Jacks return home for Beef Bowl
The 25th-ranked South Dakota State University football team will attempt to extend its winning streak to four games Saturday night as it hosts Missouri State in the 46th Annual Beef Bowl.
Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium. A pre-game barbecue runs from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. directly south of the stadium. Barbecue tickets are $8 per person, with proceeds benefitting scholarships in the Department of Animal Science at SDSU.
The Jackrabbit football team also will host a free youth clinic from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on the practice fields east of Coughlin-Alumni Stadium. Pre-registration is required by noon Friday; click here to register.
Saturday’s game will be televised as part of the Missouri Valley Football Conference television package on Mediacom cable systems throughout the Midwest. The game also can be viewed on ESPN3.com and via the ESPN Gameplan premium package. Additional coverage will be available via the Jackrabbit Extra subscription service at GoJacks.com.
The Jackrabbits enter Saturday’s matchup with a 3-1 overall record and 1-0 mark in the Missouri Valley Football Conference following a 24-10 road win at 22nd-ranked Indiana State on Sept. 22.
Missouri State, meanwhile, is in search of its first victory of the season after an 0-4 start which has included losses to a pair of Football Bowl Subdivision opponents. The Bears dropped their MVFC opener last weekend, falling 14-6 at home to Southern Illinois.
THE SERIES: Saturday’s game marks the fifth meeting between South Dakota State and Missouri State, a series that began when the Jackrabbits joined the MVFC at the start of the 2008 season. SDSU has won all four previous meetings, including a 43-36 double-overtime victory on Oct. 28, 2011, in Springfield, Mo.
Other previous results include:
• Nov. 1, 2008: SDSU 43, Missouri State 13 (at Brookings)
• Nov. 10, 2009: SDSU 24, Missouri State 17 (at Springfield, Mo.)
• Nov. 6, 2010: SDSU 31, Missouri State 10 (at Brookings)
ONLINE COVERAGE: Audio and video coverage of Saturday’s game is scheduled to be available via the Jackrabbit Extra subscription service at GoJacks.com, the official website of SDSU athletics. Monthly subscriptions for the Jackrabbit Extra, which includes live audio and video streaming are available for $11.95 per month or $99.95 for a year of service.
A pay-per-view option of $6.95 also will be available.
Local radio coverage Saturday begins at 5 p.m. Central Time on the Jackrabbit Sports Network. Tyler Merriam will call the play-by-play, with former Jackrabbit player Mike Struck providing color commentary and Scotty Kwas providing sideline updates. Yankton-based WNAX 570 AM will again serve as the flagship station of the Jackrabbit Sports Network, which includes the following affiliates:
• KJJQ 910 AM-Brookings • KBFS 1450 AM-Belle Fourche
• KMSD 1510 AM-Milbank • KORN 1490 AM-Mitchell
• KOLY 1300 AM-Mobridge • KGFX 1060 AM-Pierre
• KSDR 1480 AM-Watertown
BEEF BOWL HISTORY: South Dakota State University is home to the original Beef Bowl.
The Beef Bowl was started as SDSU’s way of recognizing those individuals and firms involved in the beef industry in South Dakota, which provides more than a $2 billion economic impact to the state.
Bsides the pre-game barbecue, festitivites include the presentation of the SDSU Friend of the Beef Industry Award and proceeds from a live steer auction at halftime benefits Jackrabbit Athletics.
Outside of Hobo Day, SDSU’s annual homecoming celebration, the Beef Bowl usually ranks second for home game attendance. More than 10,000 people have attended each of the last seven Beef Bowls and 10 times overall.
The Jackrabbits have compiled a 25-20 record in the Beef Bowl.
RABBITS RANKED: Following its win over nationally ranked Indiana State last week, the South Dakota State University football team returned to the Football Championship Subdivision rankings for the first time since September 2010 with a 25th-place showing in the Sept. 24 Sports Network media poll.
SDSU, which is receiving votes in the coaches’ poll, is one of five Missouri Valley Football Conference teams to be ranked this week. North Dakota State holds the top spot in both polls, while Youngstown State is third. Illinois State is currently ranked 12th in the coaches’ poll and 13th in the Sports Network poll, while Northern Iowa holds respective rankings of 14th by the media and 17th by the coaches.
CAPTAINS: Leading the Jackrabbit football team on the field and in the locker room are five captains:
• Seth Daughters, Sr., tight end, Winner, S.D.;
• Bo Helm, Sr., defensive back, Childress, Texas;
• Ross Shafrath, Sr., linebacker, Hampton, Iowa;
• Austin Sumner, So., quarterback, Brandon, S.D.;
• Winston Wright, Jr., defensive back, Lee’s Summit, Mo.
The Jackrabbits broke from tradition this season by naming two non-senior players — Sumner and Wright — as captains. Previously, all team captains were selected from the senior class.
VALLEY PREVIEW: South Dakota State has been picked to finish sixth in the 2012 Missouri Valley Football Conference Preseason Poll, which was announced in early August.
Defending national champion North Dakota State gained the top spot, receiving 37 of 38 first-place votes in the poll conducted by league coaches, sports information directors and select media. Northern Iowa, which tied NDSU for the league regular season title a year ago, finished second in the poll, followed by Youngstown State and Illinois State.
Indiana State rounded out the top half of the poll, with SDSU taking sixth. Southern Illinois, South Dakota, Western Illinois and Missouri State completed the poll.
Individually, three Jackrabbit players were recognized on the 2012 Missouri Valley Football Preseason Team. Offensively, senior wide receiver Aaron Rollin and tackle Bryan Witzmann were honored along with defensive back Winston Wright.
Rollin, an honorable mention all-league performer last season, tied for the team lead with 61 receptions last season. The Lee’s Summit, Mo., native also gained 906 yards through the air and reccorded a team-best seven touchdowns in 2011.
Witzmann, a junior from Houlton, Wis., also earned honorable mention all-MVFC honors in 2011. He has started all 22 games at left tackle over the last two seasons.
Wright, a junior from Lee’s Summit, Mo., was a second-team all-MVFC selection in 2011 after recording a team-best three interceptions from his cornerback position. Wright also notched 57 tackles and a team-best seven pass breakups.
Also recognized on the preseason team was honorable mention selection Andy Mink on the defensive line. A native of Ashland, Neb., Mink racked up 75 tackles, including team-best totals of 8.5 tackles for loss and six sacks in 2011.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: South Dakota State has racked up a number of Missouri Valley Football Conference player of the week awards during its current three-game winning streak.
Redshirt freshman linebacker linebacker T.J. Lally Lally was named as both the MVFC Defensive Player of the Week and Newcomer of the Week for his performance in the Jackrabbits’ league-opening win over 22nd-ranked Indiana State on Sept. 22. The Chicago native recorded 10 tackles, including a half-tackle for loss, and added an interception and two more pass breakups in the win over the Sycamores. For the game, SDSU held Indiana State to 23 net yards rushing on 25 attempts. The Jackrabbits limited Walter Payton Award candidate Shakir Bell to 54 yards on 18 carries and, other than on a fake punt, did not allow a rushing play of more than five yards.
Lally previously earned MVFC Newcomer of the Week and Sports Network National Freshman of the Week recognition after tallying four sacks in a Sept. 15 home victory over UC Davis. Sophomore punter Ethan Sawyer was named MVFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts against UC Davis.
In addition, running back Zach Zenner was named MVFC Offensive Player of the Week and Will Castle received MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week recognition for their performances in the Sept. 8 win at Southeastern Louisiana.
ZENNER IN THE ZONE: Running back Zach Zenner put together a series of impressive all-around performances last season and is off to a record-setting start in 2012.
A sophomore from Eagan, Minn., Zenner set career highs with 23 carries and 183 rushing yards in the Jackrabbits’ 2012 season-opening loss at Kansas on Sept. 1. He opened the scoring with a 99-yard touchdown run — the longest offensive play from scrimmage in program history, surpassing Mike Lunde’s 95-yard run against North Dakota in 1976. Zenner also caught four passes for 27 yards, giving him 210 all-purpose yards in the contest.
He followed that performance by again establishing career highs with 34 carries for 278 yards at Southeastern Louisiana on Sept. 8. Zenner scored on a 35-yard touchdown run in the third quarter at Southeastern Louisiana, then added a pair of touchdowns — including the game-winning 23-yard score — en route to 197 yards Sept. 15 versus UC Davis as he crossed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for his career.
Zenner tallied runs of 57 and 87 yards Sept. 22 at Indiana State en route to 237 yards on 29 carries. He upped his season total to an NCAA-best 895 yards, while all four of his single-game performances rank in the top 16 among FCS players in 2012. Zenner is averaging 8.4 yards per carry and 223.75 yards per game this season.
As a kick returner and running back during his redshirt freshman season, Zenner ranked third in the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2011 with an average of 123.1 all-purpose yards per game, earning him a spot on the league’s all-newcomer team. He made his first career start at running back Oct. 29 at Missouri State.
SUMNER AT THE HELM: South Dakota State University quarterback Austin Sumner will attempt to build off an impressive freshman season a year ago.
Although not expected to play in the Sept. 1 season opener at Kansas due to an injury suffered in practice the previous week, Sumner entered the game in the third quarter and led the Jackrabbits on two scoring drives, including throwing a 22-yard touchdown pass to Tyrel Kool early in the fourth quarter. Sumner finished the game 14-of-31 passing for 175 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted four times. He followed with a two-touchdown performance at Southeastern Louisiana on Sept. 8.
A native of Brandon, S.D., Sumner started the final eight games of the 2011 season, leading the Jackrabbits to a 4-4 record and setting the Missouri Valley Football Conference freshman record with 2,382 yards passing. Sumner, who finished third in the voting for the inaugural Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in the Football Championship Subdivision, also tied a Jackrabbit single-game record with 37 completions versus nationally ranked Northern Iowa on Oct. 15, 2011.
Sumner topped the 300-yard mark five times in 2011, including throwing for a career-best 377 yards in a double-overtime win over Missouri State.
DUAL THREAT: South Dakota State’s Tyrel Kool has shifted all around the field during his Jackrabbit career and will see action both in the backfield and at wide receiver in 2012.
A senior from Yankton, Kool began his collegiate career as a running back and kick returner, but switched to wide receiver during the 2010 season, when he led the team with 64 receptions for 808 yards. His receptions total is fifth-most in a season by a Jackrabbit player, while his receiving yards mark stood 10th in a single season as he earned honorable mention all-Missouri Valley Football Conference recognition.
In 2011, Kool moved back to running back and led the team with 534 yards rushing. He made the most of his first career start at running back, racking up 107 yards on the ground and another 79 through the air in the Jackrabbits’ 2011 season opener against Southern Utah.
Kool started at wide receiver in the Sept 1 season opener at Kansas and recorded a team-high eight receptions for 76 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter. He stands at 102 career receptions entering Saturday’s game.
Additionally, Kool saw time at defensive back late in the 2009. He recorded 10 total tackles, including three in the Jackrabbits’ playoff game at Montana.
ROLLIN RETURNS: Senior wide receiver Aaron Rollin rejoined the Jackrabbit lineup last weekend at Indiana State after being injured in the Sept. 8 game at Southeastern Louisiana.
A native of Lee’s Summit, Mo., Rollin is poised to enter the Jackrabbit career top 10 in a pair of receiving categories during the 2012 season. He recorded 96 receptions for 1,311 yards in his first three seasons with the Jackrabbits, but has been held to three reception for 38 yards thus far in 2012. He stands 17 catches away from cracking the SDSU careeer top 10 and 309 receiving yards shy of top-10 status.
Rollin put together a breaktrhough 2011 campaign, leading the team with seven touchdowns while sharing the team lead with 61 receptions. He teamed with Dale Moss to give SDSU one of the top receiving tandems in the nation as both receivers topped the 900-yard mark.
Rollin was held without a catch in the 2012 season opener at Kansas, ending his streak of consecutive games with a reception at 21, dating back to the 2009 season.
SHAFRATH STICKING OPPONENTS: Senior linebacker Ross Shafrath has led the team in tackles each of the first four games of the season for a team-best total of 45.
Shafrath opened 2012 with a career-high 16 tackles Sept. 1 at Kansas. His total was the most by a Jackrabbit player since linebacker Mike Lien notched 18 tackles in a 2010 game at North Dakota State. He then notched eight stops in the Sept. 8 win over Southeastern Louisiana and shared team-high honors with 10 stops versus UC Davis on Sept. 15. He again led the squad with 11 tackles in the Jackrabbits’ league-opening win at Indiana State on Sept. 22.
A senior from Hampton, Iowa, Shafrath ranked fourth on the team in 2011 with 66 tackles despite being a part-time starter. His previous career high was 13 tackles at Missouri State on Oct. 29, 2011. Shafrath has tallied double digits in tackles in six of the last seven games dating back to last season.
STOUT DEFENSE: Since allowing 263 yards on the ground to Kansas in the season opener, the Jackrabbit defense has been stout against the run. In the last three games combined, Jackrabbit opponents have limited opponents to 66 net yards rushing with the opposition averaging less than a yard per carry.
Aiding in that statistic is the fact that the Jackrabbits have racked up a total of 17 sacks in the three games, leading to minus-123 yards. Junior college transfer Marshall Peugh has recorded at least a half-sack in all four games this season and shares the team lead with freshman linebacker T.J. Lally with four
Last week at Indiana State, the SDSU defense held 2011 Walter Payton Award runner-up Shakir Bell to 54 yards on 18 carries. Bell did not record a run of more than five yards in the contest.
THE WRIGHT BROTHERS: The Jackrabbit football team received valuable contributions from brothers Winston and Dom Wright during the 2011 season.
Natives of Lee’s Summit, Mo., and Blue Springs South High School, both joined the SDSU football program in the fall of 2010. A junior, Winston Wright started all 11 games at cornerback last season en route to earning second-team all-Missouri Valley Football Conference honors. He led the team with three interceptions to go along with 57 tackles. He began his colllegiate career at Missouri, redshirting during the 2009 season.
Dom Wright is a sophomore wide receiver who saw most of his action as a kick and punt returner. In nine games last season, he averaged 15.6 yards on 10 kickoff returns to rank second on the squad. This season, he has returned six punts for 50 yards (8.3 yards per return), including a career-long 39-yard return Sept. 8 at Southeastern Louisiana.
HELM NOMINATED FOR GOOD WORKS TEAM: South Dakota State University senior Bo Helm is one of 117 college football players to be nominated for the 2011 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. The award, which is presented in conjunction with the American Football Coaches Association, recognizes the selfless contributions to volunteerism and community service made by college football student-athletes across the nation.
A native of Childress, Texas, Helm has been involved in a number of community service activities during his Jackrabbit career. He has served as a tutor, been a mentor for the Flandreau Indian School Success Academy, volunteered for a number of youth camps and clinics and has played an active role in organizing drives for the Brookings Food Pantry and Feed My Starving Children. Helm also has devoted countless hours to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and recently completed a mission trip to Jamaica.
From the nominees submitted by sports information directors across the nation on behalf of their schools, a special voting panel consisting of former Good Works Team
members and prominent college football media members will select two 11-player Good Works Teams — one comprised of players from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and another representing players from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III and the NAIA. The 22 student-athletes named to the 2011 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team will be announced in late September.
COACH STIG: John Stiegelmeier has built the South Dakota State University football team into a consistent winner in the ranks of the Division I Football Championship Subdivision.
Overall, Coach Stig has led the Jackrabbits to a 96-73 record (.568 winning percentage). SDSU has posted eight winning seasons in the last 10 years, including six of the school’s first eight campaigns at the FCS (formerly Division I-AA) level. The Jackrabbits have had a winning record in 11 of Stiegelmeier’s 15 years as head coach, and have a 22-11 record in Missouri Valley Football Conference games.
WORKING OVERTIME: SDSU’s 43-36 double-overtime victory at Missouri State last season ended a four-game losing streak in overtime games for the Jackrabbits.
Overall, SDSU is 2-4 in overtime games, with both home contests played on Hobo Day. The Jackrabbits won their inaugural overtime game, 30-27 in two overtimes against Nebraska-Omaha in the 1998 Hobo Day game, then dropped a 46-44, triple-overtime decision to McNeese State (La.) in the 2008 Hobo Day game.
Following is a complete list of SDSU’s overtime games:
1998: SDSU 30, Nebraska-Omaha 27 (2 OT — at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium)
2002: Augustana 39, SDSU 33 (3 OT — at Sioux Falls)
2004: Southern Utah 23, SDSU 17 (2 OT — at Cedar City, Utah)
2007: Western Illinois 29, SDSU 26 (4 OT — at Macomb, Ill.)
2008: McNeese State 46, SDSU 44 (3 OT — at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium)
2011: SDSU 43, Missouri State 36 (2 OT — at Springfield, Mo.)
JACKRABBIT INSIDER: Throughout the 2012 football season, head coach John Stiegelmeier will be a guest on the “Jackrabbit Insider,” a weekly behind-the-scenes look at South Dakota State University athletics.
The half-hour television show which features interviews with Jackrabbit coaches and student-athletes, airs Sundays at 10:30 p.m. on Sioux Falls-based KTTW FOX 7. The show is also broadcast on FOX Sports North at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and on FOX College Sports Central at select times (check listings). Online, the show can be viewed at GoJacks.com.
STIG SHOW: The John Stiegelmeier Radio Show airs each Monday throughout the 2012 football season.
The show is scheduled to air at 5 p.m. on the Jackrabbit Sports Network, originating with flagship station WNAX 570 AM in Yankton. In addition, the weekly show also will be streamed online at GoJacks.com as part of the Jackrabbit Extra subscription service.
Hosted by Tyler Merriam, the John Stiegelmeier Radio Show will also feature interviews with Jackrabbit student-athletes and assistant coaches. Jackrabbit fans are encouraged to attend the show in person at Cubby’s Sports Bar and Grill, 307 Main Ave., in downtown Brookings.
A LOOK AHEAD: The Jackrabbits will have their lone bye week of the season before returning to action on Satuday, Oct. 13 by hosting Western Illinois in the annual Hall of Fame Game.
Kickoff for the game, which is also Military Appreciation Night, is scheduled for 6 p.m. The contest will be televised on Mediacom cable television systems and streamed online at both GoJacks.com and ESPN3.
The 2012 Hall of Fame class of Joel Brandt, Brad Reynolds, Karla Stevenson, Adam Timmerman and Don Trapp will be honored at halftime, along with Ralph Ginn Award for Coaching Excellence recipient Anita Boeck.