South Dakota State Preview: #3 Jackrabbits Host Montana State
After playing just four minutes of the new season, South Dakota State is looking to get in a full 60 minutes of action when they host Montana State, Saturday (September 8) night in Brookings.
The game is part of the Missouri Valley Conference - Big Sky Conference Challenge. In the inaugural season of the series, the Jackrabbits beat this same Montana State team, 31-27, in Bozeman, last September.
The 2018 Bobcats (1-0) won their season opener with a 26-23 victory over Western Illinois at home.
Montana State started slowly offensively, going three-and-out on six of their first seven possessions, falling behind 13-3 at one point. But all of that turned around in the second half when quarterback Troy Andersen ran for two scores and kicker Tristan Bailey booted two field goals to pull out the victory.
Anderson, a 6'3, 215-pound sophomore, ran 24 times for 145 yards. Last season he alternated between running back and linebacker for the Bobcats.
Defensively, Montana State is deep and experienced with end Bryce Sterk anchoring the line. He finished with eight tackles and two sacks in the Western Illinois game.
The Bobcat defense forced a pair of turnovers.
On special teams, Bailey connected on four field goals, including a 47-yarder and a 50-yarder. Kevin Kassis was huge in the return game, bringing back a punt for 32-yards and a kickoff for 69-yards.
Montana State was penalized just twice in the game.
Kickoff in Brookings is 6:00 PM, Saturday.
At Iowa State in the season opener, the Jackrabbits and Cyclones each got the ball once with ISU scoring on a 55-yard screen pass before the game was canceled after a more than two-hour rain delay.
SDSU officials are working on finding a replacement game for the Jacks' bye week - September 22.
I talked with Jackrabbits head coach John Stiegelmeier about the Iowa State experience and the match-up with Montana State: