Where’s the Beef?


The losing streak hits four as the Jacks fall to the Sycamores.

SDSU fans likely enjoyed the beef barbecue prior to Saturday’s football game at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium. But after another convincing Jackrabbits’ loss, those same fans probably have a bad taste in their mouth.

Home cooking failed to solve the problem for the SDSU football team as they dropped their fourth straight game of the season, 38-28 to No. 23 Indiana State in the 45th Annual Beef Bowl.

Sycamore running back Shakir Bell made his presence known in the second half, running for 160 of his 199 rushing yards in final 30 minutes and left with the game well in hand. Bell battled a shin injury all game but it did not seem to hurt the his ability to the ball.

“Tackling,” SDSU head coach John Stiegelmeier said, when asked about why the Jacks couldn’t stop Bell in the second half. “Anytime you look at the stat sheet and you’re giving up nine yards a carry, that’s a problem. He’s a really good back but I do think we’re a decent football team and we should be able to tackle.”

Jackrabbits quarterback Austin Sumner found tight end Vince Benedetto for a touchdown to bring the Jacks within two points midway through the third quarter. But the ensuing two-point conversion failed and the game seemingly changed there as Indiana State gave the ball to Bell on the SDSU 30 yard-line and watched him chew through Jackrabbit tacklers all the way to the endzone.

SDSU had chances in the first half, including three goal-to-go situations inside the 10 where they failed to come away with a touchdown and settled for three separate field goals. Indiana State took advantage before halftime, amassing 68 yards in just over five minutes en route to a six yard touchdown from former University of Washington quarterback Ronnie Fouch to fullback Brock Lough, the first of two touchdowns on the day for Lough.

“We tried to get after them up front. Give them credit. They fly around and we just tried to stuff it in there and it didn’t work out,” Sumner said of failing in the red zone.

While Sumner recorded both his first collegiate passing touchdown and his first 300 yard passing day, his home debut was marred by the same play that hampered his predecessor Thomas O’Brien. A 78 yard interception return for a touchdown off a tipped ball by the Sycamores’ Johnny Towaild essentially put the game out of reach at 31-15 late in the third quarter. Bell would score one more time in the fourth

Now, the Jacks are back in the same spot they were in a year ago at 1-4,   except last year SDSU was coming off of a home win over Western Illinois. With little problems like penalties becoming big problems, SDSU is long on questions and short on answers.

“I can’t really explain why we start so slow. There’s no reason for it. I can’t really put it into words,” defensive tackle Andy Mink said.

“It’s not a character issue because we have great student-athletes but when you don’t have results, your foundation crumbles a little bit and you lose a little belief. When you do that against Bell or [Fouch], you leave something to chance. Only those guys know the answer to that,” Stiegelmeier said.