BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — SDSU and Montana State have met in the FCS Semifinals each of the last two seasons, with the Bobcats prevailing in 2021 and the Jacks winning in 2022.

Now, the two squads will meet in an early season showdown for the third time in SDSU’s last 17 games.

SDSU opened their 2023 campaign by cruising past Division II opponent, Western Oregon. The Jacks led by 42 at halftime and ultimately went on to win, 45-7.

“Ultimately, our guys have taken a ton of snaps, but on Thursday, our starters took 17 snaps. Part of that is to get other guys in to develop the program and part of that is to be cautious of injuries,” SDSU head coach Jimmy Rogers said.

Now, the Jacks will prepare for one of their toughest matchups of the season, an FCS Semifinals rematch with Montana State.

“I don’t know if it’s a rivalry, as much as it is that we have the same goals and we’re both capable of accomplishing the ultimate goal,” Rogers said.

SDSU will have their hands full, trying to slow the Bobcats’ two quarterback system of Tommy Mellot and Sean Chambers.

“When you hand it off to another quarterback, he can throw the ball and how do they utilize him. It’s not just when one guys in they’re doing one particular thing,” Rogers said. “They use Chambers in every way and they use Mellot in every way. Both of them are extremely athletic and terrific runners and they can make you miss in a small space.”

While the game won’t make or break either season in week two, it can certainly be a preview for what could come in the postseason.

“This is a playoff game. They’re one of the best teams in the country and we know that. Just because we won last year doesn’t mean that the ball will roll in our favor this year,” Rogers said. “We’ve got to come out and play our best football, bring the most intensity and be physical and sound in what we do.”

Top-ranked SDSU and #3 Montana State will meet on Saturday in Brookings. Kick-off is set for 6 p.m.