Jacks host SIU on Hobo Day
Kickoff is slated for 2:05 p.m. at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium.
The Jackrabbits enter Saturday's matchup with a 3-6 overall record, including a 2-4 mark in Missouri Valley Football Conference play. SDSU recorded a 43-36 double-overtime victory at Missouri State last week.
Saturday's game also marks the final game at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium for 17 Jackrabbit seniors, who will be honored prior to kickoff.
Southern Illinois, meanwhile, has uncharacteristically struggled this season, posting a 2-6 overall mark and a 1-5 record in league play. The Salukis dropped a 38-30 home decision to Illinois State last week, sending them to their fifth consecutive defeat.
MEDIA COVERAGE: Saturday's game will be available for viewing and listening on a variety of platforms.
Sioux Falls-based Midco Sports Net will provide live television coverage, starting at 2 p.m. Tom Nieman will call the play-by-play, with former Jackrabbit player Hank McCall
providing color commentary.
Audio and video coverage of Saturday's game is scheduled to be available via the Jackrabbit Extra 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 contests are available for $11.95 per month or $99.95 for an entire year of coverage.
Local radio coverage Saturday begins on Jackrabbit Sports Network flagship station WNAX 570 AM at 12:30 p.m. Central Time, with an expanded pre-game show. Tyler Merriam will call the play-by-play, with former Jackrabbit player Mike Struck providing color commentary and Scotty Kwas adding sideline updates.
Coverage across the Jackrabbit Sports Network begins at 1:30 p.m. Central Time Network affiliates include:
* KJJQ 910 AM-Brookings
* KRKI 99.1 FM-Rapid City
* KGFX 1060 AM-Pierre
* KOLY 1300 AM-Mobridge
* KBFS 1450 AM-Belle Fourche
* KSDR 1480 AM-Watertown
THE SERIES: Saturday's matchup marks only the fourth time South Dakota State and Southern Illinois have met on the gridiron, dating back to when the Jackrabbits joined the Missouri Valley Football Conference at the start of the 2008 season.
SIU claimed the first two meetings in the series, winning 38-35 in Carbondale during the 2008 season and taking a 34-15 decision during the 2009 campaign that decided the league's regular season title.
SDSU cracked the win column against SIU last season, turning in a decisive 31-10
victory on Oct. 16, 2010, at Saluki Stadium. The Jackrabbit defense held SIU without a touchdown for the first three quarters and Kyle Minett ran for 144 yards and pair of scores for SDSU.
HOBO DAY: Hobo Day, South Dakota State University's annual homecoming celebration, dates back to 1912. Saturday's game is the 98th Hobo Day game as no game was played in 1918 due to World War I and the 1943 game was played between two Army special training teams.
Overall, SDSU is 57-35-5 on Hobo Day. Last season, the Jackrabbits defeated Youngstown State, 30-20, on Oct. 23, 2010. SDSU has won 12 of its last 15 Hobo Day games and holds a 29-20 record in Hobo Day games played at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium. Since moving to The Division I Football Championship Subdivision in 2004, every Hobo Day game has drawn a crowd of at least 13,000. Each of the last four Hobo Day games has featured a crowd of more than 15,000.
SDSU has never faced Southern Illinois on Hobo Day.
CAPTAINS: Leading the Jackrabbit football team on the field and in the locker room are four senior captains:
• Kyle Harris, kicker, Florissant, Mo.;
• Dirk Kool, linebacker, Fairfield, Iowa;
• Mike Lien, linebacker, Castaic, Calif.;
• Jake Steffen, defensive end, Mount Vernon, S.D.
Kool holds the distinction of being the third generation of his family to serve as a captain for the Jackrabbit football team. His late grandfather, Marv, was a team captain in 1951, while his father, Mark, served as a captain on the Jackrabbits' NCAA Division II playoff squad in 1979. Mark Kool later served as an assistant coach at SDSU from 1987-90.
Harris, meanwhile, suffered a season-ending injury in the Oct. 1 game versus Indiana State. He made 3-of-4 field goal attempts - with a long of 33 yards - and connected on 5-of-7 extra-point tries for a team-best 14 points prior to his injury.
SCOUTING SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Like South Dakota State, Southern Illinois will be in search of a strong finish to what has been an uncharacteristic season in 2011.
The Salukis enter Saturday's game mired in a five-game losing streak. SIU went
winless in October, dropping five consecutive Missouri Valley Football Conference contests - four of which were decided by eight points or less.
Injuries have played a role in the Salukis' struggles as they have played without starting quarterback Paul McIntosh since early in the Oct. 1 matchup at in-state rival Western
Illinois. McIntosh ranked among the league leaders in total offense with an average of 287.4 yards in the three games prior to his injury. A dual threat, McIntosh was averaging 5.1 yards per carry and had thrown for 649 yards and three touchdowns in four starts.
Sophomore Kory Faulker has filled in for McIntosh and has thrown for 934 yards in seven games, while completing 64.6 percent (93-of-144) of his passes with three touchdowns and five interceptions.
Tight end MyCole Pruitt has been the top receiver, hauling in 30 receptions for 381 yards. Cam Fuller has added 26 catches for a team-best 530 yards - 20.4 yards per catch - with two touchdowns.
The Salukis employ a physical running attack that has been paced this season by Jewel Hampton. A transfer from the University of Iowa, Hampton is averaging 4.5 yards per carry en route to 666 yards on the season, and has shown a nose for the end zone with 11 rushing touchdowns.
All-purpose back Steve Strother has gained 244 yards while averaging six yards per carry. He also has factored into the passing game with 15 catches for 81 yards and is one of the league's top kick returners with an average of 27.2 yards on 20 attempts.
Seniors David Pickard, at left tackle, and Bryan Boemer, at center, anchor the Saluki offensive line. Boemer was a first-team all-MVFC performer last season, while Pickard earned second-team all-league honors.
Defensively, the Salukis feature an active 3-4 defensive set that has recorded 17 sacks so far this season.
Defensive end Kenneth Boatright leads the team with 4.5 sacks, while ranking in a tie for fifth on the team with 33 total tackles.
Nose tackle Kayon Swanson has tallied seven tackles for loss and added three sacks among his team-high 39 tackles.
Outside linebacker Jayson DiManche holds the team lead with 10.5 tackles for loss as he shares team-best honors with 39 tackes.
In the secondary, cornerback Terrell Wilson has paced the team with two interceptions and also has registered 39 tackles.
Strong safety Mike McElroy has returned to the lineup this season and contributed 35 tackles, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
In the special teams department, sophomore Austin Pucylowski is averaging 39.1 yards per attempt and forced 16 fair catches among his 36 punts. He also has landed 16 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line.
The Salukis employ a tandem to handle the kicking duties. Jackson MacLachlan is
8-of-12 on field goal attempts this season, with a long of 34 yards, while freshman Chris Adams is a kickoff specialist.
SUMNER, MOSS HONORED: The South Dakota State connection of Austin Sumner and Dale Moss was recognized in the weekly awards conducted by the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
Sumner, a redshirt freshman quarterback from Brandon, received his second Newcomer of the Week honor this season and also was named National Freshman of the Week by the Sports Network. In the Jackrabbits' 43-36 double-overtime victory at Missouri State on Oct. 29, Sumner topped the 300-yard mark for the fourth time in five games, throwing for a career-high 377 yards and matching a career best with four touchdowns. Sumner completed 20-of-31 attempts, throwing touchdown passes of 5, 3, 80 and 25 yards. His 377 yards rank fourth-best in a single game by a Jackrabbit quarterback.
Also a Brandon native, Moss earned Offensive Player of the Week recognition after catching seven passes for a career-high 178 yards and two touchdowns in the Jackrabbit victory. Moss caught an 80-yard touchdown pass - SDSU's longest play from scrimmage in the Division I era - with 6:20 remaining in regulation that knotted the game at 29-all, and later hauled in a 25-yard touchdown reception on SDSU's first offensive play in the overtime sessions. His 178 receiving yards were the seventh-most in a game by a Jackrabbit receiver.
CAS TURNS 50: The 2011 campaign marks the 50th season of football at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium. Overall, SDSU has compiled a 163-102 record (.615 winning percentage) on its home field.
The Jackrabbits have enjoyed even more of 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 29-11 mark at CAS, including a 10-5 record in Missouri Valley Football Conference games.
Lights were installed at CAS prior to the 2001 season and SDSU has turned in a 22-8 record in home night games.
A celebration of the history of Coughlin-Alumni Stadium was observed Oct. 22, when SDSU hosted North Dakota State in the annual Dakota Marker game. Festivities that day included halftime recognition of the 50-player Coughlin-Alumni Stadium All-Time Team.
WORKING OVERTIME: SDSU's 43-36 double-overtime victory at Missouri State last week ended a four-game losing streak in overtime games for the Jackrabbits.
Overall, SDSU is 2-4 in overtime games, with both home contests played on Hobo Day. The Jackrabbits won their inaugural overtime game, 30-27 in two overtimes against Nebraska-Omaha in the 1998 Hobo Day game, then dropped a 46-44, triple-overtime decision to McNeese State (La.) in the 2008 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.)
SUMNER NAMED TO RICE LIST: South Dakota State University quarterback Austin Sumner has been added to the official watch list for the inaugural Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in the Football Championship Subdivision.
A redshirt freshman from Brandon, Sumner moved into the starting lineup at the beginning of Missouri Valley Football Conference action in late September after incumbent signal-caller Thomas O'Brien left the team. In eight games, including six starts, he has completed 147-of-238 passes - 61.8 percent - for 1,846 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Sumner has topped the 300-yard mark in four of the last five games, and has posted two of the top 10 single-game passing yardage totals in school history: 354 yards against second-ranked Northern Iowa on Oct. 15 and 377 yards at Missouri State on Oct. 29. He also tied an SDSU single-game record with 37 completions versus UNI.
The Jerry Rice Award will be presented by The Sports Network on the eve of the FCS National Championship, Jan. 6, 2012, in Frisco, Texas. Sumner is one of 18 players currently being considered for the award.
DUAL THREAT: South Dakota State's Tyrel Kool made the most of his first career start at running back, racking up 107 yards on the ground and another 79 through the air in the Jackrabbits' season opener against Southern Utah on Sept. 3.
A junior from Yankton, Kool began his collegiate career as a running back, but switched to wide receiver during the 2010 season, when he led the team with 64 receptions for 808 yards. His receptions total was fifth-most in a season by a Jackrabbit player, while his receiving yards mark stands 10th in a single season.
Kool's rushing total against Southern Utah marked the 10th time in 11 games a Jackrabbit running back eclipsed the century mark. Kyle Minett ran for 100 yards in eight straight games and Tyler Duffy added a 100-yard outing to close out the 2010 season.
A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING: Redshirt freshman running back Zach Zenner has put together a series of impressive all-around performances during the 2011 season.
A redshirt freshman from Eagan, Minn., Zenner compiled 139 all-purpose yards in the Jackrabbit victory Sept. 3 against Southern Utah. He returned four kickoffs for 74 yards, caught three passes for 24 yards and carried the ball five times for 41 yards. He scored the first touchdown of his career, scampering 27 yards around left end on the final play of the third quarter.
Zenner currently ranks third in the Missouri Valley Football Conference with an average of 121.0 all-purpose yards per game. He made his first career start Oct. 29 at Missouri State.
DYNAMIC DUO: South Dakota State's tandem of Dale Moss and Aaron Rollin have established itself as the top receiving duo in the Missouri Valley Football Conference this season.
The pair have nearly identical receiving numbers entering Saturday's game: Rollin has caught 51 passes for 704 yards and five touchdowns, while Moss has tallied 49 receptions for 722 yards and four touchdowns.
Last week, Moss was named MVFC Offensive Player of the Week after catching seven passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns in the Jackrabbits' 43-36 double-overtime victory at Missouri State. His game-tying 80-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter marked SDSU's longest play from scrimmage in the Division I era.
THE WRIGHT BROTHERS: The Jackrabbit football team has received valuable contributions from brothers Winston and Dom Wright during the 2011 season.
Natives of Lee's Summit, Mo., and Blue Springs South High School, both joined the SDSU football program in the fall of 2010. A sophomore, Winston Wright has started all nine games this season at cornerback and shares the team lead with two interceptions to go along with 46 tackles. He began his colllegiate career at Missouri, redshirting during the 2009 season.
Dom Wright is a redshirt freshman wide receiver who has seen most of his action as a kick returner. In seven games, he has averaged 15.6 yards on 10 kickoff returns to rank second on the squad.
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 a 91-72 record (.558 winning percentage). SDSU has posted eight winning seasons in the last 10 years, including six of the school's first eight campaigns at the FCS (formerly Division I-AA) level. The Jackrabbits have had a winning record in 11 of Stiegelmeier's 15 full years as head coach, including six with seven or more victories.
HOME-GROWN TALENT: SDSU has effectively used the services of home-grown talent the past few seasons.
In 2011, three Jackrabbit players hail from Brookings: junior wide receiver Dan Schmidt, sophomore offensive lineman Alex Parker and sophomore running back Mason Winterboer. In all, 28 players on the roster hail from the state of South Dakota.
JACKRABBIT INSIDER: Throughout the 2011 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.
A LOOK AHEAD: The Jackrabbits close out the 2011 season with a trip to Western Illinois. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. at Hanson Field in Macomb, Ill. The game is scheduled to be part of the Valley Live video streaming package offered by the Missouri Valley Football Conference at valley-football.org.