Turned over

Marcus Traxler




Five turnovers sour a Jacks bid for an upset of No. 2 Northern Iowa

Turnovers plagued SDSU’s offensive chances Saturday, and second-ranked UNI had no problem taking advantage, turning three first-half Jackrabbits turnovers into 14 points on the way to a 31-14 win in front of 11,131 fans at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium.

The Panthers (5-1, 4-0) entered the game with ranked second nationally in turnover margin and the Jacks (2-5, 1-3) aided that number, turning the ball over five times, including an Austin Sumner interception in the end zone as the Jacks were driving to score. Sumner threw a fade route from the three-yard line intended for Aaron Rollin with less than a minute left in the first half. The play allowed UNI to take a seven-point lead into the break and essentially marked the Jackrabbits final chance to score points.

SDSU struggled mightily to move the ball effectively in the second half, allowing UNI quarterback Tirrell Rennie to go 16 of 20 for 239 yards passing and four touchdowns. He put the game away on a 22-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Sinkfield — their second scoring connection of the game early in the fourth quarter — and pushed the Panthers’ lead to 28-14 early in the fourth quarter.

“Tremendously disappointed in the result of that football game. Our standards and expectations are to play like we’re starting the game and we didn’t do that,” SDSU head coach John Stiegelmeier said.

The Jacks scored first on a four-yard slant pass from Sumner to Aaron Rollin and countered after UNI tied the game with a three-yard fade pass from Sumner to Dale Moss to put SDSU up 14-7 with 9:03 left in the second quarter. UNI would rally with a pair of one-play scoring drives, a 19 yard pass from Rennie to Darion Howard and a 80 yard touchdown pass from Rennie to Jarred Herring on a clear blown coverage for the Jacks.

“It’s just a lack of discipline. We’re so caught up in doing more and we just need to focus on our job and our one guy. That’s just something we have to work on. We thought we were working on it but I guess we weren’t working on it hard enough,” defensive back Anthony Wise said.

Sumner threw for more than 300 yards passing for the third straight game, but the redshirt freshman’s performance was tarnished by the four interceptions.

It gets no easier with undefeated NDSU in the Dakota Marker game next week.

“It might be good medicine for our football team,” Stiegelmeier said. “We have to get our heads up. That will be our biggest challenge. Surely, they are a good football team and we’ll have to do things to perfection.”