BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota State and South Dakota have met 114 times on the gridiron, dating back to 1889 and on Saturday, the long time rivals will write a new chapter in their rivalry.
Last year saw USD win their second consecutive game over SDSU, thanks to a 57 yard Hail Mary pass from Carson Camp to Jeremiah Webb.
That outcome narrowed SDSU’s all-time series lead to just two games at 55-52-7.
The Jackrabbits won the first seven matchups as Division I opponents, but USD has rallied with back-to-back wins, including last year’s victory and a 24-21 win in 2019.
State leads the Division I battles 7-2.
Attendance for the State-U rivalry hasn’t been booming over the past few seasons, but this year’s contest looks to change that.
Here’s a look at the attendance over the past eleven meetings:
All attendance numbers above are from SDSU via gojack.com
The two peak seasons were 2012 and 2016. Both of those contests saw more than 15,000 fans and it’s not surprising, especially the 2012 matchup. That was the first time the two teams met at the Division I level, plus they hadn’t met in nine years.
The average attendance in the eleven matchups is 9,935, but that number hasn’t been met since 2017.
2018 and 2021 were close, but renovation to the DakotaDome certainly impaired the 2019 number.
The State vs. U rivalry hasn’t reached the 10,000 mark in six years, but this year could certainly see that trend change.
All three games in Brookings this fall have brought more than 15,000. In fact, there has been 46,833 fans at the three home games, which is an average of 15,611 per home contest.
When you add in the higher numbers for SDSU games, with the addition of the USD fans who will make the trip to Brookings, one would think this game will easily surpass the 15,000 mark.
SDSU enters as a top three team in either of the two main FCS Ranking platforms.
The Stats Perform Top 25 rankings have SDSU in second, just one spot behind NDSU.
However, the FCS Coaches Poll has SDSU down a spot in third, behind NDSU and Montana.
USD is unranked, but they did receive two votes in the Stats Perform rankings.
In the Missouri Valley Conference, SDSU finds themselves in a three way tie for first with NDSU and Southern Illinois at 2-0.
USD is 0-1, which has them tied with Illinois State, Youngstown State and Indiana State.
TEAM STAT COMPARISONS
|Total Offense||326.3 (8)||353.2 YPG (6)|
|Scoring Offense||15.5 PPG (9)||26.8 PPG (5)|
|Passing Offense||196.6 YPG (7)||183.3 YPG (8)|
|Rushing Offense||143 YPG (4)||156.6 YPG (3)|
|Sacks Allowed||15 (10)||8 (3)|
|First Downs||62 (10)||102 (5)|
|3rd Down Conversions||28.6% (8)||42.4% (6)|
|Total Defense||246 YPG (1)||447.3 YPG (9)|
|Scoring Defense||28.3 PPG (5)||12 PPG (1)|
|Passing Defense||207.8 YPG (4)||195.8 YPG (3)|
|Rushing Defense||239.5 YPG (11)||50.2 YPG (1)|
|Sacks Forced||9 (T-8)||9 (T-8)|
|Interceptions||3 (T-8)||6 (2)|
|Opp. 3rd Conversions||44.8% (7)||38.6% (4)|
|Penalties||53.3 YPG (5)||54 YPG (6)|
|Time of Possession Per Game||26:56 (9)||34:19 (1)|
BREAKING DOWN THE NUMBERS
There’s a lot to digest above, but a couple things that standout to me is the significant differences in total defense, rushing defense and time of possession.
The numbers are mostly comparable in the other categories, but those three have fairly big differences in favor of SDSU.
The Jackrabbits have established themselves as an offense that can run the football and USD has struggled to stop the run, to the tune of nearly 240 yards per game.
SDSU also has the top defense in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVFC), while USD has the ninth best. The Coyotes allow 201 yards more per contest than the Jacks.
Finally, if Saturday comes down to a battle of offenses, it’ll be challenging for the USD defense who could be on the field for a while.
SDSU is the top team in the conference at time of possession and they’re seven and a half minutes ahead of USD.
If the Jackrabbits can run the football consistently, it could be a long afternoon on the field for the Coyote defense.
Saturday’s contest will kick-off at 2 p.m. from Brookings. KELOLAND Media Group will have two reporters at the contest.
Fans can follow along with a liveblog of the matchup on the sports page on KELOLAND.com.
You can also see highlights and reaction from the matchup on KELOLAND News at 6 and 10.