Running to the national championship: Davis and Strong Jr. lead SDSU rush attack


BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — For as much damage as quarterback Mark Gronowski does with his arm, he’s even more dangerous on the ground, and with the Jacks 1-2 punch at running back, they’ve created one of the nation’s most dynamic rushing attacks.

Pierre Strong Junior was a known commodity coming into the year and one of the best backs in the FCS, but his counter part may not be that far behind.

Freshman running back Isaiah Davis arrived in Brookings with tempered expectations.

“My goal coming in was just to be a role player and whatever they need me to do I’m going to do and if it was just to be a third down back, or be a first down back, whatever it may be, just pursue my roll,” Davis said.

He was well aware the starting position belonged to pre-season All-American, Pierre Strong Junior.

“When you hand the ball off to Pierre you better defend the whole field because that guy has a remarkable ability to cut back and make you miss in the open field. So, his running style is really unique,” Stiegelmeier said.

But after Davis’s week three 118 yard perform against Western Illinois, it became apparent the Jackrabbits had 1-2 punch in the backfield.

“We push each other. Every day at practice we push each other, push each other, push each other and on the field it’s like there’s no let off. If I go out, boom, he’s coming in with the same authority. He goes out, I’m coming back in with the same authority. The defense probably has the same people on the field but we’re getting fresh legs in. So, it’s just great to have fresher legs in every time,” Strong JR said.

“I feel like ever since we’ve actually been playing in games that we grew stronger, the trust between one another and we both know we can get the job done,” Davis said.

While both are talented, they each bring their own feel to the offense.

“Totally different running styles and if you would watch our film, you would know the type of plays we run with Isaiah quite often are different than the ones we run with Pierre because of how they hit and how they work and so on. But they really compliment each other both, running style wise, offensive wise and they’re cheering for each other,” Stiegelmeier said.

Strong and Davis have combined to run for one thousand, 290 yards this season, and the duo has found the endzone 10 times on the ground.

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