Jacks ranked 14th in final poll
The South Dakota State University closed the 2012 campaign with its highest ranking of the season, finishing 14th in the final Football Championship Subdivision media poll conducted by The Sports Network.
The Jackrabbits, who ended the season with a 9-4 overall record, made their second FCS playoff appearance in four years. SDSU notched its first-ever playoff victory, defeating Eastern Illinois, 58-10, on Nov. 24. Two of the Jackrabbits' losses came to eventual national champion North Dakota State, which finished first in the poll, followed by runner-up Sam Houston State (Texas). Click here for complete rankings.
SDSU spent eight weeks in the Sports Network poll leading up to the playoffs, hitting its high-water mark of 16h following a 16-12 road win at Southern Illinois on Nov. 3.
In other football-related news, sophomore running back Zach Zenner officially claimed the FCS rushing title with 2,044 yards and an average of 157.23 yards per game, edging Wofford (S.C.) senior Eric Breitenstein with 2,035 yards and 156.54 yards per contest. Zenner also finished seventh in all-purpose yards with an average of 172.38 yards per game.
Two other Jackrabbit players posted top-10 individual rankings. Senior linebacker Ross Shafrath finished seventh in tackles with an average of 11.54 per game, while sophomore kicker Justin Syrovatka ranked eighth in field goals with an average of 1.38 made per game.
As a team, SDSU ranked in the top 10 of three different defensive categories: fourth in pass efficiency defense (100.33), fifth in scoring defense (16.38 points per game) and eighth in total defense (305.31 yards per game).