BROOKINGS, S.D. - Zach Zenner rushed for 197 yards and two touchdowns, and the Jackrabbit defense held UC Davis without an offensive touchdown as South Dakota State opened the home season with a 12-8 victory Saturday afternoon at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium.
With its win in the 17th Annual Cereal Bowl, SDSU improved to 2-1 overall. UC Davis dropped to 1-2.
The Jackrabbits dominated the yardage total in the first quarter and was on the march early in the second quarter until Jonathan Perkins intercepted an Austin Sumner pass and rolled down the left sideline for a 61-yard touchdown. The Aggies converted the two-point conversion to go ahead 8-0.
SDSU wasted little time to get on the board. On the second play of the drive, Zenner weaved his way through the UC Davis defense for a 69-yard touchdown. The two-point attempt failed.
The game remained 8-6 until early in the fourth quarter. After the Jackrabbits converted a third-down attempt with a 9-yard pass from Sumner to tight end Seth Daughters, Zenner bounced off a couple tackles to find paydirt from 23 yards out to give SDSU a 12-8 after another two-point attempt failed.
UC Davis, which had a touchdown negated by a penalty in the third quarter, crossed midfield on each of its next two possessions. Jackrabbit redshirt freshman linebacker T.J. Lally thwarted each drive with a sack and came up with a fumble recovery on the Aggies' final offensive play in the closing seconds.
Lally finished the day with 10 tackles - all solo - and four sacks. Ross Shafrath added 10 tackles, while Marshall Peugh chipped in with seven tackles, including a sack, as SDSU did not allow UC Davis past the Jackrabbit 25-yard line for the entire game. SDSU finished the day with seven sacks.
Zenner topped the 100-yard for the third straight game with his 197 yards on 21 carries. Sumner completed 20-of-34 passes for 191 yards and Daughters led the receiving corps with five catches for 35 yards. Trevor Tiefenthaler, starting in place of an injured Aaron Rollin, caught four balls for 35 yards.
For UC Davis, Randy Wright completed 16-of-25 passes for 116 yards. Backup London Lacy was 6-of-7 passing for 67 yards. Tim Benton led Aggie receivers with five catches for 66 yards.
Marquis Nicolis gained 39 yards on the ground on eight carries for the Aggies.
Steven Pitts shared game-high honors in tackles with 10.
SDSU held a 373-237 advantage in total yards.
The Jackrabbits open Missouri Valley Football Conference action Sept. 22 at Indiana State. Kickoff is set for 2:05 p.m. Eastern Time (1:05 p.m. Central) at Memorial Stadium in Terre Haute, Ind.
NOTES: SDSU leads the all-time series against UC Davis, 5-2, and has won each of the last four matchups ... the Jackrabbits improved to 12-4 in home openers under head coach John Stiegelmeier ... SDSU upped its record in Cereal Bowl games to 13-4 ... Zenner upped his rushing total to 658 yards, surpassing his total output of 470 yards last season ... Zenner has crossed the 100-yard mark in the first half of all three games this season ... the Jackrabbits wore orange sweat bands to help raise awareness for Samaritan's Feet ... attendance was 11,532