BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — The SDSU football team finished 10-3 last fall, advancing to the FCS semifinals for a second consecutive season. A new campaign is quickly approaching, and expectations remain sky high for the Jackrabbits.
SDSU has built a winning tradition, qualifying for the FCS playoffs seven straight seasons and is eager to take the next step.
“You’ve got to want to work hard for 12 months to be able to take that next step, make that one play that makes the difference and our guys have never worked harder, so I see that in us,” SDSU head coach John Stiegelmeier said.
The Jackrabbits are long on talent, but face the challenge of replacing All-American, and four-year starting quarterback, Taryn Christion.
“I’ve seen improvement in every one of our quarterbacks. Do I know where they’re at, who’s going to start right now, no, but if I was going to bet right now it would be J’Bore Gibbs, but every one of our quarterbacks has improved very much this fall, so I’m excited about that group,” Stiegelmeier said.
“The spring was really the time to shine and really show that I could be the starter. Just keeping that same momentum going into the summer as well, just progressing each and every day like that,” SDSU redshirt freshman quarterback J’Bore Gibbs said.
The team’s starting QB will be surrounded with support, including running back, and reigning Missouri Valley freshman of the year, Pierre Strong Junior and preseason all-american wide receiver Cade Johnson, among others.
“We have a bunch of weapons, we have a great group of running backs, wide receivers, I love our tight ends. If our fat guys do their job, which they will, and we have the game plan right for a quarterback, we’ll have success on offense,” Stiegelmeier said.
“It takes a lot of weight off my shoulders, me being a freshman, people may think he has to do it all by himself, but I don’t feel like that at all. We have so many weapons in our offense so it really takes a burden off of me,” Gibbs said.
SDSU is set to open the regular season at Big Ten foe Minnesota.
“Handle the crowd, handle the environment, handle the travel and play your best. They’re a good football team. They’re a really good football team, but all I care about is how do we perform and I think we’ll be ready to do that,” Stiegelmeier said.
The Jackrabbits open the season Thursday, August 29th at Minnesota. Kickoff is set for 8:00 at TCF Bank Stadium.