South Dakota State Earns Second Straight FCS Playoff Appearance
South Dakota State is heading West to open the FCS playoffs November 30th, as the Jackrabbits open post season play at Northern Arizona, at 7:00pm Central time.
The Jacks are in with an 8-4 overall record, 5-3 in the Missouri Valley Conference, thanks to a four-game winning streak to end the regular season. SDSU won the finale at Youngstown State yesterday 42-13.
Saturday’s game at the Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff, Arizona will feature two of the top running backs in the nation. SDSU junior Zach Zenner is #2 in FCS with 1,695 yards, NAU senior Zach Bauman is 9th with 1,355 yards.
The Lumberjacks, from the Big Sky Conference, went 9-2 this season, 7-1 in league play. One of NAU’s non-conference wins was at home against South Dakota, September 21st, 22-16.
SDSU was one of just two Missouri Valley Conference teams to make the expanded field of 24 teams.
This is South Dakota State’s third appearance in the FCS Playoffs. They lost in round one at Montana in 2009, and were eliminated in round two last year at North Dakota State.
As expected, two-time defending National Champ, and fellow Missouri Valley Conference member, #1 North Dakota State is the top seed, earning a first round bye. The Jacks lost to the Bison, at home, 20-0, in week five.
The next seven seeds also get to sit on the sidelines in round one:
2. Eastern Illinois
3. Eastern Washington
4. Southeastern Louisiana
6. McNeese State
South Dakota State beat 4th seed Southeastern Louisiana 34-26 on the road in week three. The Jacks beat 2nd seed Eastern Illinois in the opening round of the playoffs last season in Brookings, 58-10.
SDSU has played one other playoff team this season, beating Butler, at home, 55-14, in week one. The Bulldogs host Tennessee State in round one.