2013 South Dakota State Preview: Offense [AUDIO]
South Dakota State begins the 2013 season Saturday night as a Top Ten team in the nation, based in part on the weapons they have returning on the offensive side of the ball.
Junior running back Zach Zenner led all FCS ball carriers with 2,044 yards as a sophomore, good for 157 yards per game.
With that kind of success, both Zenner and head coach John Stiegelmeier know defenses will be prepared to shut down the Jacks running game in 2013.
Junior quarterback Austin Sumner has thrown for more than 2,300 yards in each of his first two seasons in Brookings, and showed tremendous improvement last year, despite hurting his hand 10 days before season opener at Kansas.
That hand was operated on during the off-season.
Sumner and coach Stiegelmeier are happy with the way things are progressing with the recovery and preparation for the new season.
The key to the Jackrabbits' attack is a veteran offensive line, where four of five starters return, including All-America senior left tackle Bryan Witzmann.
Witzmann says blocking for Zenner is a lineman's dream come true.
The biggest question mark on the offensive side of the ball is the receiving corps. SDSU graduated their top two receivers from last season, Tyrel Kool and Aaron Rollin, and are looking at a couple of returning players to fill those voids, while hopefully getting some help.
SDSU and Butler kickoff at 6:00pm Saturday night at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium in Brookings.