After outscoring opponents 119-20 over the past three weeks of non-conference play, South Dakota State now gets a break in the schedule before opening Missouri Valley Conference action next week.

The Jackrabbits (3-1) closed out non-league play with a 43-7 win over Southern Utah in Brookings last weekend (September 21).

The game featured the return of SDSU quarterback J'Bore Gibbs, who had missed the two previous games with a hand injury.

Against Southern Utah, Gibbs went 15-of-24 for 215 yards and two touchdowns through the air. He was also picked off twice.

South Dakota State head coach John Stiegelmeier says it was good to have Gibbs back on the field:

It was another balanced game for the Jackrabbit offense with four different players contributing to a ground attack that netted 241 yards, while six different players caught passes.

Stiegelmeier says spreading the ball around has been a key so far this season:

The Jackrabbit defense limited the Thunderbirds to just one score in the game and provided their own points courtesy a Christan Rozeboom pick-six.

Stiegelmeier says that play came at a crucial time:

That safety came courtesy a Jadon Johnke blocked punt as the SDSU special teams also got blocked field goals from Xavier Ward and Logan Backus. The Jacks are now tied for first in the nation with a pair of blocked punts and tied for second with four blocked kicks.

Stiegelemeier says that unit is playing at a high level:

The only blemish for the Jackrabbits against Southern Utah was penalties. The Jacks were flagged eight times overall, six of those coming in the first half.

Stiegelemier says that was very out of character for this team:

The break in the schedule provides SDSU with what Stiegelmeier calls 'improvement week'. He says they'll be working on cleaning things up on both sides of the ball:

Next up for South Dakota State is the Missouri Valley Conference opener with Southern Illinois, Saturday, October 5, in Brookings.

Kickoff is 2:00 PM.