The 2015 South Dakota State football season began with uncertainty, showed real promise, and ended in disappointment.

The Jackrabbits came within a game of grabbing a Top Eight seed and a first round bye in the FCS Playoffs, only to find themselves on the road in round one, falling just short at Montana, 24-17.

For much of the game in Missoula, the SDSU defense kept the Grizzlies in check, forcing nine Montana punts. But it was four straight drives from the late in the first quarter to late in the second that provided the home team with all of the scoring they'd need, as the Grizzlies strung together three touchdowns and field goal to take a 24-0 lead at halftime. Montana rang up nearly 300 yards of total offense in the first two quarters.

In the second half, the Jackrabbit offense showed signs of life, finally reaching the red zone for the first time all day, five minutes into the third quarter. Three of SDSU's next five drives produced 17 points, and the Jacks were within a touchdown of tying the game with 4:40 to play.

But the Jackrabbit defense couldn't provide the stop needed to extend the game - and maybe the season - as Montana kept the ball for ten plays, averaging eight yards on first down, running out the clock to preserve the win.

The loss put an end to the fourth straight playoff appearance for South Dakota State, something only four other teams in the nation have accomplished.

It was a season of record setting numbers defensively, as the Jacks were the stingiest they've been in the last 50 years. Offensively it was business as usual for talented wide receiver Jake Wieneke, while freshman quarterback Taryn Christion made a big impact with his surprising addition to the roster in week five.

In all, 20 seniors saw their careers end with the loss at Montana. The biggest holes to fill for the 2016 season will come on the offensive line and defensive backfield.

Here is my interview with SDSU coach John Stiegelmeier on the Montana loss and the 2015 season in review: