BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — SDSU has the third best scoring defense in the entire country as they are holding opponents to just 14 points per game.
The Jackrabbit defense is allowing just ten points per game defensively in their three game playoff run. Much of this success can be credited to their red zone defense, which has allowed just two touchdowns in seven trips inside the twenty.
“Some of it is the scheme with coach (Jimmy) Rogers and coach (Brian) Bergstrom with how much work they put into the week and kind of the game plan that we have, but I also think that we stiffen our backs up when we get down there and we just take a lot of pride that they aren’t going to score on us,” senior linebacker Preston Tetzlaff said.
SDSU is now preparing to play a high powered Sam Houston offense that owns the seventh best scoring offense at 39 points per game.
“They’re an explosive offense, they’ve got a lot of big plays, they’re pretty good on special teams. They can score fast and they can change games really quickly,” SDSU senior linebacker Logan Backhaus said.
“They’re fast and they’re athletes and their offensive line is good at position blocking and being there for their skill players and stuff like that, but I know our defense,” senior defensive tackle Xavier Ward said. “Our defense is built on the mantra of TUFF. Team, understanding, focus and finish and we’re mentally strong and I know we’ll go out there and dominate.”
The Bearkat offense is led by one of the top arms in the FCS, quarterback Eric Schmid. The redshirt junior has thrown for nearly 2,600 yards, which is second best in the country.
“Those last two quarterbacks were excellent. I would say that he is the same, except I would say he is a little faster in terms of foot speed,” SDSU head coach John Stiegelmeier said. “I’m sure he’s looking at our film against Delaware and seeing how many times that guy escaped the pass rush, even though we sacked him seven times. He escaped and scrambled and he is looking for those opportunities. Ideally, we take care of that in this game, but he is a very, very good football player. A very good quarterback.”
Sam Houston will present some difficult challenges for SDSU, however, the Jackrabbits know that their hard work, will speak for itself.
“They’re athletic, but like I said earlier, we’re just going to be us and they’re quarterback is a good player, they have some good wide receivers, a good running back,” Tetlaff said. “We’re going to just be us out there and get eleven hats to the ball. That’s been a focus this week, kind of like it has all season long. When a team turns our film on, they are just going to see how hard we work and we take a lot of pride in that.”
SDSU and Sam Houston will kick-off on Sunday, May 16 at 1 p.m.
KELOLAND will have coverage from Frisco, Texas. Make sure to follow @KELOBower on Twitter for updates from the big game.