South Dakota State Preview: #3 Jackrabbits Host Indiana State
For the first time in 2018, third-ranked South Dakota State will take the field following a loss when the Jackrabbits host Indiana State, Saturday (October 6) night in Brookings.
SDSU will be looking to rebound from a loss at top-ranked North Dakota State in the Missouri Valley Conference opener last week (September 29).
Indiana State (2-2/0-1 MVFC) also dropped its league opener, falling to Northern Iowa 33-0.
The Sycamores are much improved from a winless 2017 season and one of the big reasons is their ability to run the football. ISU has the 12th best running attack in the nation, averaging 250 yards per game.
Senior Ja'Quan Keys is running behind an experienced offensive line and is tenth among all running backs in FCS. He went over 230 yards in a win over Eastern Illinois last month.
Quarterback Ryan Boyle, a transfer from the University of Iowa, has taken over the offense the last two games and is settling into his role as a game manager.
Indiana State is 15-of-16 scoring in the red zone this season and has only turned the ball over twice.
Defensively, linebacker Katrell Moss is sixth in the MVFC in tackles. Defensive back Kaelub Newman has forced a pair of fumbles.
On special teams, the Sycamores have returned a punt for a touchdown and blocked two field goals.
Kickoff is 6:00 PM, Saturday in Brookings.
The Jackrabbits (2-1/0-1 MVFC) lost 21-17 at top-ranked North Dakota State in the league opener last week.
SDSU's offense was in control early with a ten-play touchdown drive on their second possession and appeared to be poised to go up by two scores when quarterback Taryn Christion was picked off in the end zone.
The Bison converted that turnover into a touchdown and added another score to lead 14-7 at halftime.
The Jackrabbits scored the first ten points of the second half to re-take the lead. A Jordan Brown interception set-up a field goal and an Isaac Wallace 61-yard touchdown run made it 17-14 SDSU in the third.
But that would be the last time the visitors would score in the Fargodome, as the Bison rallied behind the play of quarterback Easton Stick who converted on several key third-down situations and ran in what proved to be the game-winning touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
On the day NDSU was 8-of-15 on third down. SDSU was 3-of-12.
I talked with Jackrabbits head coach John Stiegelmeier about the North Dakota State loss and the match-up with the Sycamores: