Rants & Raves: Drake

It turned out to be a beautiful day for football on Saturday in Brookings.  There was a good crowd in attendance thanks to the boost from Senior Day. There is plenty of good but also plenty that needs to be cleaned up if the Jacks want to secure a "W" against Southern Utah University next weekend. 

Rave: I thought the students were excellent again for the second week in a row.  They were engaged pretty much the whole game, even though the end was never really in doubt.  Hopefully they bring that energy next week and for the conference season!

Rant: Overall the team has to be sharper.  It seems like the old "Do your 1/11th" mantra isn't sinking in yet.  It seemed like every play in the first half was just one missed block, cut, pass away from being a big play.  It's good because these are correctable mistakes.

Rave: I was so happy to see Cade Johnson back out on the field.  The stadium was so concerned about him last week.  We learned mid-week that there wa…

Game Preview: Drake

The Jackrabbits square off with the Drake Bulldogs on Saturday at 1pm in The Dana.  This is third time the Jacks have faced the Bulldogs since 2016.  SDSU was victorious in the previous two matchups and I'd expect much of the same on Saturday.  Drake is 0-2 on the season and appears to have a senior laden roster but is light on experience after graduating a strong senior class that helped them to a strong 2018 campaign.  Drake's two losses were to UND and D2 Truman State.

Todd Stepsis is the new headcoach for Drake after serving as the defensive coordinator for the past five seasons.  Stepsis called his defense with an aggresive approach so it will be interesting to see how he pushes the overall direction of the program.

The Drake offense is still finding its stride through the first two weeks of the season.  They have scored a touchdown in both contests and have punted the ball 15 times.  They also turned the ball over four times; 2 fumbles and 2 interceptions.  The o…

Rants & Raves: LIU

The Jacks won 38-3 on a cold and damp September evening.  The Jacks dominated statistically in nearly every area but it didn't feel like a fully satisfying victory.  How spoiled have we become as Jackrabbit fans?

Rave: How about that defense?  The argument could be made that they have only surrendered 17 points in 2 games.  Pretty impressive.  For most of the night Saturday LIU was completely overwhelmed by the size and speed of the Jackrabbit defense.  LIU managed only 123 yards of total offense.  The performance was phenominal, even against a transitioning FCS opponent. I'll highlight some of the invidual performances later.

Rant: Adult fans... enough said.  This writer is tired of the apathy and excuses.

Rave: Students!  Great job showing up, being loud, and impacting the game.  That was great!

Rave: The true freshmen really showed out.  Quinton Hicks impacted the game from his first snap.  Diamond Evans played with great confidence and is as impressive physically for a fr…

Game Preview: Long Island University

The Jacks will host the Long Island University Sharks on Saturday in the 2019 home opener.  LIU is transitioning from D2 to FCS football and is part of the NEC.  Recent Jackrabbit opponents from the NEC include Duquesne (2018 and 2017) and Robert Morris (2015).    The Sharks are actually combining two of the Long Island University campuses (Post and Brooklyn) to form this squad.  The Sharks have yet to play a game this season so once again, most of these projections are based on 2018 data and whatever news articles I can find.  Last season they enjoyed a perfect regular season before falling in the first round of the NCAA D2 playoffs to Slippery Rock.  That group was senior laden and will be looking to replace 16 starters in 2019. They do not have any games to watch on ESPN+ that I can find.  However, their head coach Bryan Collins has been at LIU 21 years and has a career record of 160-72.  This will certainly help in the D1 transition.

In their final season of D2, LIU averag…

Rants & Raves: U of M

The Jacks took on an ascending Golden Gopher squad Thursday night.  This writer entered the stadium with confidence but plenty of questions.  Many of those questions were answered but I left with a feeling of what could have been.  There is PLENTY to be happy about and this game has to give even the most pesimistic Jack's fan optimism for this season.  The night was a picture perfect night for football and the view of the game, even from the cheap seats, was really good.  I was able to go back and rewatch the game Friday afternoon and catch some of the details I missed at the game. 

Rave: Manchigiah's interception in the first quarter was about as good as you will see.  He read the play perfectly, sunk in to help on the run but maintained his position to make a play in the passing game.  Morgan (UM QB) threw it right to him and Josh showed great hands to catch the heater.

Rave: Aron Johnson had a PHENOMINAL game at right tackle.  Carter Coughlin, Minnesota's best defensiv…

Game Preview: University of Minnesota