SDSU football will open spring season February 20th at Southern Illinois

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ST. LOUIS – Missouri Valley Football Conference officials announced Thursday plans to proceed with a spring football season, with each league member playing an eight-game conference schedule starting in mid-February.

South Dakota State is slated to begin the season with back-to-back road games, opening Feb. 20 at Southern Illinois, followed by a Feb. 27 trip to MVFC newcomer North Dakota.

Following a bye week, the Jackrabbits are scheduled to play all four of their home games in a five-week period. SDSU is set to play three consecutive home games versus Youngstown State (March 13), Western Illinois (March 20) and Indiana State (March 27) before back-to-back rivalry games at North Dakota State (April 3) and versus South Dakota at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium on April 10.

The regular season is slated to wrap up April 17 at Northern Iowa.

“Our team has continued to work very hard, believing we would be playing in the spring,” said SDSU head coach John Stiegelmeier. “Our players have been very positive and we will look forward to playing in front of our loyal Jackrabbit fans starting in February.”

Game times and the league’s television schedule will be announced at a later date. The league schedule released Thursday does not contain any revisions from the original fall schedule in terms of opponents or home/away designations. The MVFC Presidents Council voted Aug. 7 to move the league portion of the schedule to spring 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns.

Earlier this week, NCAA officials approved a 16-team spring playoff for the Football Championship Subdivision. Playoffs would begin April 24, with the national championship game set for the weekend of May 14-16 in Frisco, Texas.

The Jackrabbits have qualified for the FCS playoffs each of the past eight seasons, including earning a top-eight seed each of the last four years. SDSU finished the 2019 season with an 8-5 overall record, including a 5-3 mark in the MVFC.

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