Rants & Raves: USD

Well that game did not go how I expected.  I really thought it would be closer than it was but the Yotes were never really in the game.  USD heated up in the second half but the game was essentially over when the Jacks went up 35-7.  The Jackrabbit offense was dominant early and the defense played a very good first half outside of the first possession.  It was a cold one but I think it prepared the team for a home football playoff game or two (I'm optimistic).

Rants & Raves
Rave: Pierre Strong AGAIN.  He ended the day with 260 yards, 3 TDs and a 14.9 ypc avg.  I'm honestly not sure what else to say.  The last three weeks he has been on fire (40 carries, 577 yards, and 8 TDs.  If he and CJ Wilson can stay healthy for the next three years it will be a scary combination.  Having Mikey Daniel in 2019 will also be a great change of pace back and will ensure SDSU has the deepest backfield in the MVFC.

Rave: The #605Hogs are just getting it done.  They were really outstanding.  Evan Greeneway vs. Darin Greenfield was one of my "Matchups to Watch".  Outside of blowing up an early 3rd down rushing attempt, Greenfield was a non-factor.  Greeneway completely erased him.  The group is banged up but they are played outstanding football. 

Rant: The field conditions were terrible.  It's unfortunate that SDSU spent $65 million on this stadium and the field was in the same shape as the old sod field at Coughlin Alumni Stadium.  There has to be a better way to handle this snow and ice.  It is dangerous and had an impact on how the players could cut on Saturday.

Rave: The group known as "The Chain Gang" dominated the line of scrimmage on Saturday.  Krockett Krolikowski, Xavier Ward, Spencer Hildahl, Caleb Sanders and Thomas Stacker didn't put up monster numbers but there were very few plays where they didn't "win" the line of scrimmage.  Krockett's pressure up the middle forced Simmons to step up a number of times and created opportunities for others to make a play. 

Rave: Cade Johnson, Adam Anderson, and Blake Kunz had a great day even if their opportunities were limited.  Blake Kunz flying by the USD secondary was one of the coolest plays of the season.  Lets hope that he is ready to go for the matchup with Towson (likely).

Rant: Penalties... again.  This has to stop.  The Jacks have just been a little more undisciplined than they have in the past.  They ended the day with 14 penalties for 145 yards.  At least 2 of those penalties were on phantom pass interference penalties and another was on a deliberate offside penalty on a punt.  Still, this is 11 penalties for 110 yards.  Just not good football.

Rave:  I loved seeing all of the blitzes that Clint Brown deployed on Saturday.  I imagine Austin Simmons was pretty sore on Sunday as he was battered. Logan Backhaus drilled him a few time as did Ryan Earith.  The Jacks only sacked him once but had 11 other quarterback hits plus the late hit on Rozeboom.

Rave: Outside of a kickoff out of bounds, Chase Vinatieri had a good day converting all of his extra points and making the kickoffs difficult to return for USD.  He also made a nice open field tackle the one time the USD return man sprung free.

Rant: SDSU will have to find a better way to account for a scrambling quarterback.  The Jacks will likely face Towson in the second round of the playoffs and Tom Flacco.  On the season he has rushed for 946 yards and 4 TD.  He is Towson's leading rusher and their leading passer (3,124 yards and 27 TDs).  This season the Jacks have been gashed by Simmons (102yds, 2TD), Desomer (80yds 4TD), Jake Kolbe (45yds), Montgomery VanGorder (51yds), Ryan Boyle (66yds, 2 TD), and Easton Stick (78yds, 1 TD).  They held Peyton Huslig in check (17yds) but that feels like an outlier right now.  Towson has a dangerous offense so I hope they spend the bye week revisiting how to handle a mobile QB. 

Rave: How fun is it to see Luke Sellers continue to dominate?  Linebackers, safties, defensive ends, it doesn't matter, Luke can eliminate them all.  Luke is one of the nicest student athletes I know off the field but you wouldn't know it watching him play.  Excited to get to watch him for another year! 

Mega Rant: I would be so embarrassed to be a USD fan right now.  Midway through the 3rd quarter, USD safety Mike Johnson was ejected for targeting on Adam Anderson.  The ball was clearly overthrown and Anderson had a 0% chance of catching it.  Anderson stayed down on the ground after getting hit with another USD defensive back standing over top clapping.  After replay confirmed that Johnson was indeed "head hunting" he was ejected.  As he was leaving the sideline, a teammate raised his hand as if he had won a boxing match.  Teammates were high-fiving him and everyone was smiling.  Please note that the score was 35-14 at this time.

This isn't anything new for USD in fact, Johnson had been ejected the week before and sat out the first half of this game for a similar incident.  Not once did I see a USD coach talk to Johnson after the play.  Not once did I see Bob Nielson turn around and tell his players to knock it off.  USD has had behavior issues for years.  Even this week, a USD receiver slapped Christian Rozeboom after a play and received a 15 yard penalty.  Issues off the field and issues after the whistle just continue to distract from the fact that USD could potentially be a talented team.  I thought Neilson would turn this around  but I don't know anymore. Maybe he will but I'm tired of USD just being dirty and being an embarrassment to the state of South Dakota.   

On to bigger and better things! I think Just Sell's tweet summed it up well.

Game Balls
Offense: Pierre Strong and the #605Hogs
See Rave #1 and #2.  They just keep getting better and better.

Defense: Brandon Snyder (7 tackles- 6 solo)
Snyder appears to finally be getting healthy.  Earlier in the season it seemed like his knee was still giving him trouble but he was still making an impact against the run.  Now, it appears that Snyder is playing with great confidence both in the pass and run game.  I'm encouraged to see this as the Jacks move into the post-season.

Special Teams: Marshon Harris
Returning punts in this type of weather cannot be easy.  Especially as Schutt seemed to keep them low.  Marshon handled the punts confidently and didn't allow the Yotes to flip the field on any of the punts.



  1. The "Chain Gang" rant I believe is supposed to be a Rave. Also, I would call out Tiano on his huge penalty. It was a late penalty not even close to the play. It contributed to killing a drive when we were moving the ball. He is a senior and needs to be better in that situation. The next play was a false start and we were like 1st and forever.


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