South Dakota State Preview: Jackrabbits Host Drake
It will be a disappointed, yet determined South Dakota State football team that christens its new home Saturday night.
The Jackrabbits are smarting after coming oh so close to pulling off a major upset at 13th-ranked TCU in the season opener.
They get the chance to turn the page when Drake comes to Brookings, Saturday night.
The game will be the first in the new 19,300 seat Dana J. Dkyhouse Stadium, which replaces Coughlin-Alumni Stadium after more than 50 years.
Drake opened the season with a successful on-side kick to setup a touchdown drive. Pre-season All-American tight end Eric Saubert caught seven passes for 95 yards in the game. Running back Conley Wilkins, who averaged nearly 100 yards a game last season, ran for 62 yards on 18 carries against Quincy.
The Bulldog defense allowed 553 yards in total offense (260 rush/293 pass) and didn't register a quarterback sack, after tallying 34 last season. Mack Marrin, an all-conference selection last season on the defensive line, did not play against Quincy. Marrin led Drake with 8.5 sacks last season.
The Jackrabbits (0-1) led by as many as 10 points in the first half of last Saturday's 51-49 loss at #13 TCU.
The South Dakota State defense forced a pair of turnovers in the first half on consecutive plays, with Makiah Slade and Jordan Brown picking off Horned Frogs quarterback Kenny Hill. Anthony Williams led the defense with 11 tackles in his first game in a SDSU uniform.
The Jackrabbit offense got an 87-yard touchdown run from Issac Wallace, a 12-yard touchdown run from quarterback Taryn Christion, a 31-yard Christion-to-Jake Wieneke touchdown pass, and a 25-yard field goal from Chase Vinatieri to account for their first half scoring. Wieneke finished the day with eight catches for 196 yards and two scores to earn co-offensive player of the week honors in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Up 17-7 in the second, two SDSU miscues gave TCU the lead back.
First, Brady Hale mistakenly punted the ball to the Horned Frogs talented returner Kevonte Turpin, who grabbed the ball and ran 81 yards for a score.
On the Jacks next possession, Christion was sacked and fumbled the ball back to TCU on the SDSU 13. Four plays later it was 21-17 Horned Frogs.
SDSU pulled even two more times and had a chance to tie the game a third time, at 45-all in the fourth, but on 2nd-and-goal from the seven, took a delay of game penalty and a sack and had to settle for a field goal.
Senior strong safety Nick Mears suffered a foot injury in the loss and will miss the Drake game, Saturday night.
Kickoff in Brookings is 6:00 PM, Saturday.
I talked with Jackrabbits head coach John Stiegelmeier about his takeaway from the TCU game and what to expect in the first-ever game at Dan J. Dykhouse Stadium: