After surviving Cal-Davis, beaten-up Jacks a “different team” from fall camp

Players feel bigger plays are coming
Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 12:45 AM CDT
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BROOKINGS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - South Dakota State looked beat up and battered from last week’s 7-3 loss at Iowa, and it showed while holding on late to on to beat Cal-Davis 24-22 for the Jackrabbits’ first win of the year on Saturday.

The Aggies scored two touchdowns totaling 12 points in the final four minutes to nearly erase a 14-point deficit. SDSU needed to block an extra point attempt after the first score, then stopped a two-point conversion attempt on the second TD to preserve the win.

Though the offense finally did put points on the board, they only managed 250 total yards and never broke a play longer than 17 yards.

But that didn’t derail the confidence or expectations of SDSU playmakers.

“Little things,” said running back Isaac Davis, who rushed for 112 yards on 25 carries, with none for a TD, and none for more than 12 yards.

“We’ve had so many opportunities, plays where someone didn’t get this or it’s like playing catch. But we know these plays are there and that’s the exciting thing. Plays are so close to being from (10 to 12 yard) gains to 50 or 60 yard gains.”

The Jackrabbits are now without seven regular players through the first two games, which both went down to the final minute.

Coach John Stiegelmeier doesn’t deny that his team looks and feels different from the juggernaut that earned a preseason No. 3 national ranking in the FCS coaches poll and No. 2 in another — rankings that held after Week 1.

But he’s also “not concerned.”

“I do know we’re beat up and I do know we have to make decisions based on that,” Stiegelmeier said. “We’re not the same team we were at the start of fall camp but we’re a good football team.”

SDSU wraps up its non-conference schedule next Saturday in Brookings against Butler.