Jackrabbits blank Indiana State
The South Dakota State University football team closed out the home portion of its regular season schedule with a 29-0 shutout victory over Indiana State Saturday afternoon at blustery Coughlin-Alumni Stadium.
The Jackrabbits, ranked 19th in the Sports Network media poll and 20th in the FCS Coaches poll, improved to 6-4 overall and evened their Missouri Valley Football Conference mark at 3-3. Indiana State dropped to 1-9 overall, 0-6 in league play.
SDSU scored on each of its first three possessions en route to a 15-0 halftime lead. The Jackrabbits took the opening kickoff and marched 60 yards on 13 plays before getting on the board with a 32-yard field goal by Justin Syrovatka.
The Jackrabbits put together a nine-play, 80-yard touchdown drive later in the first quarter as Walter Payton Award candidate Zach Zenner found paydirt from 22 yards out for his 17th rushing touchdown of the season. The extra point was no good.
SDSU made it three-for-three as Syrovatka connected on a 27-yard field. The Jackrabbit score was set up by a 29-yard from Austin Sumer to Brandon Hubert.
Indiana State had threatened to score earlier in the second quarter behind the running of Buck Logan, setting up with first-and-goal from the SDSU 7. However, the Jackrabbits’ Charles Elmore blocked the 24-yard field goal attempt.
The Jackrabbits came up with another blocked kick in the final minute of the first half as freshman Jesse Bobbit broke through the line to block a punt deep in Indiana State territory. Taking over at the Sycamore 18, however, SDSU threw three consecutive incomplete passes before settling for a 35-yard field by Syrovatka.
SDSU put the game away with a pair of second-half touchdowns, the first of which came midway through the third quarter on a 25-yard pass from Sumner to Jason Schneider.
Redshirt freshman Isaac Rodriguez scored on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter for his first collegiate touchdown. Rodriguez recorded a 42-yard run earlier in the drive, finishing the game with 57 yards on seven carries.
Zenner again led the Jackrabbit rushing attack with 137 yards on 28 carries as he reached the 100-yard mark for the ninth time this season. As a team, SDSU finished with 175 net rushing yards and 382 yards of total offense, compared to 161 by Indiana State.
Sumner, who topped the 7,000-yard mark for his career, completed 16-of-25 passes for 207 yards. He completed his first eight passes of the contest. Schneider finished the game with seven receptions for 110 yards.
Logan led the Sycamores with 68 yards on 20 carries. As a team, Indiana State completed only 7-of-22 passes for 56 yards. After starting quarterback Mike Perish left the game with an injury in the first quarter, the Sycamores did not complete a pass until midway through the third quarter. Backup Robert Tonyan Jr. was 5-for-20 passing for 46 yards.
Indiana State’s Jameer Thurman recorded a game-high 17 tackles, while Mark Sewall added 10. Marshall Peugh tallied a career-high nine tackles, including a sack, to lead the Jackrabbit defense.
The Jackrabbits are scheduled to face in-state rival South Dakota on Nov. 16 as part of the South Dakota Showdown Series. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. at the DakotaDome in Vermillion.
NOTES: SDSU leads the all-time series, 4-2 … the Jackrabbits improved to 30-16 in Missouri Valley Football Conference games since joining the league in 2008 … Zenner upped his season rushing total to 1,372 yards — sixth most in a single-season by a Jackrabbit player … Schneider moved into 10th place in both single-season receptions by a Jackrabbit with 59 and single-season receiving yards with 838 … Hubert took over sole possession of eighth place in career receptions with 131, breaking a tie with Darren Baartman (128 receptions from 1988-91) … Sumner moved into 10th place in single-season passing with 2,283 yards and has three of the top-10 single-season passing totals in program history … Sumner ended the day with 7,108 yards to add to his school-record career total … Jimmie Forsythe intercepted a pass late in the fourth quarter, giving SDSU a takeaway in all 10 games this season … the Jackrabbits recorded their first shutout since a 21-0 victory over North Dakota in the 2010 season finale … SDSU head coach John Stiegelmeier recorded his 108th career victory, moving to within five wins of tying all-time leader Ralph Ginn (113-89-9 record in 22 seasons from 1947-68) … attendance was 5,317