Jackrabbits make return trip to playoffs
The South Dakota State University football team will make its second consecutive appearance in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs,traveling Saturday to Northern Arizona.
Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Mountain Time (7 p.m. Central, ESPN3) at the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome on the NAU campus in Flagstaff, Ariz.
The Jackrabbits received an at-large berth after compiling an 8-4 overall record during the 2013 regular season, including a 5-3 mark in the Missouri Valley Football Conference to finish in a four-way tie for second place. SDSU secured the playoff bid by winning its final four games, including a pair of victories over ranked opponents — Northern Iowa and Youngstown State. SDSU is ranked 13th in both major FCS polls this week.
Northern Arizona, meanwhile, ended the regular season on a six-game winning streak, compiling a 9-2 overall record en route to its first playoff appearance since 2003. The Lumberjacks, ranked eighth in the Sports Network media poll and ninth in the FCS Coaches’ poll, also received an at-large bid after finishing second in the Big Sky Conference with a 7-1 mark.
South Dakota State is one of eight programs to make a return trip to the FCS playoffs. The other seven are:
• Bethune Cookman (Fla.)
• Coastal Carolina
• Eastern Illinois
• Eastern Washington
• New Hampshire
• North Dakota State
• Sam Houston State (Texas)
FOUR-DOWN TERRITORY: Four quick notes on the Jackrabbits:
• South Dakota State is 2-1 this season against other teams in the playoffs, recording non-conference wins over Butler (Ind.) and Southeastern Louisiana before a loss to top-ranked and two-time defending national champion North Dakota State;
• The Jackrabbits have won their last two games versus Big Sky Conference opponents, defeating UC Davis, 12-8, during the 2012 season and recording a 35-28 victory at North Dakota earlier this year;
• SDSU is plus-14 in turnover margin this season to rank fifth in the FCS, forcing nine lost fumbles and intercepting 19 passes;
• Eight South Dakota State players hail from the state of Arizona, including starting defensive end Marshall Peugh (Avondale) and punt returner Je Ryan Butler (Tempe).
THE SERIES: Saturday’s game will mark only the second meeting between South Dakota State and Northern Arizona on the gridiron. The two squads met in the 1985 season opener, with NAU earning a 24-20 victory on its home field.
In that game, quarterback Mike Busch set a Jackrabbit single-game record that still stands with 57 pass attempts. Busch completed 24-of-57 passes for 245 yards and three touchdowns. He also was intercepted three times, including one that was returned 28 yards for a touchdown by Jeff Randle El in the first minute of the game.
NAU took a 24-6 lead early in the fourth quarter before the Jackrabbits scored twice in the final eight-plus minutes on Busch touchdown passes to Jeff Tiefenthaler (25 yards) and Mike Perkins (8 yards).
Dan Sonnek gained 119 yards rushing on 21 carries as the Jackrabbits ran 99 offensive plays and held a 423-364 advantage in total offense.
Jonas Eldredge led the Lumberjacks with 126 yards on 23 carries, while quarterback Craig Austin completed 15-of-23 passes for 175 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Davis midway through the first quarter.
PLAYOFF HISTORY: South Dakota State is making its third appearance in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs and holds a 1-2 record in Division I postseason games. The Jackrabbits have received an at-large bid in all three of their playoff appearances, starting in 2009.
Following are the Jackrabbits’ FCS playoff results:
2009: Montana 61, South Dakota State 48 (Nov. 28, 2009, at Missoula, Mont.)
2012: South Dakota State 58, Eastern Illinois 10 (Nov. 24, 2012, at Brookings, S.D.)
2012: North Dakota State 28, South Dakota State 3 (Dec. 1, 2012, at Fargo, N.D.)
In addition, South Dakota State qualified for the NCAA Division II playoffs in 1979, falling 50-7 at Youngstown State in opening-round action.
MEDIA COVERAGE: Free audio coverage of Saturday’s game is scheduled to be available via the Jackrabbit Extra at GoJacks.com, the official website of SDSU athletics. The game will be shown live on ESPN3 (Check local internet provider for availability). Local radio coverage Saturday begins at 6 p.m. 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
• KJOE 106.1 FM-Pipestone, Minn.
• KORN 1490 AM-Mitchell
• KOLY 1300 AM-Mobridge
• KGFX 1060 AM-Pierre
• KDSJ 980 AM-Deadwood
• KSDR 1480 AM-Watertown
Video streaming of Saturday's game will be available through ESPN3.com.
CAPTAINS: Leading the Jackrabbit football team on the field and in the locker room are four captains:
• Brandon Hubert, Sr., wide receiver, Gretna, Neb.
• Austin Sumner, Jr., quarterback, Brandon, S.D.;
• Winston Wright, Sr., defensive back, Lee’s Summit, Mo.;
• Zach Zenner, Jr., running back, Eagan, Minn.
The Jackrabbits broke from tradition last season by naming non-senior players as captains. Previously, all team captains were selected from the senior class. Sumner and Wright are two-year captains.
SCOUTING NORTHERN ARIZONA: Northern Arizona has put together a breakthrough season in 2013 to reach the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs for the first time in 10 years.
The Lumberjacks feature a balanced, ball-control offense offense spearheaded by Walter Payton Award candidate Zach Bauman. A senior from Chandler, Ariz., Bauman has tallied more than 5,000 career rushing yards to take over the NAU career lead, including 1,355 yards (123.2 ypg) this season. Bauman also leads the Lumberjacks in receptions with 41 for another 274 yards.
Alex Holmes leads the wide receiving corps with 38 catches for 303 yards and three scores.
At quarterback, sophomore Kyren Poe has taken the bulk of the snaps, completing 60.5 percent (147-of-243) of his passes for 1,386 yards. He has thrown six interceptions and been intercepted seven times. Junior Chase Cartwright has played in five games, completing 64.2 percent (68-of-106) of his throws for 721 yards. Cartwright has thrown eight touchdown passes against only two interceptions.
The Lumberjacks ranked in the upper third of nearly every major defensive category in the Big Sky Conference, including second in passing yards allowed (203 ypg) and fourth in scoring defense by allowing an average of 21.6 points per game.
Linebacker Austin Hasquet is the leading tackler on the season with 82 stops, while also sharing the team lead with three interceptions. Senior free safety Lucky Dozier also has intercepted three passes, adding nine pass breakups and 71 tackles to rank second on the team in that category.
Marcus Alford has three return touchdowns this season — one on an interception, one on a fumble and the other on a 96-yard kickoff return. The sophomore cornerback also has tallied 25 tackles and five pass breakups.
On special teams, Andy Wilder ranks seventh nationally in punting with an average of 43.8 yards per attempt. Wilder also has made 10-of-16 field goal attempts.
RABBITS RANKED: The South Dakota State University football team entered the 2013 season with its highest national ranking as a member of the Football Championship Subdivison by holding down the sixth spot in The Sports Network Preseason Top 25.
SDSU, coached by John Stiegelmeier, also was ranked seventh in the FCS Coaches Preseason Poll. The Jackrabbits also were ranked fourth by Lindy’s College Football, ninth by College Sporting News and 10th by Athlon College Football.
Despite a three-game losing streak from late September through early October, the Jackrabbits have remained in both national polls throughout the season. This week, SDSU moved up three spots to 13th in the Sports Network media poll and gained four spots to 13th in the FCS Coaches’ poll.
The Jackrabbits return 15 starters to a squad that advanced to the second round of the FCS playoffs. SDSU’s previous high national ranking in either of the most-recognized polls was a ninth-place showing in 2010 preseason polls by both The Sports Network and FCS Coaches, following the Jackrabbits’ inaugural berth in the FCS playoffs in 2009.
Two-time defending national champion and Missouri Valley Football Conference rival North Dakota State held on to the top spot in both polls this week.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: South Dakota State University quarterback Austin Sumner was named Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Week in leading the Jackrabbits to a 42-13 victory Nov. 23 over Youngstown State.
A junior from Brandon, Sumner accounted for three touchdowns — two passing and one rushing — in the season finale which helped vault the Jackrabbits into the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs for the second consecutive year. Sumner was efficient in snowy and blustery conditions, completing 15-of-19 passes for 170 yards, while running eight times for 38 yards. His touchdown passes covered 3 yards to Zach Zenner and 8 yards to Jason Schneider, while his 7-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter gave SDSU a three-score advantage. Sumner also had rushes of 16 and 12 yards to set up Jackrabbit touchdowns as SDSU went 10-for-13 on third-down attempts on the afternoon.
SUMNER SETS RECORDS: Jackrabbit quarterback Austin Sumner has rewritten the Jackrabbit record book in a number of career categories during the 2013 season.
A junior, Sumner has vaulted in the top spot for career passing yards with 7,453 entering play Saturday. With a 276-yard performance Oct. 5 against Southern Illinois, Sumner moved past both Ted Wahl (6,016 yards from 1985-88) and Ryan Berry (6,023 yards from 2005-08) for the all-time lead. Sumner began the season in eighth place for career passing yards and has totaled 2,628 yards — fifth on SDSU’s single-season charts — through 12 games this season. He now holds three of the top 10 single-season passing totals in program history.
Sumner’s 1,030 career pass attempts have surpassed the previous record of 834 set by Berry, and his 601 completions also have passed Berry’s previous career mark of 514. Sumner also stands second in career touchdown passes at SDSU with 49, after breaking a tie with Brad Nelson (47 touchdown passes from 2001-04) in the Nov. 23 game at Youngstown State. Berry is the all-time leader with 55.
Sumner has played in 35 career games and made 32 starts, holding a 21-11 record as the team’s top signal-caller. During his first season, he set a Missouri Valley Football Conference freshman record with 2,382 yards passing en route to being named a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award as the top first-year player in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Despite playing through injury in 2012, Sumner helped lead the Jackrabbits to an FCS playoff berth with 2,443 passing yards.
The Brandon native recorded his seventh career 300-yard passing game in the 2013 season opener against Butler (Ind.), ending the night 22-of-32 for 326 yards and three touchdowns.
ZENNER ON PAYTON WATCH LIST: South Dakota State University running back Zach Zenner is one of 20 players currently in the running for the 2013 Walter Payton Award for the top offensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision.
A junior from Eagan, Minn., Zenner was one of 11 finalists from the 2012 season to appear on the inaugural 2013 watch list, which was announced in July. A consensus All-America selection last season, Zenner placed seventh in the balloting after joining the watch list a month into the 2012 campaign.
Zenner led the nation in rushing during the 2012 season, racking up 2,044 yards in 13 games for an average of 157.2 yards per contest. He crossed the 100-yard mark in nine games and topped 200 yards three times, including a school-record 295 yards in the opening round of the FCS playoffs Nov. 24 versus Eastern Illinois.
For the season, Zenner averaged 6.8 yards per carry and scored 13 touchdowns on the ground, while adding 28 receptions for 197 yards.
Zenner again ranks among the nation’s leaders in rushing, standing second in the Football Championship Subdivision with 1,695 total rushing yards and third with an average of 141.3 yards per game. His 20 rushing touchdowns put him in a tie for fourth among FCS players and his 22 total touchdowns (2 receiving) put him in fourth place for scoring with an average of 11 points per game. Zenner also ranks sixth in all-purpose yards with an average of 162.2 yards per game as he has added 21 receptions for 251 yards.
He has topped the 100-yard mark in 11 of 12 games this season, including tying his own school record with 295 yards — on a career-high 37 carries — Sept. 7 at North Dakota, a rushing total that is the most in a single game by an FCS player this season. Zenner was selected as National Offensive Player of the Week by the Sports Network and earned both National Performer of the Week and National Running Back of the Week accolades from College Football Performance Awards. He also was named Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Week.
For his career, Zenner has crossed the 100-yard barrier 20 times and topped the 200-yard mark five times, including a 21-carry, 202-yard performance Sept. 21 at Nebraska, when he was again named MVFC Offensive Player of the Week. He enters the weekend third in career rushing at South Dakota State with 4,209 yards.
Zenner, who has three rushing touchdowns of at least 40 yards this season, including a season-long 80-yarder Oct. 12 at Western Illinois, has had a penchant for long runs. His 13 rushing touchdowns in 2012 covered an average of 42.8 yards, including a school-record 99-yarder at Kansas in the season opener. So far in 2013, Zenner has averaged 17.7 yards on his 20 touchdown runs.
The Walter Payton Award will be presented by The Sports Network on Dec. 16.
IRON MAN: Senior offensive tackle Bryan Witzmann is expected to make his 48th consecutive start in Saturday’s FCS playoff game at Northern Arizona.
A native of Houlton, Wis., Witzmann has started every game for the Jackrabbits during his four-year career. His streak of consecutive starts is an SDSU record.
Witzmann was a first-team all-Missouri Valley Football Conference honoree in 2012 who went on to earn All-America honors from the Sports Network (first team) and Associated Press (second team).
KILGORE WAS HERE: Linebacker R.C. Kilgore ranks among the nation’s leaders in tackles during a strong senior season.
A native of Cottage Grove, Minn., Kilgore was credited with 10 tackles in the Sept. 14 Beef Bowl victory over Southeastern Louisiana, then registered 15 tackles Sept. 21 at Nebraska. He followed those performances with 17 tackles Sept 28. against North Dakota State. Kilgore reached double figures in tackles for the sixth time this season with 15 Oct. 26 against Northern Iowa and comes into Saturday’s game with a team-best 119 tackles. His average of 9.9 tackles per game ranks 22nd among Football Championship Subdivision players.
Kilgore also holds the team lead with six takeaways this season. He recovered a pair of fumbles Sept. 21 at Nebraska and notched his fourth fumble recovery of the season Oct. 19 at Missouri State. He also recorded his first career interception Sept. 7 at North Dakota, and added a pickoff Nov. 23 at Youngstown State
LALLY AT LINEBACKER: For the second year in a row, the South Dakota State University football team had a player under consideration for the Jerry Rice Award, which is presented to the top freshman player in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Linebacker T.J. Lally was named one of 20 finalists for the 2012 Jerry Rice Award following a stellar season in which he ranked second on the team with 107 tackles, shared the team lead with six sacks and ranked fourth with eight tackles for loss. Lally started all 13 games at middle linebacker and registered double figures for tackles in five games, including a career-high 11 in a playoff loss at North Dakota State
A member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Newcomer Team in 2012, Lally was one of three league players to be named a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award. Northern Iowa quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen and Western Illinois linebacker J.J. Raffelson also were considered for the award.
Lally was credited with a season-high 10 tackles in the Sept. 14 win over Southeastern Louisiana, recording double figures in stops for the sixth time in his career. The previous week, in a road win at North Dakota, Lally was credited with five tackles. He also tipped a pass that resulted in a game-ending interception late in the game.
SYROVATKA STREAKS END: South Dakota State kicker Justin Syrovatka had his school-record streak of 15 consecutive made field goals end when he missed a 32-yard attempt in the third quarter of the Sept. 21 game at Nebraska.
A junior from Sioux Falls, Syrovatka extended his new Jackrabbit standard to 15 by tying his career long with a 48-yarder in the first quarter at Nebraska. Following his miss, Syrovatka connected on a 29-yard field goal to cap the SDSU scoring in the fourth quarter.
The previous Jackrabbit record for consecutive made field goal attempts was 13, which was set by Parker Douglass between the 2006 and 2007 seasons.
Syrovatka’s streak began on Oct. 11, 2012, in a victory over Western Illinois. He made his last 12 field goal attempts of the 2012 season and first three attempts of the 2013 campaign, going 7-for-7 from 20-29 yards, 3-for-3 on field goals of 30-39 yards and 5-for-5 from 40-plus yards.
Syrovatka’s last miss prior to the Nebraska game also came on a 32-yard attempt Sept. 29, 2012, versus Missouri State. He ended the 2012 season 18-of-22 (81.8 percent) on field goals and is 34-for-49 (69.4 percent) for his career.
He also had a streak of 47 consecutively made PATs end Nov. 9 against Indiana State. His 33 consecutive PATs to start the season were a Jackrabbit record, surpassing the 29 by Douglass in 2004. For his career, Syrovatka is 99-of-101 on PATs.
SCHNEIDER STEPS UP: After graduating its top two receivers from a year ago, South Dakota State had some question as to who would be the go-to players in the passing game. Junior Jason Schneider emerged as an early candidate in the Aug. 31 season opener against Butler (Ind.), recording career highs with 10 receptions and 167 receiving yards, along with two touchdowns.
A native of Andover, Minn., Schneider’s yardage total was the most since Dale Moss racked up 178 yards in a 2011 game at Missouri State. The last Jackrabbit receiver to notch double figures for receptions in a game was Tyrel Kool with 10 in a 2010 contest at Northern Iowa.
Schneider has been the leading receiver in terms of catches in eight of the Jackrabbits’ 12 games this season, including a seven-catch, 110-yard performance Nov. 9 against Indiana State. For the year, Schneider leads the team with 71 receptions for 985 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is leading the Missouri Valley Football Conference in both receptions (5.9 per game) and receiving yards (82.1 yards per game). Schneider enters play Saturday having caught a touchdown pass in six consecutive games.
Schneider has moved into second place for single-season receptions at SDSU with 71 and is fourth in single-season receiving yards. He is three catches away from passing Jeff Tiefenthaler (73 receptions in 1986) for the single-season receptions mark, and is 15 yards away from becoming the first Jackrabbit receiver to record 1,000 yards in a season during the Division I era and the first to reach the milestone since current assistant coach Josh Davis compiled 1,028 yards in 2003.
HUBERT TO THE TOP 10s: Senior wide receiver Brandon Hubert moved into the Jackrabbit career top 10 for receptions last month and gained a spot in the SDSU top 10 for receiving yards Nov. 9 in the game against Indiana State.
A team captain from Gretna, Neb., Hubert enters the weekend with 134 career receptions, good for eighth place on the Jackrabbit all-time charts. Hubert also has tallied 1,723 receiving yards, putting him in 10th place all-time at SDSU. He has caught a pass in 44 of 47 career games.
Earlier this season, Hubert was named a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which is awarded annually by the National Football Foundation to the top scholar-athlete in college football. Besides being a key member of the Jackrabbit football team, Hubert has excelled in the classroom, compiling a 3.70 grade-point average while majoring in pharmacy.
LIMITING MISTAKES: After being flagged for 10 penalties for 103 yards in the Aug. 31 season opener against Butler (Ind.), the Jackrabbit football team has been among the best in the Football Championship Subdivision in limiting mistakes.
In the 11 games since the opener, SDSU has committed a total of 43 penalties for 389 yards. The Jackrabbits enter the week tied for eighth among FCS programs for fewest penalties with an average of 4.4 per game, while their 41 penalty yards per game rank 11th. SDSU set a season low with 15 penalty yards in a double-overtime win over Northern Iowa on Oct. 26, while matching a season low with only two penalties.
In addition, SDSU stands fifth in the FCS ranks for turnover margin at plus-14 (+1.2 per game). The Jackrabbits have turned the ball over only 14 times this season, while forcing 28 takeaways. SDSU has forced at least one turnover in all 12 games so far in 2013.
THIRD-DOWN SUCCESS: During their current four-game winning streak, the Jackrabbits have been especially efficient on third down, converting 31-of-54 (57.4 percent) of their third-down attempts. In road wins over South Dakota and Youngstown State the last two weeks, SDSU converted 8-of-13 and 10-of-13 third-down attempts, respectively.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Jackrabbits have limited opponents to a 39.6 percent (25-of-63) success rate on third down, including a combined 15-of-43 the last three weeks.
THE WRIGHT BROTHERS: The Jackrabbit football team has received valuable contributions from brothers Winston and Dom Wright over the past two seasons.
Natives of Lee’s Summit, Mo., and Blue Springs South High School, both joined the SDSU football program in the fall of 2010. A senior, Winston Wright has started all 36 games at cornerback since the start of the 2011 campaign, earning second-team all-Missouri Valley Football Conference honors in 2011. He led the team with three interceptions to go along with 57 tackles in 2011, followed by a 59-tackle, one-interception season in 2012. He began his collegiate career at Missouri, redshirting in 2009.
Dom Wright is a junior wide receiver who has seen most of his action as a kick returner. Last season, he averaged 20.6 yards on 10 kickoff returns and added a 39-yard punt return in limited action.
GOOD WORKS TEAM: South Dakota State University cornerback Winston Wright is one of 22 college football players from across the country named to the 2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.
A senior from Lee’s Summit, Mo., Wright has organized or participated in numerous service activities, including leading two groups of SDSU students to Harmons, Jamaica, and assisting in the building of six homes.
Wright also has participated in shoe donations and sports camps on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Samaritan’s Feet, along with mentoring children and speaking at local schools and churches about making positive decisions.
Wright, who is a three-year starter and two-year captain for the Jackrabbits, is the first SDSU player to be named to the Good Works Team. A record 150 football student-athletes were nominated for this year’s squad.
The 22-player team is made up of 11 players from the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, with the other 11 players from Football Championship Subdivision, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA institutions.
Fans will have the opportunity to vote for the 2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team Captain through ESPN.com. All award recipients will be invited to New Orleans to take part in a community project leading up to the 2014 Allstate Sugar Bowl.
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 110-80 record (.579 winning percentage). SDSU has clinched its eighth winning season in the school’s 10 seasons competing at the FCS (formerly Division I-AA) level, compiling a 66-46 record since moving to the FCS ranks in 2004. Overall, the Jackrabbits have had a winning record in 13 of Stiegelmeier’s 17 years as head coach, and have a 32-16 record in Missouri Valley Football Conference games. SDSU has reached the FCS playoffs three times (2009, 2012, 2013) under Stiegelmeier’s guidance.
NEW STADIUM ON HORIZON: South Dakota State University officials announced on Oct. 5 lead gifts totaling $12.5 million from Sioux Falls banker Dana Dykhouse and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford toward the construction of a new football stadium.
The announcement was made in conjunction with the 100th Hobo Day game at SDSU.
The proposed stadium, which would have a seating capacity of 18,500 to 20,000, would replace Coughlin-Alumni Stadium, which has served as the home of Jackrabbit football since 1962. The new stadium would be built on the current Coughlin-Alumni Stadium site, with completion scheduled for the summer of 2016.
In recent years SDSU has regularly drawn crowds well above the capacity of Coughlin-Alumni Stadium, which has permanent seating totaling about 11,000. The stadium attendance record of 16,498 was set Sept. 28, when the Jackrabbits hosted North Dakota State.
University officials will present a facility program plan for the estimated $60 million project to the South Dakota Board of Regents in December and, pending BOR approval, will seek authority from the South Dakota Legislature in the spring. Construction would be done in phases, with the east and south sides of the stadium scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2015 and the west side finished the following year.
Plans call for the stadium to be funded through private gifts and long-term revenue streams, including concessions and suite, loge box and ticket sales. The intention is to secure bonds to finance up to two-thirds of the project’s construction with bonds, with the remaining third coming from private support.
RARE BYE WEEK: The Jackrabbits had a rare in-season bye week during their membership in the Missouri Valley Conference, taking a week off prior to their Nov. 9 game against Indiana State. Since joining the league in 2008, SDSU is 2-1 in games following a mid-season bye week. In 2008, the Jackrabbits lost a 42-28 home decision to Cal Poly. Last year, SDSU recorded a 31-10 home win over Western Illinois (Oct. 13, 2012).
WORKING OVERTIME: SDSU’s 37-34 double-overtime victory over Northern Iowa on Oct. 26 upped the Jackrabbits’ record in overtime games to 2-0 against Missouri Valley Football Conference opponents. SDSU also defeated Missouri State in a double-overtime game, 43-36, in 2011.
Overall, SDSU is 3-4 in games decided in overtime since the format was adopted in the mid-1990s. The Jackrabbits won their inaugural overtime game, 30-27 in two overtimes against Nebraska-Omaha in the 1998 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.)
2013: SDSU 37, Northern Iowa 34 (2 OT — at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium)
JACKRABBIT INSIDER: Throughout the 2013 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 MyUTV. The show is also broadcast on KELO-TV at 11 p.m. Central Sunday and at 10 p.m. Mountain Time Sunday on KCLO-TV. Online, the show can be viewed at GoJacks.com.
STIG SHOW: The John Stiegelmeier Radio Show airs each Monday throughout the 2013 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.
ACADEMIC AWARD: The South Dakota State football team was presented with the Missouri Valley Football Conference Team Academic Award during the Sept. 14 game against Southeastern Louisiana. The Jackrabbits, who compiled a 3.02 team grade-point average during the 2012-13 academic year, have received the MVFC Team Academic Award each of the five seasons they have competed in the conference.
ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT: Four South Dakota State University football players have repeated as selections to the Capital One Academic All-District 6 Team, which was announced Nov. 7.
The Jackrabbit contingent consists of wide receivers Brandon Hubert and Jason Schneider, offensive lineman Taylor Suess and running back Zach Zenner. All four will advance to the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration later this month.
Hubert and Schneider swept the wide receiver category for the second consecutive year. A senior from Gretna, Neb., Hubert has compiled a 3.70 grade-point average while majoring in pharmacy. Earlier this season, Hubert was named a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which is awarded to the top scholar-athete in college football. He currently ranks second on the team with 34 receptions for 380 yards and four touchdowns, while moving into the Jackrabbit career top 10 for receptions with 134.
Schneider, a junior from Andover, Minn., also is majoring in pharmacy and has recorded a 3.98 GPA. He currently leads the Missouri Valley Football Conference with 71 receptions and 985 receiving yards, adding a team-best 10 touchdowns.
A senior from Columbus, Neb., Suess has started each of the past two seasons on the Jackrabbit offensive line while maintaining a 3.96 GPA in mechanical engineering. He started all 13 games during the 2012 season at either left or right guard, and has started all 12 games during the 2013 campaign at center.
Zenner returns to the national ballot after earning second-team Capital One Academic All-America honors in 2012. College footbal’s leading rusher last season with 2,044 yards, Zenner has again eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in 2013 with an MVFC-best 1,695 yards. He has topped the 100-yard mark in 11 of 12 games this season, including a pair of 200-yard games. The junior from Eagan, Minn., has compiled a 3.85 GPA while majoring in biology/pre-medicine.
SDSU's four selections were tied with North Dakota State for the most to the Capital One Academic All-District 6 Team.
Selections to the Capital One Academic All-District 6 Team were determined by a vote of members of the College Sports Information Directors of America in Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Candidates must be at least a sophomore in athletic and academic standing, a starter or key reserve on his team and carry at least a 3.3 GPA.
A LOOK AHEAD: Should the Jackrabbits win Saturday, they would travel to face No. 3 national seed Eastern Washington on Saturday, Dec. 7 in Cheney, Wash. Game time is slated for 1 p.m. Pacific Time (3 p.m. Central).