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Renewed Rivalry Following D-1 Transition

November 16, 2012, 5:52 PM by Shawn Neisteadt

Renewed Rivalry Following D-1 Transition

The debate of red versus blue is back in full swing in South Dakota and we're not talking politics.  For the first time in nine years, the University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University will meet on the same football field.

SDSU and USD fans alike will have a lot to cheer about this weekend when their teams take to the field in Brookings. The two football teams haven't faced each other since 2003.

In that game, SDSU picked up with the win 22 to 11.  That was State's 14th win in the last 17 games between the schools.  But going into the Saturday matchup, USD has more wins in the 105 games between the two schools at 50, compared to state's 48 wins.  The teams have tied six times.

Following that last match up in 2003, SDSU started the transition to NCAA Division 1 Football.  That would end football matchups between the schools, until the change over from Division 2 was complete at both universities.

USD started the lengthy transition process in 2006, setting sights on Division 1 athletics.

By 2008, the Jackrabbit's football program had joined the Missouri Valley Football Conference and completed the transition to D-1.

USD joined the conference this season, ending the transition to Division 1 as well.  Entering the same conference revives the rivalry on the gridiron, paving the way for Saturday's sold-out showdown and brings the I-29 battle back as an annual tradition.

As for the game itself, statistics will tell you the Jackrabbits are favored to take home the win.  They have a record of seven wins and three losses compared to the USD record of one win and nine losses.

But, stats don't determine games, players and performance do.

Saturday's game kicks off in Brookings at 2 p.m.

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