South Dakota State’s John Stiegelmeier on Butler Win, North Dakota Match-up
It was about as good as a season opener could be for South Dakota State (1-0), last Saturday night, as the Jacks routed Butler 55-14 to start the 2013 season.
SDSU rolled up nearly 550 yards in total offense, ran off 34 consecutive points, and played 66 different players in the win. Much to the delight of head coach John Stiegelmeier:
The tone for the evening was set on the first two plays from scrimmage for the Jackrabbit offense, with Zach Zenner picking up right where he left off last season, when he led the nation in rushing, as he reeled off runs of 39 and 36 yards and SDSU was in the end zone 45 seconds into the game:
One of the highlights of the night for the offense was the play of the receivers, led by a career high 10 catches, 167 yards, and 2 touchdowns for Jason Schneider, as well as big nights for Brandon Hubert (5 catches, TD) and tight end Cam Jones (97 yards):
Junior quarterback Austin Sumner, in his first game since off-season thumb surgery on his throwing hand, completed 22 of 32 for 326 yards and 3 touchdowns. He managed the game well, but had some issues with his mechanics at times:
Defensively, the big question mark coming in was a very young group of linebackers. But 7 tackles from sophomore Charles Elmore sparked a big night from the defense, which included an interception return for a touchdown from cornerback Je Ryan Butler:
The one glaring negative for SDSU Saturday night was penalties. 10 for 103 yards. Something the coaching staff is not too happy about:
This week it's on to North Dakota (1-0) for a non-conference battle with a team from the Big Sky Conference with one of the top receivers in the nation in senior Greg Hardin, who has 10 100-yard receiving games in his career, and went for a 75-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage against Valpo last Saturday. Coach Stiegelmeier knows the Jacks have to be aware of Hardin and the rest of the UND offense:
Another thing North Dakota does well is play special teams. Always one of the best teams in the nation in blocking kicks, UND also had a punt return and kickoff return for a touchdown last Saturday night:
This will be the 85th meeting between the two schools dating back to the North Central Conference and Great West Conference days. Coach Stiegelmeier has plenty of memories of Grand Forks, although not many fond ones:
Kickoff at the Alerus Center is 6:00pm Saturday.