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    SDSU FB: Jackrabbits roll past Missouri State

    For the second week in a row, South Dakota State owned the second quarter, cruising to a 59-7 victory over Missouri State in Missouri Valley Football Conference action Saturday afternoon at a rainy Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.

    The seventh-ranked Jackrabbits improved to 6-2 overall and 4-2 in league play. Missouri State dropped to 4-5 overall and 2-4 in the MVFC.

    After Pierre Strong, Jr. scored on a 55-yard run to open the scoring in the first quarter, the redshirt freshman running back kick-started a 31-point outburst in the second stanza with a 54-yard touchdown run up the middle. Strong ended the day with a career-high 136 yards on nine carries.

    The Jackrabbits' quick-strike offense turned to the air for the next two scores, needing only one play on each drive as Taryn Christion connected with Cade Johnson on touchdowns that covered 34 and 42 yards, respectively. A Chase Vinatieri field goal on the next SDSU possession pushed the lead to 31-0.

    Missouri State put together its lone scoring drive of the game late in the second quarter, capping a seven-play, 75-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Peyton Huslig to Tyler Currie.

    SDSU answered with its fourth touchdown drive of the quarter in the closing seconds. A 22-yard pass from Christion to Johnson, along with an ensuing personal foul penalty against the Bears, moved the ball across midfield before Christion weaved his way through the secondary for a 32-yard touchdown run.

    Last week, in a 38-28 road win at Illinois State, the Jackrabbits put 21 points on the board in the final five-plus minutes of the second quarter.

    The SDSU defense harassed the Bears' trio of quarterbacks throughout the day, matching a season high with 11 tackles for loss, including a season-best four sacks, and intercepting a season-high four passes. The Jackrabbits limited Missouri State to 183 yards of total offense, including 30 net yards rushing on 31 attempts.

    Defensive ends Ryan Earith and Elijah Wilson were each credited with 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Earith shared team-high honors of five total tackles with linebackers Logan Backhaus and Eric Kleinschmit. Backhaus also tallied one of the interceptions.

    SDSU tacked on three touchdowns in the second half, the first two of which were scoring passes of 12 and 19 yards from Christion to Adam Anderson.

    The Jackrabbits also were dominant on special teams, getting their hands on two punts. The second block, by Preston Tetzlaff in the fourth quarter, led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Blair Mulholland to close the scoring.

    SDSU racked up 547 yards of total offense, topping the 500-yard mark for the fourth time this season. Christion completed 15-of-28 passes for 259 yards, with Johnson tallying 130 receiving yards on five catches. Anderson added six catches for 85 yards, while Mikey Daniel gained 71 yards on the ground on 20 carries.

    Huslig completed 15-of-31 passes for 134 yards for Missouri State, with Currie leading the receiving corps with four catches for 78 yards. Donovan Daniels was the Bears' leading rusher with 31 yards on seven carries.

    The Jackrabbits close the road portion of their schedule by traveling to Southern Illinois next Saturday (Nov. 10). Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. at Saluki Stadium in Carbondale, Illinois, with the game available for viewing on the ESPN+ streaming platform.


    • SDSU leads all-time series, 10-1, which dates back to 2008
    • The Jackrabbits have won the last five meetings and have outscored Missouri State, 121-37, over the last two contests
    • SDSU has scored in 28 of 32 quarters (plus an overtime session) in 2018
    • Taryn Christion ends Saturday's game with 10,551 career passing yards, putting him 41 yards away from passing Illinois State's Matt Brown (10,591 yards from 2009-12) for the Missouri Valley Football Conference career record
    • Christion also holds MVFC career records for total offense (11,892) and touchdown passes (95)
    • Christion tossed at least three touchdowns in a game for the 15th time in his career
    • Christion rushed for and passed for a touchdown in the same game for the 18th┬átime in his four-year career
    • The Jackrabbits have scored first in all eight games this season
    • South Dakota State's first four scoring drives took a total of nine plays.
    • SDSU has outscored opponents 111-35 in the second quarter of games this year.
    • Jordan Brown is now tied for the team lead with three interceptions this season after recording a pickoff in the third quarter
    • The Jackrabbits improved to 18-2 in games at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium since the facility opened in 2016
    • Attendance was 5,869

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