Jacks pound ‘Dogs in season debut

Marcus Traxler Editor-in-Chief

Fans at SDSU’s home football opener Saturday didn’t have to wait until the game was over to see some fireworks.

Behind 546 total yards and three forced turnovers, the Jackrabbits rolled to about as easy of a Week 1 win as you can get, defeating Butler, 55-14, in front of 9,729 people in attendance at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium. 

That will work just fine for the nation’s No. 6 team in the most recent FCS media poll.

The way SDSU started the game was an extension of their success from 2012. In a matter of two plays — Zach Zenner runs of 39 and 36 yards, respectively — the Jackrabbits were in the end zone and playing with a lead, as they did for much of last season’s 9-4 campaign. That first score came just 39 seconds into the contest.

But the Bulldogs answered the touchdown later in the quarter, capping a 10 play, 85-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run by quarterback and Illinois State transfer Matt Lancaster, tying the game at 7-7, with 6:33 left in the first quarter. 

“We didn’t expect them to roll over, they’re a good team,” SDSU quarterback Austin Sumner said. “We had to put together another drive. We had to work and wear them down.”

Wear them down they did. In fact, Butler head coach Jeff Voris said it was little like “waking up the bear.”

And that bear mauled the Bulldogs for the rest of the second quarter.

SDSU would score the next 34 points, with Jason Schneider scoring on a 14 yard touchdown catch from quarterback Austin Sumner — the first of the two times on the night that the pair would connect. Touchdowns by Zenner and a pass from Sumner to Hubert put the Jacks up 21 points in the second quarter. SDSU led 31-7 at halftime.

The passing game also operated without a hitch for the Jacks Saturday, as well. Jason Schneider had himself a career night, with 10 catches for 167 yards and two touchdowns. The junior from Andover, Minn., may have asserted himself as the Jacks No. 1 option passing in 2013. 

“I got playing experience last year,” he said. “It’s just playing football and trying to play to the best of your ability.”