BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota State’s Football tied a program record for wins in a season with their 11th victory as they knocked off Delaware in the second round of the FCS Playoffs. The Jacks can break that record on Saturday and secure a 3rd straight trip to the semifinals when they host Holy Cross.

SDSU will play in its fifth quarterfinal game in the past six seasons, while Holy Cross is making its first appearance in the quarters in 39 years.

“We’ve been here, we’ve done this and so for our football team, we don’t expect to be here, but we know we can get to this point in the playoff,” Head Coach John Stiegelmeier said.

There’s some familiarity between the two, as the Jacks beat the Crusaders 31-3 in the 2021 Spring playoffs.

“I never go back and say who played. I know the quarterback played when we played them last. I don’t do that, I look at each year’s team and what they do,” Stiegelmeier said.

One common theme among both teams is their mobile quarterbacks. Mark Gronowski rushed for 87 yards and a TD in the Jacks win over Delaware last week, while Holy Cross QB Matthew Sluka leads the Crusaders in rushing, running for more than 1,000 yards on the season.

“A good coaching staff can get your defense in their base alignment and run quarterback run, and somebody that’s blocked has to make the tackle. It’s not like there’s a guy available to make the tackle, somebody’s that blocked has to make the tackle,” Stiegelmeier said.

Holy Cross possesses the nation’s 5th highest scoring offense, scoring nearly 39 points per game, while SDSU will counter that with the 3rd best scoring defense in the country.

“There haven’t been a lot of games or stretches in a game where our defense has been on their heels. We started the UND game and NDSU game, but other than that they’ve controlled their part of the game,” Stiegelmeier said.

On the other side of the ball, SDSU’s offense will look to attack a Crusaders’ unit that ranks 18th in total defense.

“They play a four-man front and a three-man front. The blocking rules and the advantages and the numbering off of those guys is different out of those two fronts. And they can do it out of the same personnel. They don’t do it often, but they can do it out of the same personnel,” Stiegelmeier said.

Both team’s will put their seasons on the line Saturday in Brookings and for the victor, they’ll move one step closer to a trip to Frisco.

“You’re playing for another week with those seniors. You’re playing for another week with your coaching staff, with your best friends,” Stiegelmeier said.

SDSU and Holy Cross will meet in the quarterfinals Saturday at 11 a.m. with the game airing nationally on ESPN.