Jacks ready for Showdown with USD
Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium, with regional television coverage on Midco Sports Net.
Saturday's game also is the inaugural contest in the South Dakota Showdown Series presented by South Dakota Corn.
The nationally ranked Jackrabbits enter the regular season finale with a 7-3 overall record and 5-2 mark in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Should the Jackrabbits win today and league-leading North Dakota State lose this afternoon at Illinois State, SDSU would earn a share of their first MVFC title in what could be a four-way tie for the top spot.
USD, meanwhile, is seeking its first win as a member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The Coyotes come into today's matchup 1-9 overall and 0-7 in the MVFC.
THE SERIES: Saturday's game marks the 105th meeting between South Dakota and South Dakota State in a series that dates back to 1889. The first meeting between the two programs ended in a 6-6 tie, and USD has gone on to lead the series by a 50-48-6 count.
SDSU and USD have not played since 2003, after which the Jackrabbits moved to Division I. South Dakota joined the Division I ranks a few years later, taking the Jackrabbits place in the Great West Football Conference before joining the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2012.
In the last meeting, Oct. 25, 2003, at the DakotaDome in Vermillion, the Jackrabbits scored on two long pass plays in the opening minutes en route to a 22-11 victory.
SDSU scored on the second play from scrimmage as Brad Nelson hooked up with Brian Janecek on an 84-yard touchdown pass. After holding USD to a three-and-out, the Jackrabbits scored on their first play of the next drive - an 81-yard pass play from Nelson to Josh Davis with 12:56 to play in the opening quarter.
USD trimmed the deficit to 14-8 before Nelson threw his third touchdown of the game, a 2-yarder to Solomon Johnson with 31 seconds left in the first half. A two-point conversion from Nelson to Paul Keizer capped the scoring for the Jackrabbits, who held the Coyotes out of the end zone.
The Jackrabbits dominated the series in the years leading up to the hiatus. SDSU has won 14 of the last 17 meetings dating back to 1990, including the last three.
ONLINE COVERAGE: Audio and video coverage of Saturday's game is scheduled to be available via the Jackrabbit Extra subscription service at GoJacks.com, the official website of SDSU athletics. Monthly subscriptions for the Jackrabbit Extra, which includes live audio of all games and video streaming of select games are available for $11.95 per month or $99.95 for a year of service. A pay-per-view option for $7.95 also will be available.
Local radio coverage Saturday begins at 1 p.m. Central Time on the Jackrabbit Sports Network. Tyler Merriam will call the play-by-play, with former Jackrabbit player Mike Struck providing color commentary and Scotty Kwas providing sideline updates. Yankton-based WNAX 570 AM will again serve as the flagship station of the Jackrabbit Sports Network, which includes the following affiliates:
• KJJQ 910 AM-Brookings
• KBFS 1450 AM-Belle Fourche
• KMSD 1510 AM-Milbank
• KORN 1490 AM-Mitchell
• KOLY 1300 AM-Mobridge
• KGFX 1060 AM-Pierre
• KSDR 1480 AM-Watertown
SHOWDOWN SERIES: South Dakota Corn Utilization officials announced Nov. 7 that the organization will serve as title sponsor of the South Dakota Showdown Series, a new, year-long collegiate athletics and academic competition between South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota. Joining South Dakota Corn President Chad Blindauer in making the announcement were SDSU President David Chicoine, SDSU Director of Athletics Justin Sell, USD President James Abbott and USD Director of Athletics David Sayler.
The South Dakota Showdown Series, presented by South Dakota Corn, will operate on a point system in which each school can earn a maximum of 24 points per year based on head-to-head competition and Summit League Championship finishes between the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits and the University of South Dakota Coyotes in a total of 17 men's and women's sports. There is an academic component as well, and the university compiling the most points by the end of the school year will earn bragging rights to the specially designed traveling trophy.
"South Dakota Corn wanted to play a part in bringing this milestone rivalry series to life," said Blindauer. "Agriculture is South Dakota's number-one industry. It makes sense to team up with these academic powerhouses. We want to tell the story of how we are producing more with less and doing it in an efficient, effective and environmentally sound way. We are proud to serve as title sponsor for the South Dakota Showdown Series."
The inaugural competition is under way now, with points already beginning to accumulate for the 2012-2013 school year. USD currently holds a 3-2 lead.
In addition to focusing on the points earned by both schools respectively, promoting values of good sportsmanship will be strongly emphasized among SDSU and USD fans.
Complementing the competition aspect, SDSU, USD and South Dakota Corn have designated Feeding South Dakota as the non-profit organization to benefit from the rivalry series' launch. As the state's primary hunger relief operation, Feeding South Dakota feeds thousands of people every year and provided 10.1 million meals to individuals in need in 2011. It was imperative to both schools and South Dakota Corn that Feeding South Dakota benefits, and concessionaire Aramark is ensuring that happens as fans attending Showdown Series' head-to-head athletic events are encouraged to make a monetary donation for Feeding South Dakota while making their concession purchases.
Spearheading this initiative with the schools and South Dakota Corn are Jackrabbit Sports Properties and Coyote Sports Properties, the multimedia rights holders for SDSU Athletics and USD Athletics, respectively. Both are properties of Learfield Sports, which manages multimedia rights for more than 50 universities.
RABBITS RANKED: South Dakota State has had a presence in the national rankings since the start of conference play. The Jackrabbits check in this week at No. 21 in the Sports Network media poll and 23rd in the FCS Coaches' rankings.
The Jackrabbits have been ranked for seven weeks this season in the Sports Network poll. SDSU was in the rankings for four weeks in late September through mid-October. The Jackrabbits regained their spot in the Sports Network Top 25 following their victory over Youngstown State on Oct. 27, a win which also propelled them in the coaches' poll for the first time this season. The Jackrabbits' highest rankings this season came on Nov. 5, when they were 16th in the Sports Network poll and 20th in the coaches' rankings.
SDSU also is ranked ninth for the second week in a row in the FCS Gridiron Power Index as a member of the top-ranked Missouri Valley Football Conference.
CAPTAINS: Leading the Jackrabbit football team on the field and in the locker room are five captains:
• Seth Daughters, Sr., tight end, Winner, S.D.;
• Bo Helm, Sr., defensive back, Childress, Texas;
• Ross Shafrath, Sr., linebacker, Hampton, Iowa;
• Austin Sumner, So., quarterback, Brandon, S.D.;
• Winston Wright, Jr., defensive back, Lee's Summit, Mo.
The Jackrabbits broke from tradition this season by naming two non-senior players - Sumner and Wright - as captains. Previously, all team captains were selected from the senior class.
VALLEY PREVIEW: South Dakota State was picked to finish sixth in the 2012 Missouri Valley Football Conference Preseason Poll, which was announced in early August.
Defending national champion North Dakota State gained the top spot, receiving 37 of 38 first-place votes in the poll conducted by league coaches, sports information directors and select media. Northern Iowa, which tied NDSU for the league regular season title a year ago, finished second in the poll, followed by Youngstown State and Illinois State.
Indiana State rounded out the top half of the poll, with SDSU taking sixth. Southern Illinois, South Dakota, Western Illinois and Missouri State completed the poll.
Individually, three Jackrabbit players were recognized on the 2012 Missouri Valley Football Preseason Team. Offensively, senior wide receiver Aaron Rollin and tackle Bryan Witzmann were honored along with defensive back Winston Wright.
Rollin, an honorable mention all-league performer last season, tied for the team lead with 61 receptions last season. The Lee's Summit, Mo., native also gained 906 yards through the air and reccorded a team-best seven touchdowns in 2011.
Witzmann, a junior from Houlton, Wis., also earned honorable mention all-MVFC honors in 2011. He has started all 22 games at left tackle over the last two seasons.
Wright, a junior from Lee's Summit, Mo., was a second-team all-MVFC selection in 2011 after recording a team-best three interceptions from his cornerback position. Wright also notched 57 tackles and a team-best seven pass breakups.
Also recognized on the preseason team was honorable mention selection Andy Mink on the defensive line. A native of Ashland, Neb., Mink racked up 75 tackles, including team-best totals of 8.5 tackles for loss and six sacks in 2011.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: South Dakota State has racked up a number of Missouri Valley Football Conference player of the week awards during the 2012 season.
Over the past three weeks, five Jackrabbits have earned MVFC recognition: sophomore quarterback Austin Sumner as offensive player of the week on Oct. 27, redshirt freshman linebacker T.J. Lally as newcomer of the week both on Oct. 27 and Nov. 3, sophomore kicker Justin Syrovatka as special teams player of the week on Nov. 3, and junior left tackle Bryan Witzmann as offensive lineman of the week on Oct. 27.
Lally has earned MVFC Newcomer of the Week recognition four times this season, while Witzmann received the MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week award for the second time in 2012.
SCOUTING SOUTH DAKOTA: The University of South Dakota will attempt to end its 2012 football season on a high note as travels to South Dakota State.
The Coyotes are in search of their first-ever Missouri Valley Football Conference victory, entering play today 0-7 in league play and 1-9 overall under first-year head coach Joe Glenn. Of the Coyotes' seven league losses, four have been by three points and one other game was decided by a touchdown.
USD is led offensively by sophomore quarterback Josh Vander Maten, who ranks fifth in the MVFC for total offense with an average of 192.8 yards per game. Vander Maten has been a dual threat, throwing for 1,443 yards this season while ranking second on the team with 485 rushing yards. He also leads the team with six rushing touchdowns, adding another seven scores through the air.
Marcus Sims leads the Coyotes with 584 yards on the ground, averaging 5.2 yards per carry with four touchdowns.
The Coyotes boast one of the top receiving tandems in the Missouri Valley Football
Conference with senior Will Powell and sophomore Terrance Terry. Both players enter action today with 47 receptions, with Terry leading the duo with 520 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Powell is right behind with 507 receiving yards and two scores.
Jasper Sanders has contributed 11 receptions for 67 yards to rank third on the team, while also gaining 255 yards and scoring three times on the ground. Sanders also served as the team's primary return man, averaging 23.6 yards on kickoff returns and 7.1 yards per punt return.
The Coyote defense has been paced in 2012 by senior linebacker Tim Marlette, who has recorded team bests of 80 total tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss. Aaron Swift ranks second with 71 tackles, while defensive back Devin Taverna has tallied 70 tackles and a team-best three interceptions.
Junior linebacker Tyler Starr, who has been a candidate for the Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in the Football Championship Subdiviison, leads the Coyotes with four sacks among his 69 stops. Fellow linebacker Darius Hogans has recorded 66 tackles in starting all 10 previous games.
The Coyotes have been solid in the kicking game as junior kicker Kevin Robb has converted 8-of-12 field goal attempts with a long of 44 and Cole Zwiefelhofer is averaging 40.7 yards per punt. Zwiefelhofer has booted nine punt of 50 or more yards this season and landed 13 inside the opponents' 20-yard line.
ZENNER ON PAYTON WATCH LIST: South Dakota State University running back Zach Zenner has been officially added to the Walter Payton Award Watch List.
The Walter Payton Award, presented by The Sports Network, and in its 26th year, is presented to the outstanding player in the Football Championship Subdivision.
A sophomore from Eagan, Minn., Zenner has fallen out of the lead in rushing averagefor the Football Championship Subdivision, but still ranks second with 153.9 yards per game. His 1,539 net yards rank second among FCS players and 12th in total rushing yards among all players in NCAA Football this season, Zenner is only the third back in Missouri Valley Football Conference history to reach the 1,000-yard mark in five games.
The Payton Award will be voted on by a national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries following the regular season on Nov. 19. The top three vote-getters will be invited to the FCS Awards Banquet and Presentation on Dec. 17 in Philadelphia.
Zenner set career highs with 23 carries and 183 rushing yards in the Jackrabbits' 2012 season-opening loss at Kansas on Sept. 1. He opened the scoring with a 99-yard touchdown run - the longest offensive play from scrimmage in program history, surpassing Mike Lunde's 95-yard run against North Dakota in 1976. Zenner also caught four passes for 27 yards, giving him 210 all-purpose yards in the contest.
He followed that performance by again establishing career highs with 34 carries for 278 yards at Southeastern Louisiana on Sept. 8. Zenner scored on a 35-yard touchdown run in the third quarter at Southeastern Louisiana, then added a pair of touchdowns - including the game-winning 23-yard score - en route to 197 yards Sept. 15 versus UC Davis as he crossed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for his career.
Zenner tallied runs of 57 and 87 yards Sept. 22 at Indiana State en route to 237 yards on 29 carries, then turned in a 30-carry, 182-yard performance Sept. 29 against Missouri State that included an 88-yard touchdown run.
On Oct. 13 versus Western Illinois, Zenner scored on runs of 46 and 60 yards en route to 171 yards. After topping the 100-yard mark in each of the first seven games, Zenner has been held below the century mark in each of the last three games.
Four of Zenner's single-game performances rank in the top 50 among FCS players in 2012, with his 278-yard outing at Southeastern Louisiana ranking fourth. His 237-yard performance at Indiana State ranks 12th. For the season, Zenner is averaging 6.9 yards per carry.
As a kick returner and running back during his redshirt freshman season, Zenner ranked third in the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2011 with an average of 123.1 all-purpose yards per game, earning him a spot on the league's all-newcomer team.
LALLY RECEIVES RICE ATTENTION: For the second year in a row, the South Dakota State University football team has a player under consideration for the Jerry Rice Award, which is presented to the top freshman player in the Football Championship Subdivision.
In October, linebacker T.J. Lally was officially named to the Jerry Rice Award Watch List following his strong start to the 2012 season.
A redshirt freshman from Chicago, Lally shares the team lead with six sacks and two forced fumbles, ranks second on the nationally ranked Jackrabbits for tackles with 84, is tied for second with two interceptions and ranks third with and seven tackles for loss. He has been named Missouri Valley Football Conference Newcomer of the Week four times and also was named MVFC Defensive Player of the Week following the Jackrabbits' conference-opening win at Indiana State on Sept. 22.
Lally is one of five Missouri Valley Football Conference players on the official watch list for the Jerry Rice Award. Missouri State running back Ryan Heaston, Northern Iowa quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen, Western Illinois linebacker J.J. Raffelson and Youngstown State all-purpose back Andre Stubbs also are being considered for the award, which is named for the legendary wide receiver, who played in the FCS (then Division I-AA) at Mississippi Valley State.
The award will be voted on by a national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries following the regular season. The list will grow to 20 finalists by then, with the award to be presented Dec. 17 in Philadelphia.
During the 2011 season, Jackrabbit quarterback Austin Sumner placed third in the balloting for the inaugural Jerry Rice Award.
SUMNER AT THE HELM: South Dakota State University quarterback Austin Sumner will attempt to build off an impressive freshman season a year ago.
Although not expected to play in the Sept. 1 season opener at Kansas due to an injury suffered in practice the previous week, Sumner entered the game in the third quarter and led the Jackrabbits on two scoring drives, including throwing a 22-yard touchdown pass to Tyrel Kool early in the fourth quarter. Sumner finished the game 14-of-31 passing for 175 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted four times. He followed with a two-touchdown performance at Southeastern Louisiana on Sept. 8.
Sumner put together his best performance of the 2012 season Oct. 27 against Youngstown State, throwing for a career-best five touchdowns and season-best 351 yards. His touchdown passes went to five different receivers and covered 6, 50, 13, 17 and 49 yards.
On Nov. 3 at Southern Illinois, Sumner directed a game-winning 18-play, 94-yard drive in the final three minutes with the team out of timeouts. He completed 11-of-16 passes on the drive for 110 yards, capping the march with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Trevor Tiefenthaler with seven seconds remaining. He finished with season highs of 26 completions and 45 attempts in throwing for 284 yards. Sumner also recorded a career-long run of 24 yards in the contest.
A native of Brandon, S.D., Sumner started the final eight games of the 2011 season, leading the Jackrabbits to a 4-4 record and setting the Missouri Valley Football Conference freshman record with 2,382 yards passing. Sumner, who finished third in the voting for the inaugural Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in the Football Championship Subdivision, also tied a Jackrabbit single-game record with 37 completions versus nationally ranked Northern Iowa on Oct. 15, 2011.
Sumner topped the 300-yard mark five times in 2011, including throwing for a career-best 377 yards in a double-overtime win over Missouri State. In only 20 career games -- 17 starts -- Sumner has tallied 4,211 career passing yards to move into 10th place on the Jackrabbit career charts.
TRIPLE THREAT: South Dakota State's Tyrel Kool has shifted all around the field during his Jackrabbit career and is again seeing action mostly at wide receiver in 2012.
A senior from Yankton, Kool began his collegiate career as a running back and kick returner, but switched to wide receiver during the 2010 season, when he led the team with 64 receptions for 808 yards. His receptions total is fifth-most in a season by a Jackrabbit player, while his receiving yards mark stood 10th in a single season as he earned honorable mention all-Missouri Valley Football Conference recognition.
In 2011, Kool moved back to running back and led the team with 534 yards rushing. He made the most of his first career start at running back, racking up 107 yards on the ground and another 79 through the air in the Jackrabbits' 2011 season opener against Southern Utah.
Kool started at wide receiver in the Sept 1 season opener at Kansas and recorded a team-high eight receptions for 76 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter. He added catches of 41 and 50 yards en route to a three-reception, 98-yard outing against Youngstown State on Oct. 27. His 50-yard reception went for his second touchdown of the season.
He and teammate Aaron Rollin are in a battle for moving up the SDSU career receptions chart. Kool currently stands ninth with 123 receptions.
In the Oct. 13 game against Western Illinois, Kool returned the opening kickoff 100 yards untouched for a touchdown. It tied the longest kick return in school history and was the first kick return for touchdown by a Jackrabbit player since October 2007.
Additionally, Kool saw time at defensive back late in the 2009. He recorded 10 total tackles, including three in the Jackrabbits' playoff game at Montana.
ROLLIN RETURNS: Senior wide receiver Aaron Rollin rejoined the SDSU lineup Sept. 22 at Indiana State after being injured in the Sept. 8 game at Southeastern Louisiana.
A native of Lee's Summit, Mo., Rollin entered the Jackrabbit career top 10 in a pair of receiving categories during the Nov. 3 game at Southern Illinois. He stands ninth in both career receptions (125) and receivng yards (1,724).
Rollin became the first Jackrabbit receiver to top the 100-yard mark in a game this season, tallying three catches for 108 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown, Oct. 27 versus Youngstown State.
Rollin put together a breakthrough 2011 campaign, leading the team with seven touchdowns while sharing the team lead with 61 receptions. He teamed with Dale Moss to give SDSU one of the top receiving tandems in the nation as both receivers topped the 900-yard mark.
Rollin was held without a catch in the 2012 season opener at Kansas, ending his streak of consecutive games with a reception at 21, dating back to the 2009 season.
SHAFRATH STICKING OPPONENTS: Senior linebacker Ross Shafrath led the team in tackles each of the first six games of the season and has a team-best total of 118 after notching his eighth double-figure tackle total with 15 Nov. 10 at North Dakota State.
Shafrath's 118 tackles are the most in a season by a Jackrabbit player since Greg Osmundson recorded 126 tackles in 1989.
A native of Hampton, Iowa, Shafrath shares the Football Championship Subdivision lead with an average of 7.0 solo tackles per game and also ranks sixth in the FCS for total tackles with an average of 11.8 per contest. Shafrath established a new career high with 17 tackles to again lead the Jackrabbits in their 41-28 victory over Youngstown State on Oct. 27.
Shafrath opened 2012 with a then-career-high 16 tackles Sept. 1 at Kansas. His total was the most by a Jackrabbit player since linebacker Mike Lien notched 18 tackles in a 2010 game at North Dakota State. He then notched eight stops in the Sept. 8 win over Southeastern Louisiana and shared team-high honors with 10 stops versus UC Davis on Sept. 15. He again led the squad with 11 tackles in the Jackrabbits' league-opening win at Indiana State on Sept. 22, followed by a 12-tackle, two-interception performance Sept. 29 versus Missouri State en route to being named Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Week.
Shafrath has tallied double digits in tackles in 10 of the last 13 games dating back to last season, including 12 in the Oct. 13 game against Western Illinois.
A senior from Hampton, Iowa, Shafrath ranked fourth on the team in 2011 with 66 tackles despite being a part-time starter. His previous career high was 13 tackles at Missouri State on Oct. 29, 2011.
STOUT DEFENSE: The Jackrabbit defense has been a resurgent unit in 2012,
currently ranking in the top 20 of five different categories among Football Championship Subdivision programs:
• Pass Efficiency Defense, seventh, 99.10;
• Scoring Defense, ninth, 16.70 points per game;
• Total Defense, 10th, 300.90 yards per game;
• Sacks, 13th, 2.90 per game;
• Rushing Defense, 18th, 122.7 yards per game.
During its five-game winning streak this season, the Jackrabbit defense did not allow more than one offensive touchdown in any game. Three of the opposition's six touchdowns in that span came either on an interception or fumble return.
MANY HAPPY RETURNS: The Jackrabbit kickoff return unit has helped the team win the field position battle throughout the 2012 season. Entering play this week, SDSU ranks 14th among FCS programs with an average kickoff return of 24.07 yards.
Six different players have returned kicks this season, including Tyrel Kool, who ran back the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown Oct. 13 against Western Illinois. Trevor Tiefenthaler has added an average of 23.1 yards on 16 returns, including a long of 46 yards.
BIG PLAYS: South Dakota State has patched together a number of big plays during the 2012 season. In all, the Jackrabbits have totaled 15 plays from scrimmage and a pair of kickoffs of more than 40 yards, including four pass plays in the Oct. 27 Hobo Day game versus Youngstown State.
In addition, six of Zach Zenner's have covered at least 42 yards, with his nine touchdowns covering a total of 477 yards, an average of 53 yards.
• Zach Zenner 99-yard run (for TD), at Kansas, 9-1-12
• Zenner 42-yard run, at Southeastern Louisiana, 9-8-12
• Zenner 61-yard run (for TD), vs. UC Davis, 9-15-12
• Zenner 57-yard run (for TD), at Indiana State, 9-22-12
• Zenner 87-yard run, at Indiana State, 9-22-12
• Zenner 88-yard run (for TD), vs. Missouri State, 9-29-12
• Zenner 46-yard run (for TD), vs. Western Illinois, 10-13-12
• Zenner 60-yard run (for TD), vs. Western Illinois, 10-13-12
• Brandon Hubert 42-yard reception from Austin Sumner, at Kansas, 9-1-12
• Jason Schneider 46-yard reception (for TD) from Sumner, at Southeastern Louisiana, 9-8-12
• Tyrel Kool 41-yard reception from Sumner, vs. Youngstown State, 10-27-12
• Kool 50-yard reception (for TD) from Sumner, vs. Youngstown State, 10-27-12
• Aaron Rollin 46-yard reception from Sumner, vs. Youngstown State, 10-27-12
• Rollin 49-yard reception (for TD) from Sumner, vs. Youngstown State, 10-27-12
• Kool 41-yard reception from Sumner, at Southern Illinois, 11-3-12
Kickoff Returns (2)
• Trevor Tiefenthaler, 46-yard return, at Southeastern Louisiana, 9-8-12
• Tyrel Kool, 100-yard return (for TD), vs. Western Illinois, 10-13-12
Conversely, the Jackrabbit defense has given up only four plays of 40 or more yards this season - two of which came in the Sept. 1 season opener at Kansas. The first was a 43-yard pass from Dayne Crist to Kale Pick on the opening play of the game, followed by a 47-yard run by Tony Pierson.
THE WRIGHT BROTHERS: The Jackrabbit football team received valuable contributions from brothers Winston and Dom Wright during the 2011 season.
Natives of Lee's Summit, Mo., and Blue Springs South High School, both joined the SDSU football program in the fall of 2010. A junior, Winston Wright started all 11 games at cornerback last season en route to earning second-team all-Missouri Valley Football Conference honors. He led the team with three interceptions to go along with 57 tackles. He began his colllegiate career at Missouri, redshirting during the 2009 season.
Dom Wright is a sophomore wide receiver who saw most of his action as a kick and punt returner. In nine games last season, he averaged 15.6 yards on 10 kickoff returns to rank second on the squad. This season, he has returned six punts for 50 yards (8.3 yards per return), including a career-long 39-yard return Sept. 8 at Southeastern Louisiana.
COACH STIG: John Stiegelmeier has built the South Dakota State University football team into a consistent winner in the ranks of the Division I Football Championship Subdivision.
Overall, Coach Stig has led the Jackrabbits to a 100-75 record (.571 winning percentage). SDSU has posted nine winning seasons in the last 11 years, including seven of the school's nine campaigns at the FCS (formerly Division I-AA) level. The Jackrabbits have had a winning record in 12 of Stiegelmeier's 16 years as head coach, and have a 26-13 record (.667 winning percentage) in Missouri Valley Football Conference games.
JACKRABBIT INSIDER: Throughout the 2012 football season, head coach John Stiegelmeier will be a guest on the "Jackrabbit Insider," a weekly behind-the-scenes look at South Dakota State University athletics.
The half-hour television show which features interviews with Jackrabbit coaches and student-athletes, airs Sundays at 10:30 p.m. on Sioux Falls-based KTTW FOX 7. The show is also broadcast on FOX Sports North at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and on FOX College Sports Central at select times (check listings). Online, the show can be viewed at GoJacks.com.
STIG SHOW: The John Stiegelmeier Radio Show airs each Monday throughout the 2012 football season.
The show is scheduled to air at 5 p.m. on the Jackrabbit Sports Network, originating with flagship station WNAX 570 AM in Yankton. In addition, the weekly show also will be streamed online at GoJacks.com as part of the Jackrabbit Extra subscription service.
Hosted by Tyler Merriam, the John Stiegelmeier Radio Show will also feature interviews with Jackrabbit student-athletes and assistant coaches. Jackrabbit fans are encouraged to attend the show in person at Cubby's Sports Bar and Grill, 307 Main Ave., in downtown Brookings.
A LOOK AHEAD: The Football Championship Subdivision playoff field will be announced at 12:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon on ESPNU.
Four first-round playoff games are scheduled for next Saturday (Nov. 24) at campus sites. The top 12 teams will receive first-round byes and resume action on Saturday, Dec. 1