South Dakota State 2013 FCS Football Playoff Capsule

South Dakota State Jackrabbits
Missouri Valley


South Dakota State made the playoffs for the second time in their history last season and won their first game against Eastern Illinois. After that, they ran into North Dakota State again. With a playoff win under their belt, the program is hoping for even more this time around. The Jackrabbits have beaten a couple good teams like Northern Iowa and Youngstown State, but they also failed to compete with North Dakota State and lost to Southern Illinois and Missouri State.

2013 Record: 8-4, 5-3
Coach: John Stiegelmeier

Big Wins: 10/26 Northern Iowa (37-34), 11/23 at Youngstown State (42-13)
Bad Losses: 10/5 Southern Illinois (24-27), 10/19 at Missouri State (21-35)

Juniors Zach Zenner and Austin Sumner make the offense go. Zenner, a 6-0, 220 pound running back, is an absolute workhorse. He totaled 300 carries for 1,695 yards and 20 touchdowns. He even caught 21 passes for 251 yards and a couple more trips to the end zone. Coach John Stiegelmeier has no problem handing it off to Zenner over and over again as long as it is working. If it’s not, Sumner is more than ready to take over a game and start heaving the ball around the field. He threw for 2,628 yards and 18 touchdowns and completed nearly 60 percent of his passes. Big junior, Jason Schneider, has emerged as Sumner’s favorite target. The 6-5 wideout fell just shy of the 1,000 yard receiving mark and is always a dangerous receiving threat that most corners have a tough time matching up with.  

South Dakota State will not win much when the offense is struggling. Four of the five games when they scored fewer than 29 points, SDSU lost. However, the defense will need to keep the Jackrabbits close. With Zenner, this is a team that should be able to win close, low-scoring games. That has not been the case though. Linebacker R.C. Kilgore is a tackle machine and Chase Douglas and Marshall Peugh have done a great job getting into the backfield, yet yardage can come too easy against a potent and balanced offense. Where the defense can make up the difference is in the turnover department. The Jackrabbits have picked off 19 passes and recovered nine fumbles. They do have one of the best turnover margins in the nation and that is where this team can overcome an average defense to make a big tournament run.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Zach Zenner, RB, 1,695 yards
Passing: Austin Sumner, QB, 2,628 yards
Receiving: Jason Schneider, WR, 985 yards
Tackles: R.C. Kilgore, LB, 119
Sacks: Chase Douglas, DL, 7.0
Interceptions: Winston Wright, DB, 4

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 146.5 (80th in nation, 8th in conference)
Passing Offense: 226.4 (49, 2)
Total Offense: 372.8 (64, 4)
Scoring Offense: 29.1 (46, 3)
Rushing Defense: 169.3 (65, 9)
Pass Defense: 224.5 (70, 7)
Total Defense: 393.8 (70, 9)
Scoring Defense: 24.5 (47, 5)
Turnover Margin: 1.2 (4, 1)
Sacks: 2.09 (51, 5)
Sacks Allowed: 3.73 (116, 9)

Recent Playoff Appearances:
2012    First Round        Defeated Eastern Illinois
2012    Second Round    Lost to North Dakota State
2009    First Round        Lost to Montana

*all team stats through 11/16


Playoff Central