Huskers handle Jackrabbits

Justin Harnend Sports Editor


Things didn’t go as the Jacks planned last Saturday as they got completely obliterated at Memorial Stadium.

The Cornhuskers dominated the Jackrabbits going into the second quarter; the wheels were falling off with SDSU holding on for dear life in the last three quarters of the game. With a final of 59-20, Nebraska took care of any possibility of an FCS opponent coming and upsetting another FBS team for another week.

“We didn’t come down here to look at a bunch of people wearing red,” Head coach John Stiegelmeier said. “We came down here, we worked hard, our goal was to win the football game. We didn’t come close to playing like that but that was still our goal.”


No sense of security


It was a day of firsts for the Jacks in the fourth week of their season. Justin Syrovatka missed his first field goal in his 16 attempts on a 32-yarder,  junior quarterback Austin Sumner was picked off two times after not giving up the ball once in the last three games. Isaac Rodriguez fumbled to go along with all the SDSU miscues that ended his day quickly.

Senior Linebacker R.C. Kilgore shared his thoughts on what happened to the Jackrabbit defense, with a positive outlook.

“I thought we had good schemes but a lot of mental errors that we need to fix going into next week. Film will tell a lot. We have to look at it as a great opportunity to get better,” Kilgore said.

A Syrovatka 48-yard-field goal was the last positive vibe the team felt before an Ameer Abdullah 1-yard touchdown run for Nebraska that ignited a series of miscues and failed offensive drives for the Jacks. 

Stiegelmeier and the Jackrabbits would never see the lead again after Abdullah’s first score. Nebraska’s arsenal of offensive weapons kept SDSU from ever being comfortable the entire game. The Jacks had no answers on defense; they were defenseless to Nebraska’s offense. SDSU had a lead for a short period of time, but was lost quickly in the second quarter.

“Well we never stopped them on defense so I don’t know how many games you can win when you don’t stop a team,” Stiegelmeier said. ‘That to me was the huge factor, we did go ahead in that situation and I was proud of our team that we didn’t hang our heads and we weren’t giddy when we were ahead. But we didn’t respond the way we needed to defensively in that situation. Again, credit their staff and players. Just really disappointed in our guys not giving us a chance.”

Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini alluded to the fact earlier last week that SDSU would see a combination of Ron Kellogg III and red-shirt freshman Tommy Armstrong. The two provided a dual threat as Armstrong provided the most of the two, throwing for 169 yards and a touchdown as well as being a threat on the ground. A mobile quarterback can do damage to a defense, the Jacks just had no answer for Nebraska.


A dent in the armor?


The Jackrabbits went home on what will likely be the longest drive back to Brookings thus far this season. SDSU was blown out, but at the end of the day it was what many had predicted, especially Nebraska fans. Mistakes were the culprit of the Jacks decline throughout the game.

“You know we started shooting ourselves in the foot a little bit,”  junior runningback Zach Zenner said. “We were down deep and had that offensive pass interference, then the false start and then the sacks. I felt like we really started hurting ourselves.”

The defense will have to regroup before their meeting with FCS foe NDSU. Confidence will be low until SDSU gets a chance to get back on the field. After a promising first quarter, Zenner and Sumner were handling the game positively well, they will need to wipe this game from their memory and prepare for NDSU.

“North Dakota State is a very good team,” Zenner said. “We’re going to be at home so I guess the atmosphere will be more what we’re used too.”