The Jackrabbits enter this season ranked 13th in the Football Championship Subdivision preseason poll. Their week one opponent, Missouri, enters as the 24th best team in the entire country.
Last season SDSU went toe-to-toe with the Huskers in Nebraska before falling 59-20. In four days they will square off with the defending SEC East champion Missouri Tigers and that is something many Jackrabbits never dreamt of.
"It's going to be awesome. We're playing an SEC team and I didn't think that I would ever experience that. It will be an awesome test for us and it's a great place to start the season. I'm very excited and I know the entire team is," SDSU Junior LB T.J. Lally said.
For seniors such as Zach Zenner and Austin Sumner, who have played in three games against national powerhouses, they know these contests are more about preparing them for conference play than the score after 60 minutes.
"I'm excited to play against Missouri. At the same time I'd rather beat NDSU than Missouri. I mean non-conference games matter, but conference games matter just a little bit more," SDSU Junior RB Zach Zenner said.
"All non-conference games you get a feel for how your team is going to be. You want to come out of those non-conference games on the winning end," SDSU Senior QB Austin Sumner said.
Since SDSU made the jump to D1 in 2008 they are 0-6 against FBS schools and have been outscored 223-73, while never scoring more than 20 points. However, Stig believes that this senior led team has a chance to change that this weekend in Columbia.
"We want to play our best football. We don't want to be intimidated. We want to go in there and not gawk around talking about playing an SEC team, but playing another football team in a great environment. We have done that in a lot of these situations and I think this team will do the same. Ideally at the end of the fourth quarter we have a chance to win the game," SDSU Head Coach John Stiegelmeier said.
You can catch the game live at 2:30 central time on ESPNU. We will have highlights for you Saturday at 6 and 10.