FCS Playoffs: #5 South Dakota State Routs Duquesne 51-6
On a day where deteriorating winter weather conditions in Brookings put a premium on early points, South Dakota State raced out to a 24-0 halftime lead and never looked back, beating Duquesne 51-6 in round two of the 2018 FCS Playoffs.
With the win, the fifth-seeded Jackrabbits (9-2) ran their home playoff record to 5-0 all-time and now face fourth-seeded Kennesaw State in the quarterfinals, next Friday (December 7) or Saturday (December 8) in suburban Atlanta.
SDSU took the opening kickoff and showed some early confidence in their offense with a fourth-down conversion at midfield, followed up moments later by Taryn Christion to Cade Johnson 43-yard touchdown pass, capping a 75-yard drive, to go up 7-0.
Later in the first quarter the Jackrabbit defense forced a turnover when Brandon Synder stripped the ball from Dukes running back A.J. Hines and then recovered the fumble at the Duquesne 33.
Early in the second quarter, the SDSU offense converted that turnover into points 33 seconds later when Isaiah Hill turned a reverse into a 23-yard touchdown run and a 14-0 lead.
After Duquesne (9-4) turned the ball over on downs on consecutive drives, the Jackrabbits were back in the end zone on a one-play drive, courtesy of a Pierre Strong Jr. 52-yard touchdown run making it 21-0.
The Jacks defense then forced a three-and-out leaving just enough time for Chase Vinatieri to kick a 39-yard field just before halftime. 24-0 SDSU.
South Dakota State out gained Duquesne 261 yards to 68 yards in the first half. Hines, the third leading rusher in the nation coming in, picked up just 16 yards on seven carries.
Duquesne came out of the locker room and put together their only offensive highlight of the afternoon as quarterback Daniel Parr hit wide receiver Kellon Taylor for a 68-yard gain to the SDSU seven-yard line. Parr put it in the end zone two plays later on a three-yard touchdown run. After a blocked extra point, the SDSU lead was cut to 24-6.
After each team punted, South Dakota State put together a six-play drive capped by Hill's second touchdown run on a reverse.
The Jackrabbit defense racked up two more turnovers on the Dukes' next two possessions - a Lorenzo Williams interception that led to a Mikey Daniel touchdown run and then five plays later, Zy Mosley grabbed a 43-yard pick-six to make it 44-6 SDSU after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, Daniel added his second touchdown run. He finished the day with a career-high 100 yards rushing.
The Jackrabbits ran up 470 yards of total offense while holding the Dukes to just 240. Hines, the Northeast Conference Offensive Player of the Year, was limited to just 21 yards on ten carries. He had been averaging 136 yards per game coming in.
South Dakota State, in the FCS Playoffs for the seventh straight year, is now 7-7 in postseason games in the Division I era.