Dakota Marker victory propels SDSU to FCS’s top-seed

Sports

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — SDSU knocked off rival NDSU 27-17 on Saturday. The win came with more than bragging rights, the Jacks also earned the top seed in the FCS playoffs for the first time in program history.

For the past three seasons the Dakota Marker has resided in Fargo, until this past weekend when the Jackrabbits handed the Bison their first loss at home since 2016.

“Our offensive line, I have to give them props. Not many people come out and rush the ball on NDSU for 300 yards and not many defenses hold them under a hundred. That’s their bread and butter, that’s their go to, it’s hurt us in the past. But this team is different,” Senior Logan Backhaus said.

“At this moment, this second, I’m tremendously proud of everyone in our program. Everything they’ve done, everything they’ve committed to, I love those guys,” Head Coach John Stiegelmeier said.

The victory became even more significant on Sunday, as SDSU earned the number one seed in the FCS Playoffs.

“22-year-old, 23-year-old men don’t show their emotions very often, you know, they’re guarded, but the emotions came out,” Stiegelmeier said.

Through obstacles and uncertainty, the Jacks focus has never wavered.

“To have no positive Covid tests through 13 weeks in a row, to have three weeks cancelled or postponed and nobody flinched and we practice four days a week, we practice Saturday mornings and they showed up with a smile on their face, there’s something different about this team,” Stiegelmeier said.

The top seed means home field advantage throughout the playoffs, which may be more important now than ever

“With Covid and everything, not having to travel putting ourselves at risk for a positive test if we’re at the hotels or just traveling in general, it’s a tremendous advantage,” Eagan Lickiss said.

With the top seed comes pressure, but the Jacks won’t be listening to outside noise.

“I think the biggest thing that we can do is to shut out all the social media and not buy into that at all, and keep focused on our one goal which is to get everything out of everyday and squeeze the juice out of the lemon so to say,” Lickiss said.

SDSU will open the FCS Playoffs against Holy Cross Saturday at 2:00.

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