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Fans Glad SDSU/USD Rivalry Is Back

November 17, 2012, 10:00 PM by Jenna Petrak

Fans Glad SDSU/USD Rivalry Is Back

After a nine year hiatus, two South Dakota college football teams are back on the field together.

On Saturday, the South Dakota State University jackrabbits met the University of South Dakota coyotes on the jacks’ home turf.

And for fans, it's been nine years too long.

"It's really great to have that back and get all of South Dakota excited about the game," SDSU fan Melissa Powell said.

For Powell, coming to jacks games is a family affair. The third generation jackrabbit could even tell you about the last time these two South Dakota powerhouses met.

"I remember it being a lot of fun. I mean, It was nine years ago, so I was still pretty young. But, it was a lot of fun to be here and it was a fun atmosphere," Powell said.

USD fan Hunter Roberts was there too.

"The last time we played here, I was actually on the field," Roberts said.

But, the former coyote linebacker didn't always tout his red and white. His dad played football for the jacks. So, when Roberts chose to play for the 'yotes, a playful family rivalry developed.

"So, it's always been a lot of fun in the family to have that tradition and it's great for it to be back," Roberts said.

This well known I-29 rivalry was put on hold when SDSU moved to Division 1 in 2003. But, the coyotes soon followed, making the move in 2006. And now, both teams find themselves battling for touchdowns in the Missouri valley football conference.

And fans on both sides say they're happy the rivalry's back because the 123 year long tradition is irreplaceable.

"I remember coming as a child to all the Football games and now it's really fun to have that rivalry back," Powell said.

"It's missed nine years of students. It's great to have it back," Roberts said.

More than 15,000 fans were expected to fill Coughlin-Alumni stadium Saturday afternoon. The Jacks beat the 'yotes 31 to 8.

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