Jackrabbits ready for No. 13: SDSU takes on Texas Christian Saturday night

SCOTT MILLARD Sports Reporter

For the third straight year, South Dakota State opens up their football season against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent when they take on the No. 13 ranked Horned Frogs of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday night.

TCU is the highest ranked FBS opponent SDSU has faced since the team moved to Division I in 2004. TCU is predicted to be at the top of the Big 12 and some experts have even predicted them to be in the College Football Playoffs. Last season, TCU finished No. 7 in the country and defeated Oregon in a thrilling 47-41 triple overtime game in the Alamo Bowl. They’ve finished with 10-plus wins 10 times in the 15 years that Gary Patterson has been head coach. Playing TCU is certainly no easy task, but it’s a challenge SDSU Head Coach John Stiegelmeier has readied his team for since the beginning of the fall practice.

“We’ve done the same thing every year since we moved to Division I,” Stiegelmeier said. “We have to not be in awe of the big stage and know that we’re facing a good TCU team who is a highly respected program.”

Although TCU is known for their program, Stiegelmeier still has his sights set on the prize. 

“We’re going to try to neutralize that speed as much as we can,” Stiegelmeier said. “We’re looking at it as not just an opportunity to be happy to be there, but as a great opportunity to grow as a football team and play against quality competition.”

SDSU will start sophomore Taryn Christion at quarterback in favor of senior and team captain Zach Lujan. The two quarterbacks split time last season when Lujan went down with an injury. SDSU also returns preseason All-American wide receiver Jake Wieneke and tight end Dallas Goedert, as well as several other assets Stiegelmeier will count on against TCU.

“We’ve got a very experienced team and a lot of leaders,” Stiegelmeier said. “There’s certainly people that stand out as key players, but as a team and as a coaching staff, we’ve all got to do our jobs and play a perfect game if we’re going to do well against TCU.”