Time/Date: TBA | TV: ESPN3
COMPARE: New Hampshire at South Dakota State
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Taryn Christion, QB, South Dakota State — Was responsible for four touchdowns on the day in the big revenge win, throwing for three and rushing for another. The game was never really in doubt as SDSU hung 26 points on the Panthers in the first half.
THE TURNING POINT
The big play happened in the middle of the second quarter when QB Taryn Christion was faced with a 4th and 1 situation at the UNI 21, and Coach Stig and his staff decided to go for the first down. But instead of the first down, they got a touchdown as Christion ate up all 21 of the yards as he put SDSU up 19-7 and really, the Jackrabbits never looked back. For the first quarter and one half, it had been somewhat nip-and-tuck.
Since these two programs faced off on Oct. 14 in Brookings, the Jackrabbits have been on fire. It's almost as if the Northern Iowa loss got under SDSU's skin even more than the earlier Youngstown State loss. Last time, SDSU scored 18 points against UNI and lost by 20 points.
This time SDSU doubled that offensive point total and nearly held UNI to half of what it scored 45 days ago. With six straight wins now over brutally tough Missouri Valley Conference competition, the Jackrabbits have proven they are a legitimate threat to win it all — and yes, James Madison and North Dakota State (who already knows what it's like to lose to SDSU) — we're talking to you.
PREVIEW OF NEXT WEEK
Frankly, South Dakota State appears to have a rather clear shot at traveling to Harrisonburg (Va.) in the semifinals — to face the James Madison juggernaut. New Hampshire pulled off the road win over seeded Central Arkansas, thanks to a last-second fumble.
The head scratching continues with New Hampshire. After being shutout by Albany in the final regular season game, being pounded by a 4-7 Holy Cross team that hung 51 on the 'Cats, and barely scraping by Central Connecticut State last week, UNH had an impressive effort this weekend and had other impressive games this year (Georgia Southern win, Elon win).
We're not sure which UNH team SDSU will get this upcoming week, but to their credit since mid October — UNH has played pretty solid defense, giving up 13 points per game. But have they faced an offense like the Jackrabbits? No.
South Dakota State 35, New Hampshire 10