Some news and notes in advance of SDSU hosting Indiana State in the Beef Bowl:
ISU’s Trent Miles was one of two coaches to claim this week that the Jacks are better than their 1-3 record.
Meanwhile, the Sycamores certainly are better than their recent history - much like the Southern Utah squad that visited Brookings to open the season. While Miles credited the players for the turnaround, he agreed that a fresh financial investment by ISU has played a key part in saving a program that not long ago was a candidate to be discontinued.
"That allows you to get the players," the former Sycamores receiver said. "You can come in and look at a dive and then look at all the other schools in the league - you’re not going to come here. It all goes hand-in-hand - facilities, recruiting, coaching staff, meals, everything."
On a related note, the Jacks continue to have the smallest football budget in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
The 6 p.m. contest will air live on Midco Sports Net with former SDSU player Hank McCall handling the color duties.
Jacks senior linebacker Erich Feller is finally on the up in terms of his health. He was very close to opting for surgery, which would have kept him out most of the rest of the season, only to make a semi-unexpected recovery. He got about 50 reps last week and has been back on the practice field this week.
"It was pretty frustrating," he said, "but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel."
Last week, SDSU debuted - with reasonable success - some new looks in terms of defensive schemes and positions. So what happens moving forward. Will the Jacks get better at these new ideas or will the opposition catch on to them?
"They’ll get better for two reasons," Jacks coach John Stiegelmeier said of his players. "No. 1, practice. But in terms of the chess game of football, (the opponents) don’t really know. We can go different directions with the three defensive package. I don’t think there are any tells."
For all the talk about ISU defensive lineman Ben Obaseki, a Buck Buchanan candidate, the Sycamores three of the top four tacklers in the Valley and he isn’t one of them. Keep an eye on lineback Archie Aaron, safety Alex Sewall and linebacker Jacolby Washington.
Some Valley stats: SDSU and ISU are both giving up more than 30 points per game … the Jacks lead the league in passing offense, but are last in rushing offense … SDSU is first in punting and kickoff coverage, but last in PATs … the Jacks rank last in third-down conversions allowed and turnover margin.
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.