South Dakota State’s John Stiegelmeier on North Dakota State Loss, Southern Illinois Match-up
It's been a tough two-week stretch for the South Dakota State football team.
The Jackrabbits closed out the non-conference part of their schedule two weeks ago at Nebraska and gave up 38 unanswered points, losing 59-20 to the Cornhuskers.
Up next was the #1 team in FCS, the two-time defending national champions, North Dakota State, and SDSU never found the end zone against the Bison, losing 20-0.
This week, the Jacks are looking to bounce back in front of a big Hobo Day crowd, when they welcome Southern Illinois to Brookings.
The South Dakota State offense will be trying to snap a seven-quarter scoreless drought, although head coach John Stiegelmeier told me he doesn't believe the lack of points the last two weeks are an area of concern - yet:
After being held to -32 yards rushing last week against NDSU, the Jacks find themselves going against another run savvy defensive group this week in the Salukis, who are 8th in the nation in run defense and #1 in the Missouri Valley in tackles for loss, thanks in large part to linebacker Bryan Presume who had 12 tackles last week in a loss against Youngstown State:
Offensively, the Salukis are led by quarterback Kory Faulkner, who had a career game in the loss to Youngstown State last weekend, passing for 348 yards and leading SIU in rushing with 71 yards. He presents some challenges for the SDSU defense:
The weather might be a contributing factor to this weekend's storyline, with highs falling to the mid 40's, with wind, and a chance of rain. Those conditions may alter the Jacks game plan a bit:
Regardless of the weather, a big Hobo Day crowd is expected as the Jackrabbits play their 100th homecoming game, with a new look:
On the opposing sideline this week isn't just another head coach, it's Dale Lennon, a close friend of Stiegelmeier's. It's a relationship that dates back to Lennon's days in the old North Central Conference:
One thing Stiegelmeier is looking for this weekend is a strong start, something he says will show him his team has bounced back from two very trying weeks:
Kickoff at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium is 2:00pm Saturday.