Bear defense: SDSU stops Missouri State


All about the defense.

With an offense that failed to find any sort of consistency, the Jackrabbits defense delivered again and turned the Missouri State Bears over five times as No. 25 SDSU won the game, 17-7, in front of 14,186 fans during the Beef Bowl Saturday.

“It was definitely a plus for us,” said SDSU linebacker Ross Shafrath speaking about the turnovers. Shafrath led the defense with two interceptions, 12 total tackles and was named Beef Bowl Most Outstanding Player.

As he’s been prone to do, Zach Zenner broke off another signature long run in the second quarter, going 88 yards to put SDSU on the board, 7-0. The Jacks (4-1) took a 10-0 advantage when Justin Syrovatka knocked down a 23-yard field goal with 2:34 left until halftime.

SDSU let off the gas pedal at the end of the half, allowing the Bears to cover 62 yards in 67 seconds, capped by Ashton Glaser’s 1-yard touchdown run, trimming the Jacks’ first half lead to three points.

The defining moments came in the fourth quarter when Missouri State cornerback Syhbrian Berry made a spectacular one-handed grab to intercept Austin Sumner for the third time in the game. On the ensuing play, Chris Tracy stepped in front of a Glaser pass and put SDSU’s offense back on the field. Four plays later, Sumner found Brandon Hubert on a short slant route in the middle of the field to put SDSU ahead by 10, 17-7.

“It feels like a win and at the end of the day, the Jackrabbits won. We know we can do a lot better and we feel like we beat ourselves on a lot of plays. Today it was turnovers,” Zenner said.

Both teams had double-digit penalties and numerous post-play penalties but the Jackrabbits defense prevailed when it counted, keeping the opposition out of the end zone more than once for the third straight game.

“Two good defenses and I think that stood out more than anything. When we threw the ball down field we had trouble and I think it was the same way for them,” Bears head coach Terry Allen said, as the Bears dropped to 0-5 for 2012.

The Jackrabbits take their strong start into the off week before returning to Coughlin-Alumni Stadium Oct. 13 to play Western Illinois.

“I think our guys are going to see that tape and they’re going to want to get back on to the football field on Tuesday,” SDSU coach John Stiegelmeier said. “They’re eager to take the opportunity to get better.