Here are some final notes from South Dakota State’s 20-0 loss to North Dakota State on Saturday in Brookings:
In the last three series wins, the Bison have racked up 35:08, 37:54 and 40:20 in time of possession. They’ve also totaled 16 sacks.
That’s more than made up for creating only two turnovers.
SDSU junior RB Zach Zenner is no longer the FCS rushing leader after being held to four yards on eight carries. His previous career low was 11 yards on five carries at Illinois in the second game of his college career.
Jackrabbits coach John Stiegelmeier was fired up about his team committing four penalties for 48 yards in the second half compared to just one for one in the first half. He was especially miffed about a personal foul taken by defensive tackle Bryan Burke in the third quarter that gave NDSU a first down in a third-and-9 situation.
"That’s simply not only being out of control, but ‘I’m more important than the rest of you guys,’" he said. "That’s not Jackrabbit football."
NDSU was atypical in that regard, too, committing 10 penalties for 62 yards compared to seven for 65 in the first three games combined. The Bison also struggled with several low snaps, but avoided major trouble on any of them.
What went into the SDSU defense being significantly better than the week before?
"We got the call in quicker," Stiegelmeier explained, "because we were allowing our players to play as opposed to wanting to have the perfect call. The perfect all is the one that get in on time."
He also credited the coaches in the booth with keeping track of personnel changes.
Still, the Jacks missed several opportunities to bring down Bison quarterback Brock Jensen. Why is he so hard to tackle?
"He just makes a play when he needs to make them," said SDSU linebacker R.C. Kilgore, who had a career high 17 tackles. "Have a lot of respect for him as I’m sure the rest of the country does, too."
Jacks true sophomore linebacker Charles Elmore made nine stops in his return from a two-game absence, while senior safety Andrew Brown had a career best 11 stops in addition to his second pick of the season.
For as good as the SDSU lines are believed to be, the Jacks have given up 12 sacks and tallied just three over the last two games.
This game was said to be considerably more physical than the one the Jacks faced at Nebraska. That’s evident in the vague injury report.
Without naming names, Stiegelmeier said that one starter will have a knee evaluated. There was also a serious bruise and a broken hand.
NDSU coach Craig Bohl sought out SDSU athletic director Justin Sell on the field before the game and walked him to a set of three portable advertisements located between the south end zone and the NDSU sideline. Bohl then flagged down the officials and had a discussion with them, too.
It’s unclear what the the issue was.
How many Bison fans were at the game? That’s hard to say. Instead, I present a personal observation: I usually arrive two hours before kickoff and have my pick of parking spots near Briggs Library. This time, I showed up 2.5 hours early and got one of the last spots in that lot.
And, finally, a look at the new jerseys SDSU will debut Saturday against Southern Illinois, as tweeted by AD Justin Sell. They seem to warrant some sort of nickname.
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.