A rough start doomed the visitors as a 123-year college football rivalry was renewed.
South Dakota State defeated the University of South Dakota 31-8 in front of 15,278 fans in Brookings Saturday. The teams had not played each other since 2003, when South Dakota State left the old Division II North Central Conference.
Both teams are now Division I Football Championship Subdivision programs in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. USD still leads the series 50-48-7.
SDSU opened the game with a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. A couple of minutes later, SDSU’s Chris Tracy recovered a fumble caused by teammate Doug Pette and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown. Tracy would then get a big sack at the USD two-yard line which helped set up another SDSU touchdown.
SDSU ended the first half on a 48-yard field goal by Justin Syrovatka to give the Jacks a 24-0 lead.
The 21st-ranked Jackrabbits (8-3) will find out its postseason fate when FCS playoff pairings are announced at 12:30 this afternoon on ESPNU. USD ended its season 1-10 overall and 0-9 in league play.
The Jackrabbit defense limited USD to 87 yards of total offense in the first half.
USD put together two time-consuming, sustained drives in the third quarter, but came up empty on two trips inside the red zone. The first drive ended on downs, with the second drive ending on a missed 32-yard field goal.
The Coyotes again threatened early in the fourth, but Skyler Luxa came around the corner to block a 44-yard field goal attempt.
USD finally broke into the scoring column midway though the fourth via its special teams unit. Kyle Shanker blocked a Jackrabbit punt and Mike Garvey scooped up the ball at the SDSU 27 and ran into the end zone for a touchdown. Josh Vander Maten hooked up with Tyler Wilhelm to make the score 24-8.
SDSU recovered the ensuing onside kick and took advantage of the short field, with Zach Zenner rushing for 17 yards before Tyrel Kool gained the next 39 yards on a pair of receptions to put the ball inside the 1-yard line. Zenner capped the drive with a 1-yard plunge for his 10th touchdown of the season.
Zenner finished the game with 164 yards on 28 carries. Zenner finished the regular season with 1,703 yards rushing.
SDSU quarterback Austin Sumner completed 20-of-30 passes for 272 yards, crossing the 2,000-yard mark for passing for the second season in a row. Kool led Jackrabbit receivers with seven catches for a season-high 112 yards.
Josh Vander Maten completed 21-of-36 passes for 219 yards for the Coyotes. Will Powell had eight catches for 118 yards.
The Jackrabbits wore throwback uniforms that were replicas of the home jerseys worn during the mid-1980s.
USD (1-10, 0-8 MVFC)|0008—8
SDSU (8-3, 6-2 MVFC)|21307—31
SDSU — Aaron Rollin 7 pass from Austin Sumner (Justin Syrovatka kick).