‘One of the best’ rivalries in football set for match-up Saturday in Brookings

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — One of the top rivalries in college football makes its return on Saturday. The NDSU vs. SDSU rivalry dates back 118 years and has featured 111 matchups.

The Jackrabbits and Bison crossed paths 90 times prior to the creation of the Dakota Marker Trophy in 2004. At that point, SDSU trailed in the series 49-36-5.

“I’ve not looked back at the record, but when we were division two, we didn’t compete very well against North Dakota State,” SDSU head coach John Stiegelmeier said. “For whatever reason, when we met on the border in 2004 and we bonded together to make this kind of move and really shared the rivalry and developed a rivalry and it changed. I think right now it’s one of the best, if not the best in FCS football.”

SDSU Dakota Marker Meeting – 2004

SDSU has won seven of the 17 Dakota Marker contests, including three of the past five and on Saturday, the rivalry will be renewed again.

“It’s a big week and a great rivalry. A couple really good football teams as North Dakota State is having a great year. I’m excited to have them come to our place,” Stiegelmeier said.

“They’re (SDSU) probably one of the best teams in the country over the course of the last couple years. If you look at their product on film or you look at their roster, you don’t see a lot of holes in it,” NDSU head coach Matt Entz said.

SDSU will start transfer quarterback, Chris Oladokun, who has become more familiar with an offense that he has only been around for less than five months.

“I love his leadership. I love his comfort level in the offense, in terms of knowledge and where he fits in, having not known anybody in June when he got here,” Stiegelmeier said. “I think he can make all of the throws. He throws the deep ball as well as anybody in the last ten years at South Dakota State.”

“He’s just making plays. He throws a great ball and has velocity on it. I was not really familiar with him until I watched him this week,” Entz said. “We haven’t really had a whole lot of crossover games with South Dakota State, but he moves really well and can extend plays.”

The Jackrabbits own the sixth best offense in the country, thanks in large part to the nation’s third leading rusher in Pierre Strong Jr.

“He really committed to changing his running style, which I think is really hard. In the spring and other opportunities, he wanted a 50 yard play and now he’s content with a seven yard play. He makes one cut and gets upfield and that was really hard for him to do, but that was a team first decision,” Stiegelmeier said.

“He’s got great acceleration. He can put a foot in the ground and make you miss. They run some, what we call midzone where he’ll stretch it laterally and then he’ll put a foot in the ground and get right down hill,” Entz said. “He has that ability to make that one step cut, where most average backs would take three steps to cut, he can do it in one.”

The Bison offense has struggled at times this season as they’ve relied on their defense which ranks third in the nation.

The NDSU offense has some questions surrounding who will start at quarterback, Quincy Patterson or Cam Miller? Patterson started seven games prior to an injury two weeks ago. Since then, Cam Miller has been impressive completing more than 70% of his passes, while throwing six touchdowns and just one interception.

“I anticipate that Quincy will continue to take some more reps than he did a week ago. We tried to shelve his arm and we tried to protect him a little bit,” Entz said. “I know he’s hungry to get back at it, but regardless, coach (Randy) Edberg, our offensive staff, our team will put whomever can help us win on the field on Saturday.”

“We’re preparing for the gamut, the whole thing. The quarterback run, because both quarterbacks can run. Obviously, I think it’s Patterson that maybe they run him more, but it’s the same old deal. You’ve got to prepare for everything and they do a lot, so that’s really a stressor on our defense,” Stiegelmeier said.

The Jackrabbits and Bison will meet in the annual Dakota Marker Game on Saturday, Nov. 6 in Brookings. Kick-off is set for 2 p.m.

You can follow the KELOLAND Sports Live Blog online by visiting the sports page.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Continuing The Conversation
See Full Weather Forecast

Trending Stories

Don't Miss!

More Don't Miss