The SDSU Jackrabbits picked up their first win of the season with a 38-3 win over Long Island University. The Jackrabbit offense had their struggles as they were forced to start Kanin Nelson at quarterback, due to an injury to J’Bore Gibbs.
“Any win is a good win and to get a win at home at our home opener is good. I thought we fell off a bit on offense, I don’t think we were as sharp as we were in the Minnesota game, but a lot of guys have got to hit on all cylinders and we’ve got to win,” SDSU Coach John Stiegelmeier said.
“We’re pretty excited about the game plan we had in the game. Defense executed well, coaches planned well, we came out here and we were excited to play in front of the home crowd. It was just an exciting game and our defense just played well,” SDSU defensive back Josh Machigiah said.
The Jackrabbit scoring was slow early as they only led 7-3 late in the first half. That’s when the SDSU special teams made a big play that sparked 31 unanswered points for the Jacks.
“There’s no doubt, that caused a lot of energy throughout the stadium and on the sidelines. In fact, it was dangerous on our sidelines at how exciting it got, but big play in the game and that’s what football is all about,” Stiegelmeier said.
“Man, those type of plays are just electric. That play was just insane watching it from the sideline, just crazy. We’ve seen him make those type of plays all the time, so we can’t say we were surprised but it was definitely cool to see,” Manchigiah said.
Now the Jackrabbits turn their attention to a more familiar opponent in Drake. This will be the 13th time that the two teams have met with the Jacks winning the last three meetings.
“New head coach, same coaching staff really but they’re really different on offense. They do a lot of shifts and motions; they really keep you flat footed until they settle in,” Stiegelmeier said.
“They come out some plays and really line up in some wacky formations, so we’ve got to adjust to that and just play our base “D”. A lot of those times they just motion back in from the wacky formations and then we’ll have a base call from that,” Manchigiah said.
The SDSU defense allowed only 3 points and 123 yards in the win over Long Island. The Jackrabbit defense will look to continue that success against the Bulldogs on Saturday.
“It’s going to be different because Drake is going to shift and motion a bunch, and so we’re going to be adjusting maybe every play and then you’ve got to lock in and do your job, but we’ll see. I believe in our coaches, I believe in our players and I think we’ll respond,” Stiegelmeier said.
State saw over 10,000 people stream into Dana J. Dykhouse stadium last Saturday, and despite an earlier start time for SDSU, they’re ready to get back onto the turf.
“Yeah, we’re excited to play in our stadium and the 1:00 game is a little different, but for me, my gut starts hurting at 6 a.m. so this is better than a 6 p.m. game, but our guys will be ready,” Stiegelmeier said.
The Jackrabbits host Drake on Saturday; kick-off is set for 1:00. In Brookings.