For ten years now the border battle between SDSU and NDSU has been called the Dakota Marker. After the Bison handed the Jackrabbits their second consecutive loss of the season, they took a 6 to 4 advantage in the first decade of the series. It was also the first time a team had won four straight over that time.
"We'll look at the film and see we could have played a lot better. It's frustrating," SDSU Junior QB Austin Sumner said.
Austin Sumner's frustrations didn't just come from losing the Dakota Marker game to rival NDSU for the fourth straight year. He and his Jackrabbits are upset that for a second year now they had the nations top team on the ropes deep into the contest and came up on the short end.
"We can get them. Is this time more appropriate? We could have beaten them last year, the first time we played them. I am not going to say North Dakota State walks on water; they are a good football program. Right now they are a better program than we are because they won the football game," SDSU Head Coach John Stiegelmeier said.
The glaring reason the Bison not only won the game, but did so by not allowing South Dakota State to get on the board was due to shutting down the nations leading rusher. Zach Zenner carried the ball only 8 times while gaining 4 yards. That is 183 yards lower than his average per game through the first four games.
"There was one where my blockers did very nice upfront, everyone was covered, and then the safety was already at the line of scrimmage to meet me there. In those cases it comes down to I need to make more plays," SDSU Junior RB Zach Zenner said.
The Jacks, now 0-1 in conference play and 3-2 on the year, knew that the Missouri Valley Conference would be hunting the Rabbits all season. Now they need to get these two losses out of their system and focus on the remainder of their conference schedule.
"They keep getting bigger from here. Missouri Valley football, everybody is solid. We will get better this week and come out swinging next week," Sumner said.
The Jackrabbits will look to bounce back to winning as they welcome in the southern illinois salukis for the 100th annual Hobo Day this Saturday. Kickoff is set for 2:00 PM.