No facets safe from Jacks’ woes

Shane Koob

SDSU’s struggles were on display in their loss to Indiana State.

Shakir Bell showed the Jacks that appearances can be deceiving. Indiana State’s 5’8’’ back appeared to be bottled up by the SDSU defense in the first half of last Saturday’s Beef Bowl, as Bell was held to just 38 yards in the first half. Then in the second half, he showed everyone at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium why he was second in the nation in yards per game (142 ypg) heading into the contest.

Bell busted out for 122 yards on only 10 carries and one touchdown in the third quarter to eventually lead the Sycamores to their second conference victory.

“He’s just got that instinct. He’s got ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ is, he’s got it,” ISU head coach Trent Miles said.

When all was said and done, Bell had racked up 199 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. His offensive line dominated SDSU’s banged up defensive front in the second half. The only reason he didn’t eclipse the 200 yard mark was due to a bad first quarter, in which the Jacks held Bell to -6 yards.

“I really can’t take full credit for what I’m doing back there. It all starts up front…I just do what I do after I get past those guys, and if you look at the film, they make great holes,” Bell said.

Harris out for season

A bizarre play ended in what head coach John Stiegelmeier called “a terrible tragedy” for senior captain and kicker Kyle Harris.

Harris was set to kickoff after nailing a 19 yard field goal in the final minutes of the first quarter. He didn’t even reach the ball.

While running up to kick the ball, Harris’ leg buckled about two steps from making contact and fell over the football. ISU’s Larry King scooped up the ball and ran for six yards as many of the SDSU players looked toward Harris, who was on laying on the grass, clearly in pain.

It turns out Harris broke both bones in his leg and went into surgery Saturday night after leaving the field. He’s done for the season.

“It’s a tough loss. A senior captain, really a leader on our team. We’re going to miss him,” quarterback Austin Sumner said.

Redshirt freshman Justin Syrovatka hit two field goals after the injury and Ethan Sawyer performed well in place of Harris on kickoffs.

Offensive line

There were differing opinions after the game regarding the play of Indiana State’s defense. Quarterback Austin Sumner praised his offensive line, and asked, in almost disbelief, if he had even gotten sacked (he was sacked twice).

“I’d say our line did a good job for the most part. They’re [ISU] an okie team, they like to bring a lot of pressure…[the offensive line] protected me pretty well,” Sumner said.

Surprising, considering Sumner had to avoid a heavy Sycamores pass rush most of the game, often extending plays with his feet and throwing on the run.

Head coach John Stiegelmeier gave credit to the offensive line as well, but had a little different view on how ISU’s defense played. Stiegelmeier was asked if the pressure on his quarterback was due to coverage or not.

“I don’t think he (Sumner) always had guys open, so I would give some credit to their coverage,” Stiegelmeier said. “They didn’t blitz much at all.”

It was a different story in terms of run blocking, as the Jacks failed to get much going on the ground. Tyrel Kool and Zach Zenner combined for 100 yards on 25 rushes, averaging out to four yards a carry as the running game hasn’t progressed much since the SDSU’s lone victory over Southern Utah.