in rushing touchdowns (12).
Junior Jake Thiel earned the "Ben Bundy Award", given to the team's best offensive lineman. He started 11 games at left tackle, helping block for an offense that averaged 396.6 yards and 29.5 points per game. The SMSU offensive line gave up just 13 sacks in 2012, which ranked third in the conference. Thiel was named to the All-NSIC South squad.
Three Mustangs were also recorgnized for their role with the SMSU scout teams. The defensive scout player of the year was freshman linebacker Tyler Flud, the offensive scout player of the year was freshman wide receiver Ty Steffensen, and freshman Wes Bednar was picked as the scout special teams player of the year.
SMSU finished the season with a 4-7 record and tied for 10th in the 16-team NSIC.