Jackrabbits rout Butler in season opener, 55-14

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. 

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. 

From there, 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. Sumner, who went over 5,000 career passing yards in the game, was 22-for-32, throwing for 326 yards and three touchdowns. The Jackrabbits did not turn the ball over and forced three turnovers.

Zenner finished the game with 117 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns. Je Ryan Butler provided the Jackrabbits with a defensive touchdown in the fourth quarter, picking off Bulldog backup quarterback Wade Markley, running it back 39 yards and setting the final score. 

With two made field goals, Justin Syrovatka extended his streak for consecutive made field goals to 14, a new school record. That said, SDSU coach John Stiegelmeier said there’s plenty of things to work on before next week, including 10 penalties for 103 yards.

“It’s good to win a game and be far from perfect,” Stiegelmeier said

SDSU, now 1-0, travels to Grand Forks, N.D., next Saturday to play North Dakota. The game starts at 6 p.m.