South Dakota Showdown Series to be held this Saturday

BROOKINGS, S.D (GoJacks.com) — The South Dakota State University football team will make its closing argument for its postseason profile Saturday, traveling to in-state rival South Dakota for the two squads’ regular season finale.

SDSU enters the matchup with an 8-3 overall record, including a 5-2 mark in the Missouri Valley Football Conference that puts the Jackrabbits in a four-way tie for second place in the league standings with Illinois State, Northern Iowa and Southern Illinois.

USD, meanwhile, holds a 4-7 overall record, including a 3-4 ledger in MVFC games. The Coyotes are coming off a 49-14 defeat at top-ranked North Dakota State last week, but are 2-1 in home league games so far this season.

According to SDSU records, Saturday’s game will mark the 112th meeting on the gridiron between SDSU and South Dakota, with the Jackrabbits holding a 54-50-7 series advantage on the strength of winning each of the last 10 matchups. The series dates back to 1889, when the two squads played to a 6-6 tie.

The current SDSU winning streak began with a 20-3 Jackrabbit victory in Vermillion during the 2001 season. After SDSU made the jump to Division I following the 2003 season, the series was dormant until 2012, when the Coyotes landed in the Missouri Valley Football Conference as part of their own D-I pursuits.

Three of the last four meetings have been decided by one touchdown or less, including a 31-28 Jackrabbit victory at the DakotaDome in the 2017 regular season finale, Nov. 18, 2017. Both teams went on to earn at-large playoff berths in 2017 – for USD it was the first postseason bid in football at the Division I level.

In last season’s contest, SDSU raced out to a 28-7 first-quarter lead and ran its way to a 49-27 victory at a wintry Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium. Pierre Strong, Jr. scored on touchdown runs of 30 and 73 yards in the first quarter and closed out the scoring with a 46-yard scoring run in the closing minutes en route to 253 yards on only 10 carries.

Strong’s rushing performance marked the 10th-most yards in a single game by a Jackrabbit running back in program history.

Kickoff for the South Dakota Showdown Series contest is set for 2 p.m. at the DakotaDome in Vermillion. Game will be broadcast on The Talk of Watertown, 1480 KSDR.