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23 October, 2014 at 3:50 am in Buy & Sell
BROOKINGS, S.D. — Another week, another matchup of nationally ranked Missouri Valley Football Conference teams.
Saturday, South Dakota State, ranked No. 13 by The Sports Network and 15th by the FCS?Coaches, hosts No. 16/17 Youngstown State on Hobo Day at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 2:04 p.m., with the game to be televised locally on KDLT-TV, with additional coverage on ESPN3.com and the Jackrabbit Extra subscription service at GoJacks.com.
Both squads enter Saturday’s contest with identical 5-2 overall records and 2-1 marks in league play. The Jackrabbits recovered just in time to record a 31-28 road win at No. 20/21 Northern Iowa on Oct. 18, while Youngstown State scored a 26-14 home win over No. 14/17 Southern Illinois.
A ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium is set for halftime.
THE SERIES: Saturday’s game marks the16th meeting between South Dakota State and Youngstown State, a series that dates back to the 1942 season. The Jackrabbits hold a 10-5 series advantage after winning all six matchups since joining the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2008, including a 42-13 victory on Nov. 23, 2013, in Youngstown, Ohio..
Youngstown State’s last win in the series was a 23-17 victory on Sept. 8, 2007, in Youngstown.
CAPTAINS: Leading the Jackrabbit football team on the field and in the locker room are five captains:
• T.J. Lally, Jr., linebacker, Chicago, Ill.;
• Jason Schneider, Sr., wide receiver, Andover, Minn.;
• Jack Sherlock, Sr., defensive back, Chicago, Ill.;
• Austin Sumner, Sr., quarterback, Brandon, S.D.;
• Zach Zenner, Sr., running back, Eagan, Minn.
Sumner has been selected as a team captain for the third season and Zenner is in his second year as a captain.
JACKS PICKED SECOND IN MVFC: The South Dakota State University football team has been picked to finish second in the Missouri Valley Football Conference during the 2014 season, according to a preseason poll released in late July.
Three-time defending national champion North Dakota State again was tabbed as the conference favorite in the poll, which was conducted by the league’s coaches, sports information directors and select media representatives. NDSU has won 31 consecutive games entering the weekend.
The Bison earned 24 of a possible 39 first-place votes and 370 total points. South Dakota State was picked second in the poll after tying for second place and representing the league in the FCS playoffs a year ago. The Jackrabbits received eight first-place votes.
Perennial FCS power Northern Iowa was selected third in the poll after going 7-5 last year, with Youngstown State and Southern Illinois completing the upper-half of the poll.
Illinois State and Missouri State were picked sixth and seventh, respectively, with South Dakota, Western Illinois and Indiana State completing the 10-team poll.
A preseason favorite has claimed the league crown 16 times (in 28 previous polls). North Dakota State was picked to win the league last season.
In addition, six Jackrabbit players were named to the MVFC?Preseason Team. Leading the SDSU contingent was senior running back Zach Zenner, who already holds the league record for career all-purpose yards and rushing yards. Zenner has rushed for 2,000-plus yards in back-to-back seasons.
Fellow senior Austin Sumner was tabbed as the quarterback on the preseason team. An honorable mention all-MVFC?honoree in 2013, Sumner threw for 2,999 yards en route to setting SDSU career records for completions, yards and attempts.
Sumner’s primary target a season ago, Jason Schneider, also was honored on the preseason team. Schneider set a Jackrabbit single-season record with 78 receptions for 1,088 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2013 to earn first-team all-MVFC honors.
Completing the Jackrabbits’ selections on the offensive side of the ball was offensive lineman Trevor Greger. A senior, Greger started 33 consecutive games at right tackle since his redshirt freshman season in 2011.
Sophomore Cole Langer, a member of the MVFC?Newcomer Team in 2013, was selected to the preseason team after a freshman season in which he recorded 35 tackles.
Honorable mention selection T.J. Lally rounded out the Jackrabbit preseason honorees. A junior linebacker, Lally finished second on the team in tackles each of his first two seasons, including 89 stops in 2013.
North Dakota State led the league with eight selections to the preseason team, followed by SDSU and UNI with six.
RABBITS RANKED: The South Dakota State University football team moved up in both major Football Championship Subdivision polls this week following its 31-28 road victory Oct. 18 at Northern Iowa. The Jackrabbits climbed five spots to 13th in the Sports Network meida poll, while gaining one spot to 15th in the FCS?Coaches’ poll.
The Jackrabbits entered the 2014 campaign with their second-consecutive preseason top-10 national ranking as an FCS member. SDSU was ranked 10th in both the Sports Network FCS?coaches preseason polls and rose to as high as ninth before an Oct. 4 loss at Illinois State. The Jackrabbits have been ranked in both polls every week since Oct. 29, 2012.
Three-time defending national champion and Missouri Valley Football Conference Lebron James 11 Shoes Black rival North Dakota State again holds the top spot in both polls.
SUMNER OUT, LUJAN IN: South Dakota State starting quarterback Austin Sumner left the Aug. 30 game at Missouri late in the first quarter with a foot injury that is expected to sideline him for at least another week.
Sophomore Zach Lujan stepped in as Sumner’s replacement and led the Jackrabbits on two scoring drives, including a touchdown drive to open the second half and pull SDSU to within 21-18. A native of Anchorage, Alaska, who played last season at Chabot College (Calif.), Lujan completed 21-of-28 passes for 239 yards with one interception at Mizzou.
Lujan has started each of the past six games for the Jackrabbits, helping lead the team to five victories. In his first career start, Sept. 6 against Cal Poly, Lujan finished the night 12-of-20 passing for 236 yards and three touchdowns.
Lujan threw for a season-high in yards each of the first two Missouri Valley Football Conference games, establishing a new season high with 310 yards on 17-of-28 passing Oct. 11 against Missouri State.
STEADY SYROVATKA: South Dakota State kicker Justin Syrovatka will attempt to build off some record-setting performances during his first three seasons.
A senior from Sioux Falls, Syrovatka holds the Jackrabbit record for consecutive field goals made with 15. Syrovatka’s streak began on Oct. 11, 2012, in a victory over Western Illinois. He made his last 12 field goal attempts of the 2012 season and first three attempts of the 2013 campaign, going 7-for-7 from 20-29 yards, 3-for-3 on field goals of 30-39 yards and 5-for-5 from 40-plus yards. His streak ended when he missed a 29-yard attempt at Nebraska on Sept. 21, 2013.
The previous Jackrabbit record for consecutive made field goal attempts was 13, which was set by Parker Douglass between the 2006 and 2007 seasons.
Syrovatka also put together a streak of 47 consecutively made PATs, which ended Nov. 9, 2013, against Indiana State. His 33 consecutive PATs to start the season were a Jackrabbit record, surpassing the 29 by Douglass in 2004. For his career, Syrovatka is 126-of-128 on PATs, including a perfect 22-of-22 in 2014.
In addition, Syrovatka has moved into second place on the Jackrabbit career field goals chart with 44, connecting on at least one field in all seven games this season and nine in a row dating back to the 2013 campaign. Syrovatka’s 44-yard field goal with 1 minute, 47 seconds to play in the game at Northern Iowa on Oct. 18 provided the winning margin in a 31-28 Jackrabbit victory.
Douglass is the all-time leader with 62 field goals from 2004-07.
WIENEKE ON RICE WATCH LIST: Jackrabbit wide receiver Jake Wieneke was recently to the initial watch list for the Jerry Rice Award, which is presented to the top freshman in the Football Championship Subdivision.
A redshirt freshman from Maple Grove, Minnesota, Wieneke has recorded three 100-yard receiving games so far this season. He opened his collegiate career by catching six passes for 107 yards, including a 45-yarder in the third quarter, in the Jackrabbits’ season opener at nationally ranked Missouri. Wieneke became the first Jackrabbit freshman in the Division I era to top the 100-yard receiving mark in a game, and the first since current receivers coach Josh Davis accomplished the feat three times during the 2002 season.
Wieneke followed his debut with two catches for 37 yards and his first collegiate touchdown — an 11-yard reception in the third quarter against Cal Poly. He also gained 52 yards on a lateral. Wieneke’s second 100-yard outing came in a losing effort at Illinois State as he caught seven passes for 116 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown.
In his first game since being named to the Jerry Rice Award watch list, Wieneke recorded career highs with eight receptions for 183 yards and three touchdowns in a come-from-behind victory over Missouri State on Oct. 11. His touchdowns covered 78, 10 and 26 yards as he became the first Jackrabbit receiver to catch three touchdowns in a game since Colin Cochart in 2009. Wieneke’s 183 receiving yards were the most by a Jackrabbit in a game in the Division I era (since 2004) and sixth-most in program history.
For the season, Wieneke is averaging 19.9 yards every time he touches the ball as he has tallied a team-best 545 receiving yards on 29 receptions (18.8 ypr) and added a 52-yard rush in the Sept. 6 win over Cal Poly. Wieneke leads the team with seven touchdown receptions, while his 29 total receptions are second on the squad.
Wieneke is the third Jackrabbit in the four seasons the Jerry Rice Award has been presented to be under consideration for the award, joining Austin Sumner (2011) and T.J. Lally (2012).
ZENNER FOR PAYTON: South Dakota State University running back Zach Zenner is one of 25 players under consideration for the Walter Payton Award, which is presented annually to the top player in the Football Championship Subdivision by The Sports Network.
A 6-foot, 220-pound senior, Zenner is the only two-time finalist in the pool of players being considered for the award. A native of Eagan, Minnesota, Zenner placed seventh in the balloting in 2012 and sixth in 2013. The watch list will be updated periodically during the 2014 season, with the Walter Payton Award to be presented for the 28th time on Dec. 15. The award is selected by a panel of more than 150 sports information directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries.
During the 2013 season, Zenner became only the second player in FCS history to rush for 2,000 yards in two separate seasons, gaining 2,015 yards and scoring 25 touchdows — 23 rushing, two receiving — as the Jackrabbits made a return trip to the postseason. He burst onto Cheap Lebron James 10 Shoes the FCS scene in 2012 by leading the nation in rushing with 2,044 yards — an average of 157.2 yards per game.
In addition, Zenner moved into a pair of Football Championship Subdivision career top 20s during South Dakota State’s victory over Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Sept. 20. The active career leader in both categories, Zenner Lebron James 10 Kid Shoes has since moved into eighth place for FCS?career rushing with 5,547 yards and also upped his career all-purpose yardage total to 6,973 yards to rank 11th all-time. Both of his yardage totals are Missouri Valley Football Conference records.
Zenner has crossed the 100-yard mark 27 times in the team’s 34 games over the past two-plus seasons, including seven performances of 200-plus yards. He currently ranks third among FCS?backs with an average of 145.4 yards per game.
For updates throughout the 2014 season, follow via Twitter by using the hashtag #ZennerForPayton.
MORE AWARDS FOR ZENNER: Jackrabbit running back Zach Zenner added to his list of accolades last week by being named to the 2014 Allstate AFCA?Good Works Team.
A senior from Eagan, Minnesota, Zenner was presented his award during an event Sept. 23 at Hillcrest Elementary School in Brookings. Zenner has served a key role in numerous community service events as president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, including Summit League Food Fight (yearly competition among league schools for donations to local food pantry), Project Joy (holiday toy drive) and campus cleanup. He also has worked the past three years with the State-a-Thon event to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network and has devoted countless hours to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, including coaching children on fundamental football skills, leading devotionals at FCA Power Camp and speaking to area youth groups at other FCA events.
This past winter, Zenner served as a student-athlete ambassador, testifying before state House and Senate Appropriations committees as the state Legislature debated passage of a bill to authorize construction of a new on-campus football stadium.
Zenner’s lengthy community service résumé extends beyond the campus and local community as he was one of 25 SDSU student-athletes who traveled to Harmons, Jamaica, in March 2014 on a mission trip to help build two homes and interact with members of the village through the Won by One organization.
Zenner is the second Jackrabbit student-athlete in as many years to be named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, joining 2013 honoree Winston Wright.
Allstate and the AFCA are looking to the fans to help determine this year’s 2014 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team captain. By visiting ESPN.com/Allstate, fans can learn more about this year’s team members and vote for the player who they feel best embodies the spirit of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. The team captain and his fellow award recipients will also be invited to New Orleans to take part in a community project leading up to the 2015 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in January.
To close the week, Zenner was named a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which is awarded annually to the top scholar-athlete in college football. Finalists for the Campbell Trophy will be announced in late October.
OFF TO THE RACES — AGAIN: Jackrabbit running back Zach Zenner scored on a 75-yard touchdown run on his first carry of the season, Aug. 30 at Missouri. It marked the third season in a row that Zenner scored on one of his first two carries of the season. In 2012, he scored on a school-record 99-yard run on his second carry at Kansas, followed by a 36-yard run on his second attempt in the 2013 season opener versus Butler.
Zenner finished the game at Missouri with 103 yards on 17 carries. He has 10 career touchdown runs of at least 50 yards.
GREGER STREAK ENDS: Right tackle Trevor Greger had his consecutive games started streak end at 33 when he sat out the Sept. 20 game against Wisconsin-Oshkosh due to injury.
A senior from Wagner, Greger started the final three games of the 2011 season at right tackle, and extended his streak by starting all 13 games of the 2012 season and all 14 contests in 2013. His streak reached 33 as he drew a starting assignment in the Jackrabbits’ first three games of the 2014 campaign.
Greger, who was tabbed as a 2014 preseason all-Missouri Valley Football Conference selection, returned to the lineup Oct. 4 at Illinois State and has now started 36 of the Jackrabbits’ last 37 games.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Jackrabbit running back Zach Zenner and offensive lineman Dylan Seiter each received Missouri Valley Football Conference Player of the Week honors for their efforts in SDSU’s victory over Cal Poly on Sept. 6.
A senior from Eagan, Minn., Zenner rushed 30 times for 193 yards and a touchdown. He also became the career rushing leader in MVFC?history, ending the night with 4,825 yards and surpassing the 4,746 yards by Herb Donaldson of Western Illinois from 2005-08.
Zenner also was named a National All-Star by College Sporting News.
Seiter, meanwhile, was tabbed MVFC?Offensive Lineman of the Week after recording a 1.62 grade and a team-high nine knockdown blocks against Cal Poly.
Redshirt freshman Jake Wieneke joined the list of award winners Oct. 12, when he was named Missouri Valley Football Conference Newcomer of the Week after recording career highs of eight catches, 183 yards and three touchdowns in the Jackrabbits’ 32-28 victory over Missouri State a day earlier.
Wieneke also was named national Co-Freshman of the Week by The Sports Network, and also recognized as FCS National Receiver of the Week by College Football Performance Awards.
CARR COMES UP BIG: South Dakota State backup cornerback Trey Carr turned some impressive performances in the first half of the Jackrabbits’ season.
A true freshman from Omaha, Nebraska, Carr was credited with two solo tackles, intercepted a pass and broke up two more passes in a 26-6 victory at Southern Utah on Sept. 13. He also picked off a pass on a two-point conversion attempt and returned it the length of the field for a defensive extra point. It was the second defensive extra point in program history and first since 1997.
Carr also came up with both Jackrabbit takeaways in a losing effort at Illinois State on Oct. 4. In his first Missouri Valley Football Conference action, Carr intercepted a pass at the SDSU 1-yard line in the third quarter and recovered a fumble on the next Redbird possession. He also returned broke up two passes, notched two tackles and returned a pair of kickoffs for a total of 54 yards.
CLOCK MANAGEMENT: The Jackrabbit offense has displayed a ball-control attack this season that has led to the unit ranking third among FCS squads for time of possession with an average of 33 minutes and 49 seconds per game.
SDSU has held an edge in time of possession in all seven games of the 2014 season, including four games with at least an eight-minute advantage. The biggest disparity came in the Sept. 13 matchup at Southern Utah, where the Jackrabbits held the ball 13 minutes and 42 seconds (36:42 to 23:18) longer than SUU.
The second-largest disparity came last week at Northern Iowa, where SDSU held the ball for 36:14, compared to 23:46 by UNI. The Jackrabbits put together three touchdown drives of at least 10 plays and five minutes.
The Jackrabbit defense has been doing its part, as well, by forcing a three-and-out 22 times so far this season, including at UNI, along with recording 11 takeaways.
WORKING OVERTIME: SDSU’s 37-34 double-overtime victory over Northern Iowa on Oct. 26, 2013, upped the Jackrabbits’ record in overtime games to 2-0 against Missouri Valley Football Conference opponents. SDSU also defeated Missouri State in a double-overtime game, 43-36, in 2011.
Overall, SDSU?is 3-4 in games decided in overtime since the format was adopted in the mid-1990s. The Jackrabbits won their inaugural overtime game, 30-27 in two overtimes against Nebraska-Omaha in the 1998 Hobo Day game.
Following is a complete list of SDSU’s overtime games:
1998: SDSU 30, Nebraska-Omaha 27 (2 OT — at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium)
2002: Augustana 39, SDSU 33 (3 OT — at Sioux Falls)
2004: Southern Utah 23, SDSU 17 (2 OT — at Cedar City, Utah)
2007: Western Illinois 29, SDSU 26 (4 OT — at Macomb, Ill.)
2008: McNeese State 46, SDSU 44 (3 OT — at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium)
2011: SDSU 43, Missouri State 36 (2 OT — at Springfield, Mo.)
2013: SDSU 37, Northern Iowa 34 (2 OT — at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium)
COACH STIG HONORED: South Dakota State University head football coach John Stiegelmeier received the Lebron James 10 for sale 2014 Ralph Ginn Award for Coaching Excellence in conjunction with Jackrabbit Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on Oct. 11.
Stiegelmeier, who is in his 18th season as Jackrabbit head coach, has compiled a 116-83 career record, passing Ginn atop the SDSU career victories chart earlier this season. Stiegelmeier, who will mark his 200th game as head coach on Saturday, has led SDSU to a winning record in 13 of 17 full seasons, including eight of 10 at the Division I level.
The Selby native was named North Central Conference Coach of the Year in 1999 and Great West Football Conference Coach of the Year in 2007 after leading SDSU to its first conference title at the Division I level and their first league championship in 44 years.
Coach Stig also was named a finalist for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award during the 2007 and 2009 seasons, the latter marking the Jackrabbits’ first appearance in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. SDSU also made consecutive FCS playoff appearances in 2012 and 2013, winning an opening-round game each season.
Since moving to Division I at the start of the 2004 season, Stiegelmeier has led the Jackrabbits to a 74-50 record in the FCS era.
Prior to becoming head coach, Stiegelmeier served as an assistant coach for the Jackrabbit football team from 1988-96. He joined Wayne Haensel’s coaching staff as secondary coach and recruiting coordinator before being elevated to defensive coordinator under new head coach Mike Daly in 1991. In six seasons as defensive coordinator, Stiegelmeier helped guide the Jackrabbits to a 41-23 overall record. SDSU turned in a winning record all six seasons, including five seven-win campaigns. That track record of success helped Stiegelmeier secure his first collegiate head coaching position in December 1996, when he was named Daly’s successor.
A 1979 graduate of South Dakota State with degrees in mathematics and physical education, Stiegelmeier served as a student assistant for the Jackrabbit team that made its lone appearance in the NCAA Division II playoffs. He furthered his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Northern Iowa before coaching at the prep level at Eau Claire (Wis.) North High School from 1981-84. He returned to collegiate coaching as defensive coordinator, secondary coach and recruiting coordinator at Northern State from 1984-87 and later served a stint at the University of Wisconsin while working on his doctorate.
The Ralph Ginn Award for Coaching Excellence was first awarded in 1972. Ginn coached Jackrabbit football teams to a 113-89-9 record and won nine North Central Conference titles in 22 seasons from 1947-68.
NEW FACILITIES: The South Dakota State University football program is expected to benefit greatly from the addition of two new facilities.
The Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex, which opened earlier this month, will serve as the indoor practice facility for the Jackrabbit football team and a number of ther Jackrabbit squads. The complex, which features 100 yards of soy-based AstroTurf, also will house a 300-meter indoor track and expanded areas for strength and conditioning, sports medicine and coaches’ offices.
A dedication ceremony for the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex was held Oct. 11.
In October 2013, SDSU officials announced lead gifts totaling $12.5 million from Sioux Falls banker Dana Dykhouse and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford toward the construction of a new football stadium. The announcement was made in conjunction with the 100th Hobo Day game at SDSU.
The Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium, which will have a seating capacity of 18,500 to 20,000, will replace Coughlin-Alumni Stadium, which has served as the home of Jackrabbit football since 1962. The new stadium will be built on the current Coughlin-Alumni Stadium site, with completion scheduled for the summer of 2016. A ceremonial groundbreaking for the new stadium is scheduled for halftime of Saturday’s Hobo Day game.
The estimated $65 million project was approved by the South Dakota Legislature this past winter and signed into law by Gov. Dennis Daugaard. Construction will be done in phases, with the east and south sides of the stadium scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2015 and the west side finished in 2016.
Plans call for the stadium to be funded through private gifts and long-term revenue streams, including concessions and suite, loge box and ticket sales. The intention is to secure bonds to finance up to two-thirds of the project’s construction with bonds, with the remaining third coming from private support.
JACKRABBIT INSIDER: Throughout the 2014 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 p.m. on Sioux Falls-based MyUTV. The show is also broadcast on KELO-TV at 11 p.m. Central Sunday and at 10 p.m. Mountain Time Sunday on KDLO-TV. Online, the show can be viewed at GoJacks.com.
STIG SHOW: The John Stiegelmeier Radio Show airs each Monday throughout the 2014 football season.
The show is scheduled to air at 6 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 package.
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 Jackrabbits continue league play with a Nov. 1 matchup at three-time defending FCS?national champion North Dakota State. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. at the Fargodome in Fargo, with television coverage on Midco Sports Network, ESPN3 and the North Dakota NBC?Network.
Next home action for South Dakota State is Nov. 15, when the Jackrabbits host Western Illinois on Military Appreciation Day.