South Dakota State’s John Stiegelmeier on FCS Loss at Eastern Washington, 2013 Season
South Dakota State's 2013 football season ended in disappointment in round two of the FCS Playoffs at Eastern Washington, but the Jackrabbits overall body of work was a second straight nine win season, and a second straight year with an opening round playoff win.
Things started well in Cheney as SDSU took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards down the field to grab a quick 7-0 lead.
Head coach John Stiegelmeier told me that drive was key in establishing momentum and confidence on the road.
The second half was a different story, as Eastern Washington outscored SDSU 27-3, not with their vaunted passing game, but rather with their ground game.
The half began with a rarely seen delay of game call on the Jacks as they lined up to boot the ball away on the opening kickoff:
A second round loss is still short of where Coach Stiegelmeier wants this program to be, but mixed in with that disappointment, another nine win season is quite an accomplishment:
Almost immediately after Saturday's loss attention shifted to 2014, and for South Dakota State fans there's a little bit of glass half empty and glass half full in terms of who will be and who won't be on the roster next season:
The big off-the-field news of the week in the FCS is the departure of North Dakota State head coach Craig Bohl to FBS Wyoming after the Bison finish their quest for three straight national titles.
I asked coach Stiegelmeier is he was surprised by the timing of the announcement and by the choice of Bohl to join the Cowboys:
The games may be over for SDSU until next summer, but things are already off and running on the recruiting trail for this coaching staff:
South Dakota State opens the 2014 season August 30th at Missouri. The Jacks home opener is a week later against former Great West Conference opponent Cal Poly, September 6th.