South Dakota State Beats Kansas, Hosts Southern Utah
Fresh off perhaps the biggest win in school history, South Dakota State gets to play in front of the home folks for the first time in 2015, as the Jackrabbits host Southern Utah, Saturday night in Brookings.
SDSU is riding a huge wave of momentum after beating a FBS opponent for the first time, jumping out to a 31-7 lead at Kansas last week, before holding on to win 41-38. The Jacks played a nearly flawless first half, scoring on their first five possessions, while cranking out nearly 300 yards of total offense in the first 30 minutes.
Overall on the day, running backs Isaac Wallace and Brady Mengarelli combined for 170 yards rushing and two touchdowns, while quarterback Zach Lujan threw for 293 yards and three scores, two to wide receiver Jake Wieneke, who was not only honored at the Missouri Valley Conference co-offensive player of the week, but also as a College Sporting News All-Star for the week.
Defensively, linebacker Jesse Bobbit led the way with 10 tackles and a fumble recovery, while defensive back Dallas Brown picked off a pass and returned it 53 yards, setting up a SDSU touchdown.
Kansas took advantage of a worn out Jackrabbit defensive unit in the second half to put up 24 points, but a bobbled snap by the Jayhawks on the final play of the game, sealed the historic win for South Dakota State.
Two key areas for the Jacks - no turnovers and just a trio of penalties.
In Brookings Saturday night, SDSU is reunited with old Great West Conference foe Southern Utah. This will mark the seventh meeting all-time with the Thunderbirds, with the Jackrabbits riding a five-game winning streak.
SUU opened the season with a 12-9 loss at Utah State last weekend, in a game that featured more combined punts (28) and penalties (23) than points (21). The Thunderbirds held Utah State to just 250 yards of total offense, while SUU quarterback Ammon Olsen led a balanced attack with 111 yards and a touchdown thru the air.
Kickoff is 6:00 PM Saturday night in Brookings. Both South Dakota State head coach John Stiegelmeier and Southern Utah head coach Ed Lamb will begin the game barefoot on the sidelines in support of the charity Samaritans Feet, an organization that has provided more than one million pairs of shoes to people both locally and around the world in the past two years.
Listen to my interview with coach Stiegelmeier on the Kansas win and the Southern Utah match-up: