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A Stats Guide To South Dakota State

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In a new series, we take a look at some advanced stats heading into the South Dakota State matchup.

NCAA Football: South Dakota State at Kansas John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Editor’s Note: We’ve done a series called Inside the Numbers for a few years here at Frogs O’ War, but those numbers typically center around the Frogs. In this new series, we’ll be looking at some in-depth stats for TCU’s opponent in quick hit form. Typically, these will look at stats from the current season, but as this is the first game of the year, we’ll look at 2015 stats.

Look for a lot more preview work around South Dakota State in the next few days!

South Dakota State is one of those teams that, when you see them on your team’s schedule, you kind of groan. First, you groan because you see an FCS team on the schedule, and you’re frustrated that the season kicks off like that.

Second, you groan a little more when you realize that South Dakota State is just good enough to maybe actually be a threat to upset you, or, at the very least, give your team too much of a fight for you to come out looking good.

I’m a proponent for dropping FCS schools from the schedule (yes, I understand the financial effect that would have on lower-division football), but alas, that’s not happening.

South Dakota State is exactly the school that should make you groan twice if you’re a TCU fan. They check the first box of being an FCS school, and they also check the second box of being a pretty solid FCS school. Let’s take a look at some numbers.

  • 8-4 - The Jackrabbits final record in 2015, after being eliminated from the FCS playoffs by Montana State.
  • 15 - South Dakota State returns 15 starters from the 2015 season, including quarterbacks Zach Lujan and Taryn Christion, running backs Brady Mengarelli and Kyle Paris, receiver Jake Wieneke, and linebacker Jesse Bobbit.
  • 1,472 - The number of receiving yards by Jake Wieneke in 2015, which was good for second most at the FCS level last year. He also had 11 receiving touchdowns. Against Kansas, Wieneke racked up 160 yards and two touchdowns on eight receptions.
  • 17.3 - South Dakota State’s scoring defense in 2015. They ranked 8th at the FCS level for points allowed.
  • 28.4 - Scoring offense per game for the Jackrabbits in 2015. They ranked a very mediocre 48th.
  • 5.8 - Yards per carry for SDSU running back Brady Mengarelli in 2015. He finished the season with 764 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. He also had 232 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns.
  • 6 - Games against ranked FCS opponents in 2015 (No. 1 North Dakota State, No. 2 Illinois State, No. 11 Youngstown State, No. 16 Montana, No. 19 Indiana State, No. 22 Northern Iowa). SDSU was 3-3 in those games.
  • 3,475 - total yards of offense from Zach Lujan and Taryn Christion, the two main quarterbacks for the Jackrabbits in 2015. They also combined for 26 touchdowns. Both return in 2016.
  • 41-38 - The final score of South Dakota State’s win over Kansas in 2015. Lujan threw for 293 yards and three touchdowns, Wieneke had 160 receiving yards and two touchdowns, and Mengarelli had 69 yards and a touchdown on the ground (in a backup role).
  • 97 - The number of tackles returning linebacker Jesse Bobbit recorded in 2015, good for second most on the team.