2018 was not supposed to be a breakthrough season for South Dakota State's Pierre Strong Jr..

But it sure was.

The running back, third on the Jackrabbits' depth chart when the season began, has been one of their most consistent weapons during the second half of the schedule after players ahead of him were lost to injury.

Now, for the second straight week, Strong is the Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week.

The redshirt freshman from Little Rock, Arkansas, went over 100 yards rushing for the third week in a row straight week running 17 times for 253 yards and three touchdowns in a 49-27 win over South Dakota.

The 253 yards were the tenth-most in a game in SDSU history. Strong now leads the team in rushing with 777 yards – 577 of which have come in November games.

The Jackrabbits (8-2) received number-five seed and a first-round bye in the upcoming FCS playoffs. and will host the winner of the first-round matchup between Duquesne and Towson, December 1 in Brookings.