Sports

FCS team of the week: SDSU has elite look again

(STATS) – The way South Dakota State played in beating previously unbeaten North Dakota State was what it envisioned all along.

A convincing 33-21 win over the powerful Bison had the Jackrabbits looking like FCS national title contenders.

Well, that’s what was expected of South Dakota State heading into the season. Coach John Stiegelmeier’s team was coming off its deepest playoff run (the quarterfinals) and had its highest ranking ever (No. 4 in the preseason).

Two losses in a three-game stretch earlier this season quieted all the talk, but the STATS FCS Team of the Week is back on track with three straight victories and a 7-2 record. After being ranked 10th last week, the Jackrabbits will rise once again.

“We never really had a lack of confidence, we knew we weren’t executing as well as we could be,” All-America tight end Dallas Goedert said. “Everything is on us, we can only control what we can control. A win against a top team like that is really big.”

“There’s been a lot of talk about what we said in the preseason and what other people said after a couple of losses,” Stiegelmeier said. “But I’ll tell you what – there’s one population I care about and that’s the guys in our locker room, and they did a great job this week. We beat a very good football team today.”

The Jackrabbits never trailed against the six-time defending Missouri Valley Football Conference champ, using more than a 10-minute advantage in time of possession to stifle NDSU and quarterback Easton Stick (four turnovers). Signal caller Taryn Christion (329 yards, two touchdowns) was in command like he was in last year’s Dakota Marker rivalry game, and Goedert (seven receptions, 116 yards, one TD) used speed and power to dominate the vaunted Bison defense.

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