South Dakota State’s John Stiegelmeier on North Dakota Win, Southeastern Louisiana Match-up
Two games into the 2013 season, and South Dakota State is picking up right where they left off last season, with one of the top running games in the nation, as the Jackrabbits get set for their final non-conference home game of the schedule, a Saturday night match-up with Southeastern Louisiana in Brookings.
Last Saturday night in Grand Forks, SDSU literally ran its record to 2-0, as the Jacks beat North Dakota 35-28, behind a school-record-tying 295 yards rushing from junior running back Zach Zenner.
What makes that number more incredible to South Dakota State head John Stiegelmeier is that opposing defenses know it's coming and still can't stop it:
While the Jacks had trouble clicking thru the air at times Saturday, North Dakota had three receivers (Greg Hardin, Kenny Golladay, and Jameer Jackson) combine for 21 catches, 384 yards, and three touchdowns as backup quarterback Joe Mollberg helped spark UND to 21 second half points. Stiegelmeier says the North Dakota comeback wasn't about Mollberg doing anything different than starter Ryan Bartels:
Defensively, the Jackrabbits did do one thing much better against UND than they did in the opener against Butler: pressure the quarterback. SDSU notched four sacks, including two-and-a-half from Chase Douglas, and a pair of interceptions:
The other number that made Stiegelmeier proud, just four penalties in Grand Forks, after 10 in week one against Butler:
This Saturday's opponent is Southeastern Louisiana from the Southern Conference.
The Lions rebounded from an 0-3 start last season to finish 5-6 in head coach Ron Roberts' first year. One of those losses was a 31-14 setback to SDSU last September in Louisiana.
This season SE Louisiana has a new multi-talented quarterback, Bryan Bennett, a junior transfer from Oregon. Bennett has thrown and run for more than 100 yards in each of the Lions' first two games.
Stiegelmeier says they've come a long way in a short time:
Defensively, this team gave up 278 yards rushing to Zenner last September, but Texas Tech transfer Cqulin Hubert has the Lions better on that side of the ball this season:
Saturday is the third straight early evening start for the Jackrabbits to start 2013, a routine they're enjoying, while looking forward to some very special events associated with this match-up:
Kickoff at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium is 6:00pm Saturday.