Jacks host UND in season finale
Kickoff for Military Appreciation Day is slated for 1 p.m. at Coughlin-Alumni Day.
UND enters today's game with a 3-7 overall record, including an 0-4 mark in the Great West Conference. The Jackrabbits, meanwhile, are 4-6 overall. SDSU completed a 4-4 slate in Missouri Valley Football Conference play with a 31-24 loss last week at North Dakota State.
Longtime rivals in the North Central Conference when both schools competed at the NCAA Division II level, the Jackrabbits and UND have not played each other since 2003.
Saturday's game also marks the final home contest for 19 Jackrabbit seniors. During their four-year careers, SDSU has compiled a 26-19 record, winning the Great West Football Conference title in 2007 and qualifying for the Division I Football Championship Subdivision
playoffs for the first time in 2009. This group of seniors played their final three seasons in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, posting a combined 17-7 record in league play.
THE SERIES: Saturday's matchup marks the 84th time South Dakota State and North Dakota have met on the gridiron, dating back to a 5-4 Jackrabbit win in Brookings in 1906. UND leads the overall series by a 45-33-5 count, winning each of the last four matchups and 11 of 15.
The two schools were both charter members of the North Central Conference, meeting all but two years (1918 and 1925) from 1914 through 1942 until play was interrupted by World War II. The series resumed in 1948 and the two squads met every year through 2003, after which SDSU made the move to the Division I Football Championship Subdivision.
In the last meeting betweeen the two squads, on Oct. 11, 2003, at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium, UND overcame a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to win 25-24. John Bowenkamp threw two touchdown passes to Jesse Ahlers, the first from 10 yards and the second from 14 yards out with two seconds remaining. Bowenkamp then found Willis Stattleman in the back of the end zone for the game-winning two-point conversion.
For SDSU, Josh Davis - currently the wide receivers coach for the Jackrabbits - caught nine passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns
MEDIA COVERAGE: Audio and video coverage of Saturday's game is scheduled to be available via subscription service at GoJacks.com, the official website of SDSU athletics. Monthly subscriptions for the Jackrabbit Extra, which includes live audio and video streaming of select games are available for $11.95 per month or $99.95 for an entire year of coverage. An audio-only subscription also is available for $4.95 per month, with programming consisting only of live radio broadcasts.
Local radio coverage Saturday begins on flagship station WNAX 570 AM at 11:30 a.m. Central Time, with an expanded pre-game show. Steve Imming returns to call the play-by-play, with Tyler Merriam providing color commentary. The game also can be heard on the following Jackrabbit Sports Network stations, starting at 12:30 p.m. CT:
• Belle Fourche: KBFS 1450 AM
• Brookings: KJJQ 910 AM
• Mobridge: KOLY 1300 AM
• Pierre: KGFX 1060 AM
• Rapid City: KRKI 99.5 FM
• Watertown: KWAT 950 AM
JACKRABBIT INSIDER: Throughout the 2010 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 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Online, the show can be viewed at GoJacks.com.
SLOW STARTS: South Dakota State's 0-4 start to the 2010 campaign marked the first time since 1969 the Jackrabbits had gone winless through their first four games.
After starting both the 2006 and 2007 seasons with 0-3 records, SDSU rebounded to contend for conference titles. The 2006 squad reeled off seven consecutive victories after an 0-3 start to set up a showdown with North Dakota State for the Great West Football Conference championship - a game the Bison eventually won 41-28 at the Fargodome.
In 2007, the Jackrabbits won six of their final seven games, including their final five contests, to claim the GWFC title. SDSU defeated previously unbeaten North Dakota State, 29-24, in the season finale to win their first league title in football in 44 years.
SLOW STARTS, PART II: The Jackrabbits put an end to their first-quarter scoring struggles as they scored a touchdown on their opening drive of the Oct. 23 game against Youngstown State for their first points in the opening quarter this season.
Through the first 10 games, SDSU has been outscored 121-78 in the first half, including a 56-13 margin in the first quarter.
The Jackrabbits hold a 135-111 scoring advantage in the second half of games.
HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE: The South Dakota State University football team has enjoyed a home-field advantage at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium since making the move to the Football Championship Subdivision level.
Since joining the FCS ranks at the start of the 2004 season, the Jackrabbits have posted a 28-8 mark at CAS, including a 10-2 record in Missouri Valley Football Conference games.
Lights were installed at CAS prior to the 2001 season and SDSU has turned in a 21-6 record in home night games.
Overall, SDSU has compiled a 161-99 record in 49 seasons at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium.
CAPTAINS: Leading the Jackrabbit football team on the field and in the locker room are four senior captains:
• Cole Brodie, defensive back, Dacula, Ga.;
• Conrad Kjerstad, defensive back, Wall;
• Ryan McKnight, offensive lineman, Sioux Falls;
• Kyle Minett, running back, Ruthton, Minn.
RABBITS RANKED: For the fourth year in a row, South Dakota State appeared in the preseason national rankings for the Football Championship Subdivision, checking in at No. 9 in the Sports Network/Fathead.com media poll and 10th in the FCS Coaches' poll.
Following back-to-back losses to start the season, the Jackrabbits fell out of the top 25.
The Jackrabbits began the 2009 season ranked 22nd in the Sports Network poll and 23rd in the preseason poll conducted by the Football Championship Subdivision coaches. SDSU climbed to as high as ninth in the national rankings before finishing the season 11th in both the media and coaches' polls.
In 2008, SDSU opened the season 19th in the Sports Network poll and 20th in the coaches' poll. When opening the 2007 season, the rankings were reversed as SDSU was 19th in the coaches' poll and 20th in the Sports Network rankings.
VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS: Playing a ranked opponent is nothing new for the Jackrabbit football team, which has taken on some of the nation's elite Football Championship Subdivision programs since moving up from Division I at the start of the 2004 season.
In its first six-plus seasons at the FCS level, SDSU has played 34 games against ranked FCS opponents and compiled an 11-23 overall record, including a 2-3 mark this season.
WORKING OVERTIME: Since overtime rules were implemented in college football in 1996, the Jackrabbits have played five overtime games. SDSU won its first-ever overtime contest, a 30-27, double-overtime decision on Hobo Day against Nebraska-Omaha, but has lost its last four extended games.
Following is a history of SDSU's overtime games:
• Oct. 17, 1998 vs. Nebraska-Omaha W, 30-27 2 OT [Hobo Day]
• Oct. 19, 2002, at Augustana (S.D.) L, 33-39 3 OT
• Nov. 13, 2004, at Southern Utah L, 17-23 2 OT
• Aug. 30, 2007, at Western Illinois L, 26-39 4 OT
• Oct. 4, 2008, vs. McNeese State (La.) L, 44-46 3 OT [Hobo Day]
SCOUTING NORTH DAKOTA: The University of North Dakota will attempt to end the 2010 season on a high note Saturday as it resumes its long-standing rivalry with South Dakota State.
UND, which will end with a losing season for the first time since 2002, enters today's game with a 3-7 overall record, including an 0-4 mark in the Great West Conference.
Redshirt freshman wide receiver Greg Hardin has shown big-play ability to lead the UND offense. Hardin has paced the squad with 39 catches for 712 yards - an average of 18.3 yards per reception - with nine touchdowns. He had an 85-yard touchdown reception against Northern Illinois and added a 63-yard touchdown run a week later against Northeastern State (Okla.).
Josh Murray has been a dual threat out of the backfield, averaging 5.6 yards per carry while gaining a team-high 614 yards with four touchdowns. Murray also ranks second on the team with 27 receptions and has thrown a touchdown pass this season. In addition, Murray has handled punt returns this season, averagng 11.4 yards per attempt, including a 60-yard touchdown.
Ryan Dressler has reached the 20-reception mark, as well, hauling in 20 catches for 202 yards.
UND lost starting quarterback Jake Landry due to injury last month and has turned to Brent Goska. A junior, Goska has completed 62 percent of his passes (31-of-50) for 323 yards and a touchdown. He has yet to throw an interception this season behind an offensive line anchored by senior right tackle Keith Queoff.
The UND defense has been led by junior inside linebacker Dan Hendrickson. The Minot native has tallied a team-best 79 tackles this season, racking up 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.
Strong safety Kris Ankenbauer ranks second on the team with 53 tackles.
An aggressive UND secondary has tallied 11 interceptions this season, three of which have been returned for touchdowns. Free safety Joel Schwenzfeier has recorded a team-high four interceptions, including a 100-yard return for touchdown in a conference loss at Southern Utah on Oct. 9.
Chris Hall and Dominique Hawkins have the other interception returns for touchdowns. Hawkins has been the primary kick returner for UND, averaging 28.8 yards on 17 returns.
R.J. McGill has added nine kick returns for an average of 23.9 yards per attempt.
Up front, UND's 3-4 defense features nose tackle Ty Boyle. A senior, Boyle has 3.5 tackles for loss and a sack among his 35 tackles. Flanking Boyle are Ross Benneman, who has a team-high four sacks, and rush end Ross Cochran, who has tallied 3.5 sacks.
As a team, UND has sacked the quarterback 25 times this season.
UND has been solid on special teams in 2010, especially in the kicking game. Sophomore punter Brett Cameron is averaing 39.4 yards per punt, but has landed 22 of his 54 attempts inside the opponents' 20-yard line.
Redshirt freshman kicker Zeb Miller is 9-for-15 on field goals this season, with all six misses on attempts of at least 41 yards. Miller made three field goals two weeks ago at UC Davis. His long field goal of 44 yards came against the University of South Dakota in early October.
LAST WEEK: North Dakota State intercepted four South Dakota State passes, leading directly to 17 points, as the Bison reclaimed the Dakota Marker with a 31-24 victory Nov. 13 at the Fargodome.
The Bison, who kept their Football Championship Subdivision playoff hopes alive, improved to 7-3 overall and 4-3 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. SDSU, which saw its hopes for a ninth consecutive winning season come to an end, dropped to 4-6 overall and ended its MVFC slate with a 4-4 mark.
North Dakota State put the first points on the board with a defensive touchdown late in the first quarter. Coulter Boyer intercepted a Thomas O'Brien screen pass and returned it four yards to paydirt with 3 minutes and 27 seconds remaining in the opening stanza.
The Jackrabbits responded to tie the game at 7-all on the ensuing possession. On the first play of the second quarter, Kyle Minett spun out of a tackle near the goal line for a 1-yard touchdown. Minett picked up 22 yards on a carry earlier in the 10-play, 74-yard drive that consumed nearly four minutes.
NDSU's own 1,000-yard rusher, D.J. McNorton, put the Bison back on top as he cut back and bounced around the left end for a 31-yard touchdown run with 2:30 to play in the first half to cap a seven-play, 79-yard drive.
The momentum shifted back to the Jackrabbits on the second-half kickoff. Redshirt freshman R.C. Kilgore jarred the ball loose from Justin Howard and Dominique Clare recovered the fumble at the NDSU 18. Two plays later, Minett broke through the left side of the line for a 15-yard touchdown run - his second of the day and 12th of the season.
McNorton gave the Bison the lead in the closing seconds of the third quarter, again turning the corner around the left end for a 3-yard touchdown run. NDSU marched 67 yards on eight plays, helped along by one of three personal foul penalties against the Jackrabbits on the afternoon.
The NDSU defense turned up the pressure, with Marcus Williams intercepting an ill-advised O'Brien pass and returned it to the Jackrabbit 29. Ryan Jastram's 26-yard field goal with 10:22 to play put the Bison up 24-14.
The Bison put the game away midway through the fourth quarter with their second interception return for touchdown. Josh Gatlin did the honors this time, returning the ball 51 yards for a score.
O'Brien responded, however, with his longest completion as a Jackrabbit on his next attempt, connecting with Tyrel Kool over the middle for a 68-yard touchdown with eight minutes to play that cut the margin to 31-21. Kool topped the century mark in receiving yards for the third time this season, recording six catches for a career-high 132 yards.
The Jackrabbits made it a one-possession game with 4:17 to play as Peter Reifenrath connected on a 43-yard field goal.
SDSU never got the ball back as the Bison ground out three first downs to ice the game.
While the Jackrabbits' three-game winning streak in the series came to an end, so did Minett's streak of 100-yard rushing games. The senior from Ruthton, Minn., was hobbled by an ankle injury midway through the second quarter and was limited to only two third-quarter carries the rest of the way. He finished the game with 16 carries for 75 yards, ending his streak of eight consecutive games reaching the century mark.
McNorton topped the 100-yard mark for the sixth time in seven games, gaining 138 yards on 26 carries. Bison quarterback Jose Mohler finished the game 14-of-20 passing for 100 yards, with Warren Holloway leading the receiving corps with seven catches for 64 yards.
O'Brien ended the day 18-of-42 passing for 247 yards with a touchdown and the four interceptions.
Michael Lien led the Jackrabbit defense with 18 tackles, followed by 13 from Derek Domino. Colton Heagle led NDSU with 11 stops.
MINETT ON PAYTON LIST: South Dakota State University running back Kyle Minett remains one of 20 players on the official watch list for the 2010 Walter Payton Award, which is awarded to the top offensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision.
A native of Ruthton, Minn., Minett is currently ranked second among active FCS backs with 4,277 career rushing yards - a total that also ranks second on the SDSU career charts. In addition, Minett stands second in career rushing touchdowns among active FCS players with 47, second in total touchdowns with 54 and fourth in total points with 330 (54 TDs, 2 two-point conversions).
A two-time second-team all-Missouri Valley Football Conference selection, Minett became the first player in SDSU football history to rush for 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons, reaching the milestone Oct. 30 at Indiana State. After tallying 1,289 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2008 and 1,304 yards and 16 TDs last season, Minett enters Saturday's matchup against North Dakota with 1,208 yards and 12 touchdowns so far in 2010. He currently ranks 11th in FCS rushing this season with an average of 120.8 yards per game.
In addition, Minett has 107 career receptions for 912 yards and seven scores.
Minett, who was named to the Associated Press All-America Third Team in 2009, is the first SDSU football player to be nominated for the Walter Payton Award, which is sponsored by Fathead.com and presented by The Sports Network. The Walter Payton Award watch list will again be updated on Oct. 25, with ballots sent to a panel of approximately 200 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries after the regular season on Nov. 22. Three finalists will be announced on Dec. 1 and invited to The Sports Network/Fathead FCS Awards Presentation Jan. 6 - the night before the FCS national championship game - in Frisco, Texas.
PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS: Three seniors on the South Dakota State University football team were named to 2010 preseason All-America teams.
Center Ryan McKnight was named to the first team of preseason All-America squads selected by The Sports Network and College Sporting News. The 6-foot-1, 295-pound senior from Sioux Falls, was a first-team all-Missouri Valley Football Conference selection in 2009 after starting all 12 games for the Jackrabbits' playoff-qualifying squad and was an integral part of an offense that averaged 27.8 points and 341.2 yards of offense per game.
Linebacker Derek Domino earned second-team recognition on the CSN squad. A native of Spring Lake Park, Minn., Domino also earned first-team all-MVFC recognition in 2009 after leading the squad with 100 tackles and sharing the team lead with five interceptions. Domino returned two of his interceptions for touchdowns.
Running back Kyle Minett was tabbed as a third-team selection by both The Sports Network and College Sporting News. In 2009, Minett was named to the Associated Press All-America Third Team.
OH, DOMINO: Senior linebacker Derek Domino has picked up where he left off a season ago, when he emerged as the team's top tackler.
A native of Spring Lake Park, Minn., Domino has tallied a team-high 80 tackles so far this season, including a career-high 16 stops Sept. 25 at Nebraska. Domino had his string of five consecutive games with double digits for tackles, dating back to the 2009 season, end in the Oct. 9 game against Western Illinois, when he notched seven stops. In 2009, Domino led the team with 100 tackles as he registered 12 tackles in a game three times, including SDSU's playoff game at Montana.
In addition, Domino upped his career interception total to nine in the game at Nebraska. Last season, Domino shared the team lead with five interceptions, including one he returned for a 22-yard touchdown at Minnesota. He also picked off two passes Oct. 17 against North Dakota State, returning his first interception of the game 16 yards for a touchdown.
During the 2008 campaign, Domino returned an interception 82 yards for a touchdown in the Hobo Day game against McNeese State (La.). His three career interception returns for touchdowns are tied for the most among all active FCS players.
BRODIE BREAKS AWAY: Senior captain Cole Brodie has been a top performer both defensively and on special teams for the Jackrabbits this season.
A cornerback from Dacula, Ga., Brodie leads the team with four interceptions, two of which he has returned for touchdowns. His first touchdown was an 87-yarder - the second longest in school history - with his other return touchdown covering 55 yards late in the fourth quarter against Missouri State on Nov. 6.
Brodie was named Missouri Valley Football Conference Special Teams Player of the Week after tallying 136 return yards in an Oct. 9 victory over nationally ranked Western Illinois. For the season, Brodie is averaging 22.4 yards per kickoff return and 10.9 yards per punt return.
REIFENRATH RETURNS: Senior kicker Peter Reifenrath was honored as the Missouri Valley Football Conference Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts in the Jackrabbits' 30-20 Hobo Day victory over Youngstown State (Ohio) on Oct. 23.
A senior from Decorah, Iowa, Reifenrath was 3-for-4 on field goals and made all three extra-point attempts as the Jackrabbits won their third consecutive league game. His first made field goal of the day was a then-career-best 43-yarder, followed by field goals of 42 and 25 yards.
Reifenrath upped his career field goal total to 32 in the North Dakota State game with a 43-yarder late in the fourth quarter. Reifenrath is 7-of-9 on field goal attempts this season - including 4-for-4 on field goal attempts of 40 or more yards - and has passed Adam Vinatieri (27 field goals from 1991-94) for third place on the SDSU career charts. Brett Gorden is second with 35 field goals from 1995-98.
Reifenrath made his season debut in the Oct. 16 game at Southern Illinois and responded by making all five kicks he attempted. A Decorah, Iowa native, he entered the game in the second quarter in place of Kyle Harris, who missed a 33-yard field goal attempt on the Jackrabbits' opening possession of the game. Reifenrath made all four point-after attempts and added a 35-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter.
In 2008, Reifenrath earned second-team all-Missouri Valley Football Conference honors after making 16-of-22 field goal attempts. He shared placekicking duties with Harris last season, going 9-of-12 with a long of 34.
PRIDDY PUNTING: Jackrabbit punter Dean Priddy put together a strong performance in the opening game of the season at Delaware. A senior from Eden Prairie, Minn., Priddy punted four times for an average of 55 yards, with a net punting average of 53.2 yards. His punts traveled 44, 72, 53 and 51 yards, with the 72-yarder a career long that pinned Delaware inside its own 5-yard line late in the first half.
For his efforts, Priddy received co-Punter of the Week recognition from College Football Performance Awards, sharing the honor with Mike Hammonds of Chattanooga (Tenn.).
In 40 attempts this season, Priddy ranks 15th among FCS punters with an average of 41.5 yards per punt and has landed 17 attempts inside the opponents' 20-yard line. Combined with outstanding coverage downfield, Priddy's punting has shut down the opposing return game as his net punting average is 38.63 yards - fifth in the FCS ranks - with the opponents tallying a mere 55 yards on 17 returns (3.2-yard average) with a long return of 12 yards.
O'BRIEN UNDER CENTER: Sophomore quarterback crossed the 3,000-yard mark for his career in the Nov. 6 victory versus Missouri State. In 16 career starts, O'Brien has compiled an 8-8 record, including a perfect 7-0 mark in starts in which he has not thrown an interception.
O'Brien started six games during the 2009 season, including the Jackrabbits' FCS playoff game at Montana, and compiled a 4-2 record.
With 2,001 passing yards this season, O'Brien is 131 yards away from entering the Jackrabbits' single-season top 10.
Through the first 10 games, SDSU has allowed only six sacks all season in more than 300 pass attempts. The Jackrabbits did not allow a sack in 11 consecutive halves before allowing a sack in the third quarter at Indiana State on Oct. 30, a streak that covered more than 150 pass attempts.
KOOL CATCHING ON: Sophomore Tyrel Kool has made a seamless transition to wide receiver as he has been a standout performer on offense for the Jackrabbits this season.
A converted running back, Kool caught a game-high nine passes for 107 yards in a losing effort in the season opener at Delaware, including a leaping 44-yard reception in the fourth quarter. He became the first Jackrabbit receiver this season to total double figures in receptions, hauling in 10 for 113 yards with his first career touchdown Oct. 2 at Northern Iowa. He turned in third 100-yard receiving game this season with six catches for 132 yards, including a career-long 68-yard touchdown, last week at North Dakota State.
Kool continues to lead the team with 58 receptions and 703 receiving yards, heading into Saturday’s game. His 58 receptions are the seventh most in a single season by a Jackrabbit player, four behind Glen Fox’s sixth-place total 62 catches in 2009 and five behind current receivers coach Josh Davis’ 2003 total of 63 for fifth place.
A Yankton native, Kool ranked third on the team in rushing in 2009 with 96 yards, averaging 5.6 yards per carry.
COACH STIG: John Stiegelmeier has built the South Dakota State University football team into a consistent winner and a program on the rise in the ranks of the Division I Football Championship Subdivision.
Overall, Coach Stig has led the Jackrabbits to an 87-66 record (.569 winning percentage). SDSU has posted eight consecutive winning seasons, including the school’s first six campaigns at the FCS (formerly Division I-AA) level. The Jackrabbits have had a winning record in 11 of Stiegelmeier’s 14 years as head coach, including six with seven or more victories. He holds a 1-6 career record against North Dakota.
The 2009 season proved to be a memorable one as Stiegelmeier led the Jackrabbits to their first FCS playoff appearance and the program’s first postseason appearance in 30 years. The Jackrabbits finished as runner-up in the Missouri Valley Football Conference with a 7-1 record and finished the season 8-4 overall. SDSU led for much of its playoff game at top-seeded Montana, before falling 61-48 to the eventual national runner-up Grizzlies. Nationally ranked for the entire season, including appearing in the top 10 for two weeks, the Jackrabbits finished the 2009 campaign ranked 11th in both the FCS Coaches' and Sports Network media polls.
Stiegelmeier, 53, is the 20th head coach for the Jackrabbits. His tenure of 14 years as head coach is the second-longest head coaching stint in school history.
The Selby, S.D., native first became acquainted with the Jackrabbit football program as a student assistant under John Gregory during SDSU’s only other NCAA playoff season in 1979. With the Jackrabbits victory at McNeese State (La.) on Sept. 30, 2006, Stiegelmeier passed Gregory (55-50-3 from 1972-81) for sole possession of second place on the SDSU career wins list.
THE JACKRABBIT JOURNEY: Former South Dakota State University football player Casey Hillman successfully completed “The Jackrabbit Journey,” a walk across South Dakota to raise money and awareness for the Jackrabbit Athletic Endowment.
A Sioux Falls resident, Hillman began his journey through the Rushmore State in Deadwood on Sept. 4. During his journey logged more than 400 miles on foot before ending his journey Sept. 18 by walking into Coughlin-Alumni Stadium and presenting the game ball for the opening kickoff of the Jackrabbit football team’s home opener against Illinois State.
Hillman lettered as a cornerback for the Jackrabbits from 1998-2001. He was a second-team all-North Central Conference selection in 1999, when he led the team with six interceptions.
Donations are still being accepted online through the SDSU Foundation, or by calling (605) 688-6942. Funds should be designated for Athletics/Jackrabbit Club with “The Jackrabbit Journey” included in the comments section.
ACADEMIC SUCCESS: The South Dakota State University football team placed three players on the ESPN Academic All-District VII Team, which was announced last week. The Jackrabbits’ three selections tied with Iowa for the most selections on the 25-player honor squad.
Headlining the list of Jackrabbit selections was senior running Kyle Minett, who was named to the University Division team for the third consecutive year. A senior from Ruthton, Minn., Minett has compiled a 3.67 grade-point average in economics. A two-time first-team ESPN Academic All-America selection, Minett has become the first player in SDSU history to rush for 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons, posting 1,022 yards and nine touchdowns through eight games. A candidate for the Walter Payton Award as the top offensive player in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision, Minett has totaled more than 4,000 career yards and has scored 44 career rushing touchdowns.
The Jackrabbits made a sweep at the running back position as fellow senior Tyler Duffy earned a spot on the team with a perfect 4.0 GPA while majoring in electrical engineering. Duffy ranks second on the team with 272 rushing yards and has scored two touchdowns.
Punter Dean Priddy also was a repeat selection to the academic all-district team. Priddy is pursuing a master's degree in mathematics and carries a 3.71 GPA. A four-year starter, Priddy is averaging a career-best 41.8 yards per punt so far this season, tallying seven punts of 50 or more yards. As a team, the Jackrabbits rank fifth among FCS teams in net punting at 38.9 yards per attempt.
All three Jackrabbits will advance to the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration later this month. Selections to the ESPN Academic All-District VII Team are based on votes by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America from South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. Student-athletes must be at least a sophomore in athletic standing, maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.3 and be a starter or key reserve to be nominated.
NEXT WEEK: Saturday’s game concludes the 2010 season for the Jackrabbit football team.
Missouri Valley Football Conference awards will be announced next week.