‘It’s an impressive football program’: SDSU to play #4 Sacramento State in FCS Playoffs

KELOLAND.com Original

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota State powered their way to a 56-24 win over UC Davis in the first round of the FCS Playoffs. Now the Jackrabbits will head to California to play Sacramento State.

SDSU rushed for an impressive 446 yards in their first round playoff win over UC Davis.

“We had a great week of preparation and it was good to just have this game, a dominant game to prove how we can really run the ball and how dominant we can be and run the ball,” SDSU running back Isaiah Davis said. “I feel like today was more of a statement day to let everybody else who’s about to play. We’re going to bring it.”

The talented running back duo of Pierre Strong Jr. and Isaiah Davis combined for 402 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while averaging nearly 12 yards per carry.

“If I was defending them, I would say ‘holy nutmeg, these guys are good,’ and we’d better play really good run defense and be able to get off of blocks,” SDSU head coach John Stiegelmeier said.

Now the Jackrabbits will meet Sacramento State, who comes into Saturday as the 4-seed in the playoffs after going 9-2 during the regular season.

“The athletes they have, the schemes they run, it’s an impressive football program and in order to have that success that early in a really good league, I think speaks for itself,” Stiegelmeier said.

Two of the top offenses in the country will square off Saturday as SDSU’s tenth best offense meets Sacramento State’s ninth best offense.

“Well they’re going to run a lot of plays. Speaking of marathons, our defense is going to be up for a marathon,” Stiegelmeier said.

SDSU and Sacramento State have played three common opponents including Dixie State, Northern Iowa and UC Davis. The Aggies played the Hornets two weeks ago and the Jackrabbits last week, but that may give Sac State an advantage.

“It helps them a ton, because they had two weeks to prepare for us, because they knew UC Davis already. I think it’s truly advantage Sac State in terms of preparation and studies,” Stiegelmeier said. “Normally you only get three days to prepare, they’ve had two weeks, so I think it’s advantage them.”

The Jackrabbits are 4-1 on the road this season, with their lone loss coming via a Hail Mary to USD. Saturday, SDSU will look to continue that road success in Sacramento.

“I won’t talk about it, but we always talk the same way. When we go on the road, lets make their stadium our stadium,” Stiegelmeier said. “Let’s control the crowd with how we play and we control how we play with our preparation, starting today really. Our guys are confident, wherever we’re at.”

SDSU and Sacramento State will cross paths on Saturday in Sacramento. Kick-off is set for 8 p.m. and you can follow the action on the KELOLAND.com Live Blog.

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