South Dakota State earned its tenth win of the season on Saturday for the first time in program history. Now, the Jackrabbits are heading back to the FCS quarterfinals for the second year in a row.
SDSU got its revenge on Saturday with a 37-22 win over Northern Iowa in the second round of the FCS Playoffs.
Since the Panthers dominated the Jacks, 38-18 on Hobo Day, SDSU has gone 6-0 and is two wins away from playing for a national championship.
"Well it not only helped in this game, I think it helped, like we've talked, in the five games after that, you know, I don't know about a chip on our shoulder but it narrowed our focus and I don't think our backs we're against the wall, we just dug in a little deeper," head coach John Stiegelmeier said.
Junior quarterback Taryn Christion threw his 66th career touchdown pass late in the first quarter to put him number one all-time at SDSU. In the fourth quarter Christion did it again. He broke his previous mark of 30 touchdowns in a season by tossing his 31st touchdown to Jacob Brown.
"It was a good game overall by the team I think. Everybody played good games as units," Christon said.
As an offensive unit the Jackrabbits were three-for-three on fourth down conversions, including a 21-yard Christion scamper on fourth and one for a touchdown.
"The biggest thing is that's a big momentum change, swing either way in the game so to be able to convert all three of them that was really huge for this game," senior tight end Dallas Goedert said.
"You don't only get the yards or the points you get the confidence that we can do it when we need to do it so they were big," Stiegelmeier said.
With only eight teams remaining, the Jacks will get to take the field one more time in-front of their home crowd.
"Obviously playing at Dana J. Dykhouse (Stadium) is a huge advantage for us. I'm really excited to be back here next week with the atmosphere the fans bring," Goedert said.
Kick off between the Jacks and New Hampshire is set for 2:00 on Saturday.
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