South Dakota State Beats Southern Utah, Gets Ready for Bye Week
For just the second time in the past six seasons South Dakota State has started a football season with back-to-back wins, and the Jackrabbits have some extra time to enjoy their early success as they hit their bye week this weekend.
SDSU showed no signs of a letdown after their opening week upset victory at Kansas, returning home to rout Southern Utah 55-10, last Saturday night.
Like they did against Kansas, the Jackrabbit offense continued to roll up big numbers and quick scores against the Thunderbirds. SDSU amassed 579 yards of total offense, scoring 48 unanswered points during one stretch. In two games this season the Jacks have six touchdown drives of three plays or less.
Against SUU, running back Brady Mengarelli, who was limited in practice all week because of an injury, showed no signs of rust as he racked up 143 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Zack Lujan was 19-of-27 thru the air and has now completed 36 passes this season without throwing an interception. His favorite target Saturday was wide receiver Jake Wieneke, who became the first Jackrabbit to go over 200 yards in receiving in a single game in 19 years.
Defensively, backup linebacker Cody Hazelett had a very busy day, recording a sack, interception, and special teams fumble recovery. Speaking of special teams, Je Ryan Butler amassed 88 return yards, including 40 on one kickoff runback.
The game was the final home opener in the history of Coughlin-Alumni Stadium, which continues its transformation into the new 19,000 Dykhouse Stadium for next season. More than 13,000 were in the stands for the Southern Utah game, and SDSU head coach John Stiegelmeier told me the atmosphere was truly electric.
Steigelmeier and the Jackrabbits arrive at their bye week after just two games, relatively healthy and with an abundance of confidence, momentum and depth. SDSU is back in action September 26, as they host Robert Morris, before opening Missouri Valley Conference play the following week
Listen to my interview with coach Stiegelmeier on the Southern Utah win and the mindset of his team during the bye week: