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Thrashing Colorado State, South Dakota State sends message: We belong

South Dakota State was an underdog and received a check to open at Colorado State Friday night. But the Jackrabbits' win was no fluke.

South Dakota State never trailed.

Through three quarters Friday night at Colorado State, the Jackrabbits had constructed an insurmountable, 35-10 lead.

SDSU outgained the Rams overall and likewise committed zero turnovers to Colorado State's two.

“Just taking the field and saying, 'We belong,'” Jackrabbits coach John Stiegelmeier said of his biggest takeaway from the upset-win. “These guys (at Colorado State) are all FBS guys, and our guys are FCS.

“Nothing against, nothing derogatory about Colorado State. We're a good football team. We play good football. I'm really proud of how we took the field and how we played.”

The win for SDSU was no fluke. The Jackrabbits averaged more than 7 yards per carry as they rushed for more than 240 yards. Additionally, they averaged 12 yards per completion.

Colorado State averaged a scant 3 ypc; the Rams also missed a field goal, punted four times and likewise faced a combined 23 third- and fourth-down situations on offense. SDSU was 6-for-12 combined on third and fourth downs.

The Jackrabbits, national runners-up in the Football Championship Subdivision's spring season, dive into Missouri Valley Football Conference play in two weeks and also have a big-time FCS clash with Dixie State next month, are being reminded by Stiegelmeier that it's a long season.

“I'm proud of our team,” he said. “I think we took the field and had great confidence. We should; we're a good football team. … We can play a lot better.”