BROOKINGS,S.D. (KELO) — The SDSU football has had three consecutive games altered due to COVID-19 including two cancellations and one postponement.
After missing back to back games due to COVID-19 issues with their opponents, the Jackrabbits heard the news they would miss another game due to a positive test within USD’s tier one personnel.
“We’re obviously disappointed in not being able to play the University of South, but we understand why the decision was made and understand the timing,” SDSU head coach John Stiegelmeier said. “I’m just glad we were able to get our North Dakota State game rescheduled for this upcoming weekend and be able to play. We just met as a staff and I don’t think we’ve ever been this healthy in a football season, because we’ve had a lot of time to heal up.”
The Jacks haven’t played a game in nearly three weeks, though coach Stiegelmeier is keeping the team’s focus on the positives.
“There’s positives in every decision that is made and there’s in every week and to be 1-0. I think that gets guys to be refocused on the goal at hand,” Stiegelmeier said. “The playoffs are still out there for us if we do what we can do and should do or hope to do I should say, but I know there are some disappointment because they do work hard for the few games they get.”
Two more teams opted out of the 2021 FCS football season, but that won’t stop the league from having a National Championship.
“To get below 50%, a lot of teams have to drop out in a week and I don’t see that happening. Even if they do, we’re going to have a cut down championship, we’ll just reduce the field,” Stiegelmeier said. “There’s a lot of good football who are still out there and they would love a chance to compete for the championship.”
For the second time this season, SDSU now shifts there attention to a very familiar opponent in North Dakota State.
“This is probably the one game, because of the number of times that we have played them in the past, it’s the one game that we wouldn’t need as much time to prep and now you have too much time to prep,” Stiegelmeier said. “My message to the coaches is simply don’t put in too much.”
The game is nine days away, but the Jacks know their season finale will be a critical contest.
“We know this game is huge and the winner, depending on the score, the winner makes a statement to the nation, based on how we’re each ranked,” Stiegelmeier said.
The Jackrabbits and Bison will meet on Saturday, April 17 in Fargo. Kick-off is set for 2:30 p.m.