Game Preview: Missiouri State Univeristy Bears

The Jackrabbits travel to Springfield, Missouri to take on the Missouri State University (MSU) Bears.  MSU is a team that has struggled for a long time.  However, they always compete hard and seem to have a dangerous receiver or returner every year.  The Bears come in to the game with a 1-5 record and are winless in MVFC play.  However, their offense can be explosive and the Jackrabbit defense will need to be on their toes.  MSU is also averaging 10,416 fans per game as well at Plaster Field. 

Dave Steckel Press Conference: via @YouTube— Missouri State Bears (@MissouriStBears) October 16, 2017
The Bears have been inconsistent on the offensive side of the ball so far in 2017.  The are scoring 20.2 points per game, 144 yards per game rushing, and 191 yards per game passing.  Against FBS Missouri in their season opener, they passed for 353 yards but since then have not broken the 200 yards passing mark. Their running has been pretty consistent this season.

Rants & Raves: UNI

Well... that is certainly not what any of us expected.  Rants & Raves will be a bit different this week as we sift through the wreckage.  Hopefully I can offer some hope. 

Rants & Raves
Rants: Offensive line (both run and pass blocking), special teams fumbles, missed FG and XP, the rain that ruined a beautiful day, lack of a consistent pass rush, inability to stop the run, poor throws and poor effort to haul in passes, and poor adjustments to what UNI showed us in their opening possessions; both offense and defense. 

Whew... that is out of the way.  I could write a paragraph on each one of those, but it wouldn't do much good.  I'm sure we have all been sitting around today super frustrated with what transpired on Saturday in the Dana.  This loss stings because the Jacks lost to a team they should have beaten soundly.  However, it is time to move forward.

Game Balls:
Offense: Dallas Goedert
Dallas has been banged up this season.  On Saturday he gutted it out for the tea…

3 Matchups I'm Watching: Univeristy of Northern Iowa

Here we go!  As the week has gone along I have become more and more excited for this match-up.  When I was a student at SDSU, UNI had our number every season.  UNI quarterback, Pat Grace, seemed to have the Jackrabbit's number every game.  However, the tables have turned with SDSU winning 3 of the last 4, with many Jackrabbit fans feeling that this should be 4 for 4.   This season UNI is again coming to Brookings after a tough non-conference schedule and a difficult loss last week against Western Illinois.  This is realistically a "must win" for UNI if they hope to make the playoffs this season.   If the weather isn't terrible, this should be a great day!

Here are the 3 matchups I'm watching this week:

1. Jordan Brown vs. UNI wide receiver #10 Daurice Fountain
 Jordan is coming off maybe his best game as a Jackrabbit.  He had an interception and was a force throughout the game making tackles in the run game and making sure that every pass that SIU completed on hi…

Game Preview: University of Northern Iowa

The Jacks (4-1 and 1-1) enter week 3 of MVFC play coming off a big win over the Salukis of Southern Illinois.  This week is Hobo Week and Saturday is capped by the 105th  Hobo Day with the Jacks taking on the University of Northern Iowa Panthers (2-3 and 1-1).  UNI is always dangerous.  They are a proud program and usually are really physical on both sides of the ball.  UNI is coming off a tough loss to Western Illinois, 38-29, after earning a close win over SIU in week one of MVFC play.  Two years ago UNI spoiled Hobo Day with a 10-7 victory in a very frustrating game for the Jacks.

Last season the Jacks dominated the Panthers 45-24.  The Jacks offense was firing on all cylinders and the game was capped off by a very memorable Kellen Soulek interception and touchdown rumble.

The UNI offense has shifted from a power running game to more of a passing offense.  This season they are only averaging 72.6 rushing and only 2.4 per attempt.  The passing offense has been better and av…

Rants & Raves: SIU

Sorry for the delay in getting these out.  My daughter was baptized yesterday so my Sunday was spent with family.  The Jacks rebounded from a rough MVFC opener to play their best game of the season.

"3 Matchups to Watch" Review  
1.  CB's vs. SIU pass game: SDSU held SIU to just 179 yards passing.  90 in the first half and 89 in the second half.
2. Jackrabbit front seven vs. ground game of SIU: SDSU held SIU to just 84 yards rushing total and only 9 yards in the first half.
3. Jackrabbit #2 receiver vs. the SIU secondary: Oh did they step up. We will write about this below.

Rants & Raves
Rave: The Jackrabbit defense was exceptional.  Coach Stig had really challenged them and seemed to call them out following the YSU game.  They responded.  As I shared above, 179 yards passing and 84 yards rushing are tremendous totals.  Furthermore, SDSU only allowed 3 of 12 3rd down conversions and dominated the time of possession 41:30 to 18:30.  The defense also harassed the SIU QB…

3 Matchups I'm Watching: Southern Illinois University

Last week my matchups mostly focused on the Jacks offense versus the YSU defense.  The YSU defense lived up to their reputation.  However,  I didn't envision that the Jackrabbit defense would get steamrolled by the YSU ground game.  This week we are flipping the script and 2 of the 3 matchups will focus on the SDSU defense as they matchup against the SIU offense.

Here are the matchups I'm watching on Saturday.

1. Jackrabbit CBs vs. the SIU quick hitting pass game.
The Saluki offense is predicated off of a quick hitting passing game.  This is part of the reason they have only allowed 1 sack so far this season.  Brown, Washington, and Mosley are good tacklers and can be physical.  I'm very interested to see how the staff handles this challenge and if they ask the CBs to get up and press.  This is risky because if they get beat off the line, they give up a home run.  However, if the CBs sit-back it appears that SIU is completely happy dinking and dunking down the field.  If …

Game Preview: Southern Illinois Salukis

The Jackrabbits (3-1) are set to face the Southern Illinois Salukis (2-2) in their second game of the MVFC conference season.  Last year the Jacks and Salukis put on an impressive offensive display with over 1,000 yards of total offense in the Jacks 45-39 win.

Both teams are coming off tough opening losses.  SDSU fell to Youngstown 19-7 in a game that saw there offense sputter and their defense unable to get off the field on 3rd down.  SIU lost to University of Northern Iowa 24-17 in a lower scoring game than was expected.

Their Head Coach, Nick Hill, is back for his second season.  SIU was a once proud program that has fallen on tough times in the past five years.  Hill is an offensive mind forsure and was the quarterback for SIU during the 2006 and 2007 seasons.  The defense is led by former Montana defensive coordinator, Kraig Paulson who helped lead Montana to the 1995 National Championship.   

SIU has outscored it's opponents 138 to 88 this season.  There offense h…