South Dakota State 2016 FCS Football Playoff Capsule

South Dakota State Jackrabbits
Missouri Valley
After losing two of their first three games, South Dakota State looked like they would miss out on the playoffs. But the Jackrabbits quickly turned things around and played very well in Missouri Valley play. Most notable was the 19-17 win in Fargo against North Dakota State. That statement win really put SDSU in a great shape for making the playoffs, but there were plenty of other tough victories in the always difficult MVFC.
2016 Record: 8-3, 7-1
Coach: John Stiegelmeier
Big Wins: 10/1 Western Illinois (52-14), 10/15 at North Dakota State (19-17)
Bad Losses: 9/17 Cal Poly (31-38), 10/29 at Illinois State (21-38)
The Jackrabbits boast the best offense in the conference. Quarterback Taryn Christion split time with Zach Lujan last season, but this year it has been all about Christion. On the year he has thrown for 3,369 yards and 29 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. Wide receiver Jake Wieneke is one of the best in the FCS. So is tight end Dallas Goedert. Those two have each tallied over 1,000 receiving yards and double digit touchdowns this season. SDSU may not be as prolific on the ground as they are through the air, but they have some good runners. Christion is one of them and he is always a threat to tuck and run when needed. Brady Mengarelli will get most of the carries though and Isaac Wallace has emerged as a solid secondary option.
The South Dakota State defense is not bad by any means, but compared to the offense, it is where this team has a weakness. The unit ranked eighth in the MVFC in rush defense and sixth in pass defense. Christian Rozeboom has had an amazing freshman campaign and tallied over 100 tackles. With senior Jesse Bobbit by his side, South Dakota State has a couple big time tacklers who can chase down anybody. Kellen Soulek gets most of the pressure in the backfield, but this team does need to get more consistent pressure on the quarterback. A good passing offense with a good offensive line can potentially pick this team apart through the air. The Jackrabbits also struggled with the option offense of Cal Poly, allowing the Mustangs to run for 440 yards and score 38 points.
Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Brady Mengarelli, RB, 700 yards
Passing: Taryn Christion, QB, 3,369 yards
Receiving: Dallas Goedert, WR, 1,146 yards; Jake Wieneke, WR, 1,204 yards
Tackles: C. Rozeboom, LB, 107
Sacks: Kellen Soulek, DL, 7
Interceptions: Dallas Brown, DB, 3
2016 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 170.7 (44th in nation, 5th in conference)
Passing Offense: 317.0 (8, 2)
Total Offense: 487.7 (10, 1)
Scoring Offense: 36.6 (12, 1)
Rushing Defense: 181.5 (78, 8)
Pass Defense: 227.1 (70, 6)
Total Defense: 408.6 (79, 6)
Scoring Defense: 28.8 (70, 5)
Turnover Margin: 0.50 (30, 3)
Sacks: 2.40 (32, 5)
Sacks Allowed: 1.70 (44, 4)
Recent Playoff Appearances:
2015    First Round                 Lost to Montana
2014    First Round                 Defeated Montana State
2014    Second Round            Lost to North Dakota State
2013    First Round                 Defeated Northern Arizona
2013    Second Round            Lost to Eastern Washington
2012    First Round                 Defeated Eastern Illinois
2012    Second Round            Lost to North Dakota State
2009    First Round                 Lost to Montana
*all team stats through 11/12