Rants & Raves: NDSU


The Dakota Marker stays in Brookings.  On a day where most fans had a heavy dose of anxiety, it was fun to see the team start fast, take a punch from NDSU, and keep on trucking.  This performance is why expectations were so high entering the season.  This team can play fast, physical, and be a multi-dimensional offense.

3 Matchups to Watch Review
1. Jackrabbit offensive line vs. Bison front 7

Besides some untimely penalties, the offensive line won this battle, convincingly.  Taryn was sacked twice, but the Jacks owned the line of scrimmage, especially in the second half.  Jackrabbits won this matchup.

2. Jackrabbit front 7 vs. Bison run game
The Jacks may not have shut the Bison run game down, but they did slow it down enough holding it to just 108 yards rushing when they had come into the game running for 277.9 yards per game.  The Bison averaged just 4 yards per carry.  Furthermore, the Jacks front seven got fairly consistent pressure on Stick, sacking him 3 times.  Another Jackrabbit matchup victory. 

3. Jordan Brown vs. RJ Urzendowski
 Urzendowski had one catch for 23 yards on the day and it was when the Jacks were in zone coverage.  Otherwise he was completely blanketed.  Brown finished with just 2 tackles and an interception as the Bison avoided throwing at him.  Victory Jackrabbits.

Rants & Raves
Rave: What a performance by "The 3 Amigos" as they are now referred to in the MVFC coaching circles.  Taryn, Dallas, and Jake were every bit as good as advertised making crucial plays when the team needed their talents the most. Taryn and Jake finally connected on a deep pass and Dallas made another phenomenal touchdown catch.   In his last four games, Dallas has caught 27 receptions for 519 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Absolutely eye popping production for a tight end.  In his last three games Taryn has passed for 1,038 yards, 9 TDs, and just 1 INT.  He has also added 121 yards rushing and 3 TDs in that same span.

Rave: How about that ball control?  The Jacks held the ball for 10:38 seconds in the 4th quarter and for 35:04 total.  This a statistic the Bison almost always win. 

Rant: I'm disappointed with the students and for the students.  I get it, there is a lot going on harvest, deer hunting, work, lab practicals, etc.  However, the attendance was poor.  Not going because of the weather is a terrible excuse.  Section 115 of the stadium was reserved for YOU and it was only about 1/3 full.  I was also surprised by how many students chose to leave at halftime of a 17-7 game with the schools biggest rival.  Stay, make noise, sing the school song, make memories with your friends.  These are the type of events you will remember down the road.  Leaving early to go to another house party is something you will forget.

Rave: I was impressed with the game plan that both sides of the ball deployed.  Coach Eidsness had the Bison on their heels the whole game.  The Jacks actually rushed the ball 36 times (including kneels) compared to 33 pass attempts which is incredible balance.  The only time the Jacks were truly stopped was due to penalties.  On defense, the Jacks coverage and pressure had Easton Stick confused and flustered for most of the afternoon.  This was a great gameplan and execution.

Rant: Speaking of penalties...  The Jacks will have to clean this area up.  7 penalties for 58 yards is too much.  On their second offensive possession was derailed because of a holding penalty.  In the second half a pair of false starts flipped promising field position.  This things will need to be cleaned up before playoffs.

Rave: I know it didn't work but I liked the big personnel that the Jacks used inside the five yard line on the Bison first touchdown.  The Jacks ran in an extra defensive tackle and two extra linebackers (Jessup Workman and Tommy Hopp).  Workman got beat on an inside route by the tight end but I liked that the Jacks matched up with the big personnel of the Bison.  I'm not sure I have ever seen the Jacks do that before.

Rave: I thought the Jackrabbit crowd in general did a great job of being engaged.  When the Jacks defense needed noise, they brought it!  Now we just need to work on quieting down when the offense has the ball.  3rd and short and 4th and short isn't the best time to break out the "Here we go rabbits" chant. 

Rave: It was great to see the redshirt freshmen so invested and engaged on the sideline.  They took it upon themselves to get the crowd riled up in crucial situation. Colten Cook and Tylen Small were two players that seemed especially fired up.  It can be a long year while redshirting but this group showed that they were still engaged and incredibly supportive of their teammates, even if they couldn't be in the game battling.

Rant: It was frustrating to see the dropped punt by Adam Anderson.  Throughout the year he has done a really good job in that role.  In practice Coach Arnheim throws bags in the air to distract him and Anderson almost always makes the catch.  As you all know, I have been a big fan of Anderson's throughout this season and have called for him to get the ball more often.  I hope this mistake does not cost him playing time.  It was great to see his teammates hand him the Dakota Marker and have him take it to the student section, even after his error.

Rave: It was great to see the impact that the other receivers made in the game.  Jacob Brown (5 rec, 59 yards, 1 TD), Cade Johnson (4 rec, 18 yards), Marquise Lewis (3 rec, 56 yards), and Skyler Cavanaugh (1 rec, 15 yards) all made plays when their number was called.

Rave: The atmosphere at tailgating was great!  It was a late arriving crowd, but once they got out to tailgate, it was a blast.

Rant: I would have liked to see more staff ready to get people in the gates at the game.  I waiting in line for about 20 minutes at the south east entrance to get in and got on the field about 2 minutes before kickoff.  When my ticket was checked, the line still stretched to the corner of  Jackrabbit Avenue.  I hope in the future that this is not an issue for big games. 

Rave: I love the hype video this week.  The interview from Stig in 2004 was great, the song choice was very cool because SDSU and NDSU were "the outsiders" for wanting to leave the NCC and the highlights were beautiful.  Job well done.

Game Balls 
Offense: Taryn Christion (23-33, 329 yards, 2 TD passing, 37 yards rushing with 1 TD)
Taryn is in the zone right now.  That was a very god Bison defense that he defeated.  They are smart, fast, and physical.  Robbie Grimsley and Tre Dempsey are two of the better safties that the Jacks will play this year.  Most of the game the Bison kept a 3rd safety, James Hendricks, over the top on Wieneke's side of the field.  Taryn didn't force it but looked for his other options.

Defense: The entire unit (3 sacks, 5 forced turnovers, allowed 108 yards rushing and 229 passing)
The Bison offense isn't great but they are consistent.  The Jackrabbits played a great defensive game.  Holding them to nearly 170 yards under their season average for rushing is huge.  The gameplan was to stop/slow down the run enough on first down that the Bison HAD to pass.  This gameplan worked to perfection.   Kellen Soulek, Marshon Harris, Ryan Earith, Austin Smenda, Christian Rozeboom, Makiah Slade, and Zy Mosley all made huge plays and could have won this award so it is going down as a complete team effort.

Go Jacks!
-Matt

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