BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — After finishing as national runner-ups in the spring, South Dakota State Football is back in the FCS Playoffs, clinching their spot with a win over North Dakota on Saturday.
Selection Sunday would be a happy one in Brookings as the Jacks found out their postseason hopes would come to fruition, but the win or go home mentality began the day before
“This was definitely a playoff game for us and North Dakota, that’s a good team right there, every game in the Missouri Valley is tough so I’m just really proud of our guys,” SDSU Quarterback Chris Oladokun said.
The 24-21 win was followed by an at large playoff bid, the now 10th straight post season appearance for the program
“We have the experience of being in the playoffs, the experience of making the national championship so really nothing is going to surprise us as far as what we have to do,” SDSU senior linebacker Logan Backhaus said.
“Going into the playoffs everybody plays different. The regular season is over now and its win or go home, everybody has that in their head. So, how people look on film, how we look on film, we’re going to play 10 times harder because it’s win or go home and I don’t think anybody wants to go home,” SDSU running back Pierre Strong Junior said.
While SDSU didn’t receive a top 8 seed and a first round bye, they will have a home playoff game in the first round as they welcome in UC Davis
“If you’re traveling from California that’s a longer trip. We’re cold weather, they’re not cold weather. Our fans, not their fans, our beds to sleep in, I think it’s tremendous but we can’t take anything for granted, it’s one and done so we need to be ready to play,” SDSU head coach John Steigelmeier said.
While the playoffs bring added pressure for everyone across the board, there’s no one in the locker room who feel that sense of urgency more than the seniors
“I only got a week left man. So, I got a week at a time to take it day by day. I’m glad we made it into the playoffs because I get to enjoy another week with my teammates and my friends and my roommates So I’m going to take full advantage of that,” Backhaus said.
“I believe we’re going to get to Frisco. But we just have to take it one day at a time so each we I’m just focused on the team we have to play and I’m just going to go out there and give it my all because I know it could be my last at any minute,” Strong Jr. said.
SDSU will host the University of California-Davis in the opening round of the FCS Playoffs this Saturday at 2:00 from inside Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.