Some final notes from No. 19 South Dakota State’s 29-0 home win over Indiana State on Saturday:
A few players made new contributions in the victory. Tight end Mitch Vejvoda caught his first pass. Defensive tackle Tory Dibb for his first career sack. And running back Isaac Rodriguez had seven carries for 57 yards and a touchdown plus a catch for 8 yards.
In a surprise move, the redshirt freshman Rodriguez was promoted to the No. 2 RB over sophomore Reggie Gandy.
"Here’s Reggie Gandy whose had a lot of reps and has done a good job and Isaac just keeps competing," coach John Stiegelmeier said. "That’s not a knock against Reggie."
ISU coach Mike Sanford said he thought the first-quarter hit by Jacks CB Winston Wright that knocked QB Mike Perish from the game with a concussion should have been ruled helmet-to-helmet. Both players were shaken up on the play. The senior Wright finished with four tackles and a forced fumble.
The stats are starting to pile up for the Jacks. Defensively, linebacker R.C. Kilgore topped the 100-tackle mark for the season with six against the Sycamores. And with 7.0 sacks, DT Chase Douglas has the highest total by an SDSU player since NFL draft pick Danny Batten in 2009.
Offensively, QB Austin Sumner now holds three of the top 10 seasons in school history in terms of passing yards; RB Zach Zenner has two of the top six single-season rushing totals in school history; and WR Jason Schneider has cracked the top-10 on the single-season lists for receptions and receiving yards and is 162 yards from becoming the Jacks’ first 1,000-yard receiver at the FCS level.
Sumner, Zenner and Schneider are all juniors.
Injury update: Jacks WR Brandon Andrews was not in uniform due to injury. But five others returned to the field, having gotten healthier due the bye. That includes starting guards Alex Parker and Mike Shoff. Both played limited reps and worked through some rust.
In going 3-for-3 on field goals, SDSU kicker Justin Syrovatka moved into a tie for third place the career chart with 34 makes. Meanwhile, he missed a PAT for the first time this season, ending a run of 48 in a row dating back to last fall.
The Jacks allowed 161 yards of offense in the game, their best showing of the season by more than 100. The last time they gave up so few? Sept. 19, 2009. That day, they allowed 90 yards to … Indiana State in a 41-0 win.
Lincoln Northeast standout Makiah Slade said the SDSU coaches “by far” were what made him decide to give a verbal to the Jacks. Yes, the 6-foot-1, 204-pound Slade was one of the players the staff went to see the night before the Nebraska game.
Slade said that he shattered his leg freshman year in a skiing accident, but has been a two-way starter at RB and CB the last three seasons.
"I consider myself an explosive player," he said. "I’m fast and I’ve got decent strength, but nothing a weight room couldn’t help."
He’s also from an athletic family as his sister plays college soccer and his dad played college hoops.
Here is Slade’s highlight reel.
Also, the Jacks have landed a verbal from Ralston RB Isaac Wallace, a 6-1, 200-pounder, according to his Twitter feed. He rushed for 2,547 yards this season, including 810 in a two-game stretch. South Dakota also offered. (I’ll likely have more about Wallace once I can get a hold of him.)
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.