Showing posts from December, 2017

2018 Football Signing Day

2018 Signing Day Signees
QB: J'Bore Gibbs, 6'3 205, Chicago, IL (Phillips)
Very excited about this dual threat playmaker.  Throws and runs equally well.  Led Philips to its second State Championship in three years.  Turned down offers from MAC schools to be a Jackrabbit.   QB: Matt Connors, 6'4 195, Collierville, TN
Good athlete!  Surprise to the class.  Throws well on the move and has nice touch on the deep ball. TE: Zach Heins, 6'6 230, Sioux Falls, SD (Washington)
Big rangy athlete. With his size and speed he is a matchup nightmare for defenses.  Part of the Washington football dynasty.  TE: Blake Kunz, 6'5 240, Germantown, WI
Only played one year of high school football but has raw talent.  In just one season he had over 500 yards receiving.  Chose to attend Wisconsin Football Coaches Association last summer, was spotted by SDSU coaches and was offered a scholarship without playing a live down of high school football.     WR: Jayd Vanderwerff, 6'2 190, Greg…

Men's Basketball Roundup

Last week the SDSU men’s team split two games. One was a rout in favor of the Jackrabbits while the other was a double overtime loss heart breaker. It is fair to mention that the Jackrabbits have done well against these big school opponents as conference play draws near.
Rave- David Jenkins Jr. as a Starter
The freshman guard has been fitting in well during his first few games in the starting lineup. The fact that he has ended up as a starter comes as a surprise to no one who has been following the team this season. He contributed 31 points in a loss to the Buffaloes in Boulder, Colorado. He still needs improve his defense but his contributions on offense are undeniable, he is instant offense and has lots of potential.
Rant- Transition defense
In the first half against UND, SDSU struggled to get back on defense giving the Fighting Hawks multiple chances to score easy points. It appeared that sloppy transition defense helped UND stay in the game for as long as they did. A better opponent …

3 Matchups to Watch: JMU

Now that we are just one day away, it is time to put a bow on this week.  There are tons of rumors swirling online that JMU could be without their starting tight end, Jonathan Kloosterman, who is primarily a blocker and also starting corner Curtis Oliver may not play.  JMU is banged up but still incredibly talented.  Most of the prognosticators are favoring JMU by a touchdown or less.  I still think the Jacks win this game but I am expecting a battle.

3 Matchups to Watch
1. Jackrabbit pass rush vs. JMU QB Bryan Schor
The Jackrabbits pass rush has picked up the second half of the season.  I would hope the Jacks would follow the formula they used to stymie NDSU.  Stop the run on 1st & 2nd down and then apply pressure and force the QB to leave the pocket and throw on the run.  Against Weber State it appeared that Schor really struggled throwing on the move.  I hope the Jacks attack with the same game plan.  Ryan Earith, Kellen Soulek, Elijah Wilson, Austin Smenda, Chase Kern, Thomas S…

Game Preview: James Madison University- Semifinals

This is the clash that everyone has hoped for since the bracket was released.  James Madison University (JMU) vs. South Dakota State University.  Both have strong offenses with SDSU likely have a slight advantage and both play solid defense with James Madison likely being a bit stronger.

James Madison is the defending National Champion and is 13-0 so far this season.  Not that comparative scoring really matters, but New Hampshire is the only opponent that these teams share this year.  JMU won that matchup on October 28th, 21-0 while the Jacks took down UNH this past weekend 51-13.

This is the marquee game in the playoffs up to this point and it should be a terrific battle.  Mike Houston is in just his second year at JMU but has lead them to a record of 27-1 in that span.  He is an intense coach and I do really enjoy listening to his pre-game speeches that ESPN usually airs before their broadcast.  JMU isn't overly flashy and doesn't get involved with too much nonsense.  They …

Men's Basketball Roundup

Time for the men’s basketball round up. During the last four game stretch the Jackrabbits certainly had their ups a downs. They split the four games going 2-2 improving to 8 – 4 on the season overall. The men’s team managed to put up season highs for the first time in years and had their worst offensive performance this season.
Rave- Knocking off Ole Miss in overtime
For the second time this season the Jackrabbits defeated a big conference school. Previously it was against Iowa in the Big 10 but this time it was SEC school Ole Miss. While they are not a perennial basketball power by any means such a victory helps raise the reputation and profile of SDSU and the program. It was a tough even game and the Jackrabbits hung on to edge out the Rebels 99 to 97 in overtime. The Jackrabbits were lead by the usual suspects; Mike Daum, Reed Tellinghusen, and David Jenkins Jr scoring 26, 19, and 22 points respectively.
Rant- Shooting against Missouri State
This game was a letdown after the victory o…

Rants & Raves: UNH

Well that was a fun win.  I love the playoff crowds for Jackrabbit football.  Those of you who choose to attend bring the noise and create an awesome atmosphere.  The team gave us plenty to cheer about and played a complete game in all three phases of the game.

3 Matchups to Watch Revisited
1.  Jackrabbit interior offensive line vs. #72 Rick Holt and #71 Ryan Sosnak
This had been billed as the "matchup to watch" for most of the week by others, as well as myself.  The Jackrabbit offensive line dominated.  Holt and Sosnak both finished with just 3 total tackles, 0 sacks, 0 quarterback hits, and 0 tipped passes.  The Jacks rushed for 265 yards and only gave up 1 sack.  This was a HUGE win for the Jackrabbits.

2.  Jordan Brown vs. #82 Neil O’Connor
Brown did what he has done all season, shutdown the opponents top wide receiver.  O'Connor finished with just 4 receptions for 38 yards and 0 TDs.  The only fault to Brown on the day would be the dropped interception to start the s…

3 Matchups to Watch: UNH

Similar to last week, I am growing more and more anxious as the week goes along.  As I’m writing this, we are about 29 hours until kickoff.  The weather forecast still calls for highs in the mid to upper 20’s which is about as good as we can hope for this time of year.  News broke yesterday afternoon that UNH would indeed have their starting quarterback Trevor Knight who passed through the concussion protocol.

3 Matchups to Watch
1.  Jackrabbit interior offensive line vs. #72 Rick Holt and #71 Ryan Sosnak
As I mentioned in the preview, Holt and Sosnak are big dudes that can collapse the pocket.  When they don’t create pressure, they get their hands up and are able to deflect passes and create interceptions or incompletions.  The Jackrabbit interior has stymied a number of high quality defensive tackles this season; the shutout of Illinois State’s Dalton Keene would be the highlight.  If the Jacks can limit the impact of Holt and Sosnak they should be in a good position to dictate the …

Game Preview: University of New Hampshire rd 3

Time to move on from SDSU's resounding victory over UNI in the second round of the FCS playoffs.  Because of the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Wildcat upset over Central Arkansas the Jackrabbits get to host another round; this time against a team that they have never played.  New Hampshire is in the Colonial Athletic Association and finished in fourth place this year.  In the regular season they had a 7-4 record overall.  They are lead by head coach Sean McDonnell who is in his 19th season as the head coach.  His career record is 150-87.  So far in the playoffs UNH beat Central Connecticut State 14-0 and then defeated UCA 21-15.    

The UNH offense is not high powered but is effective and uses a variety of formations and shifts to cause confusion.  They deploy a variety of trick plays that help keep teams honest and bust tendencies.  On the season they average 22.69 points per game, 101.9 rushing ypg, and 260 passing ypg.  Against UCA, they struggled to get their pass…

Rants & Raves: UNI Playoffs

See you next week Jackrabbits! — Jackrabbit_Illstrtd (@JackIllustrated) December 3, 2017
What a beautiful day!  As many fans have noted, it was just a fun atmosphere on Saturday.  Most fans that I visited with were confident in the win and that the Jacks were going to redeem themselves and get revenge on a good UNI team.  The fans that were in attendance were active and engaged.

3 Matchups to Watch Revisited

1. Jordan Brown vs. #10 Daurice Fountain
This matchup was a battle. All. Day. Long.  Fountain finished with 3 receptions for 28 yards and 1 TD.  The touchdown catch was a terrific play by Fountain as him and Brown were both battling fiercely for the ball.  However, Fountain was held without a reception for the entire second half. This was a big win for Jordan and a big win for the Jacks defense.

2. Charlie Harmon and Tyler Weir vs. #99 Adam Reth and #7 Rickey Neal
This matchup was much more even than the first matchup.  Reth was his normal uber-ac…

3 Matchups to Watch: UNI round 2

Saturday is almost here. Finally.  What a long week of anticipation!  Unless UNI comes out running a 4-4 defense and moves to an uptempo spread offense, there should be very few surprises in terms of overall scheme.  UNI surprised the Jacks earlier in the season with the 3-4 defense and the pwoer running of Weymiller.  This time, the Jacks will be ready for it, plus more of what UNI has shown this season.

3 Matchups to Watch

1. Jordan Brown vs. #10 Daurice Fountain
As I shared in the preview article, JB held Fountain to just 2 receptions for 30 yards and a TD in the first matchup.  I would anticipate that they will lock up again throughout the day on Saturday.  Jordan has a difficult job as Fountain is big (6-2, 208), fast, and has great hands.  However, both made the MVFC All-Conference team for a reason.  Jordan has shut down some of the best receivers in the FCS level, week-in and week-out.  If the Jacks can stop the run on first and second down, it will force UNI into 3rd and long …