Countdown to … Butler

In the return of a weekly fall segment, here are some notes in advance of the South Dakota State vs. Butler football game slated for Saturday evening in Brookings. I’ll have live online coverage starting around 5 p.m.:

The Jacks on Thursday practiced under the lights at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium for a third time already this fall. Coach John Stiegelmeier believes that helps acclimate the young players to the surroundings. And SDSU has roughly 15 guys on the depth chart for the first time, including three true freshmen: long snapper Thayer Trenhaile, linebacker Jesse Bobbit and defensive tackle Cole Langer. The former Dell Rapids star Langer was the last to join that list.
"I fought it, battled every coach we had," Stiegelmeier said, "but when I watched practice and film it’s obvious he’s a really good football player." 

Pretty short injury list as of Thursday night: LS Matt Peitz, DE Matt Romano (boot on right foot) and S Mark Pickerel (cast on left arm) weren’t dressed, while DT Jordan Brichacek was limited. 

As pointed out by a reader this week, the Cereal Bowl - held annually from 1996-2012 - has disappeared from the schedule.
Why? SDSU athletic director Justin Sell said that the participating commodity groups have decided to focus their sponsorships of SDSU in other areas for now - they’re still involved in numerous ways in athletics and academics. Sell said that annual September event could return in the future. 

Obviously, Butler is known as a basketball school having been to the NCAA Division I title game a couple of times in a row. But just how much of a basketball school is it? The reported men’s basketball expenses for 2011-12 (the most recently available data) were $3.9 million. Football was listed at $648,837.
Meanwhile, SDSU spent $913,067 on men’s hoops and $2.4 million on football.  

The Saturday game will air on Midco Sports Net - as will SDSU games against North Dakota, North Dakota State, Northern Iowa and South Dakota. Dates with Southern Illinois and Western Illinois are set for ESPN3, while Mediacom will carry those two plus Missouri State. 
Coverage (and game time) for the Nebraska game remains up in the air, but could end up on the Big Ten Network. That would leave only two SDSU contests - home dates with Southeastern Louisiana and Indiana State - devoid of TV feeds. Those will air exclusively on, which is preparing to debut an HD feed. 

SDSU will use two different snappers on special teams in light of an injury to incumbent starter Peitz. Trenhaile will handle the punts and Taylor Suess - the starting center - will handle field goals.
The Jacks will also use two kickers as Justin Syrovatka will handle field goals and Jay Carlson kickoffs. Stiegelmeier said that Carlson has the bigger leg, but Syrovatka - who had a strong 2012 season - has been more accurate on field goals.

Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.