SDSU Attempts To Derail The NDSU Dynasty
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For the fourth time in history, North Dakota State and South Dakota State will meet in the FCS playoffs. However, this is the first post-season matchup between the two that carries the weight of a trip to the National Championship. Both will clash on Friday night in the semi-final round of the FCS playoffs.
The NDSU Bison have six National Football titles over the past seven seasons. The Jackrabbits have never played in the championship game.
SDSU has made the post-season a total of eight times, including this year, yet they’ve only gotten as far as the semi-final round. They reached the semi-’s for the first time last year, but were then eliminated by James Madison – who went on to lose to NDSU in the National Championship game.
North Dakota State and South Dakota State are out-of-state and conference rivals, who play each other once a year. Back in late September, NDSU won the regular season bout between the two programs 21-17 in Fargo.
Jackrabbits Head Football Coach John Stiegelmeier says his squad has been practicing indoors all week to prepare for the atmosphere of the Fargo Dome.
“And we’re using noise. We have our own CD of crowd noise, so I think we can somewhat simulate how hard it’s going to be to communicate, but many of these guys have been up there," said Coach Stig. "We beat them two years ago up there, we lost this last year, and so… it’s not easy, but we’re use to it. It’s not going to catch us off guard, let’s put it that way."
Earlier this week, it was announced that North Dakota State head football coach Chris Klieman would be leaving NDSU at seasons end to take the head-coaching job at Kansas State. Coach Stiegelmeier acknowledges the fact that Friday’s game will close the door on a fun rivalry with Coach Klieman.
“He’s a great coach! He’s run a program that is first class, both on and off the field. He is first class, on and off the field," explained Stiegelmeier. "He’s a treat to visit with when we cross paths at the conference meetings, and he’s worked very hard. He worked his way up in coaching and now he’s gets to pursue his dream at Kansas State."
It was also announced this week that John Stiegelmeier signed a five-year contract extension with SDSU, which keeps Coach Stig in Brookings through 2023.
South Dakota State and North Dakota State will kick-off at 7 pm CT on Friday. The game will air nationally on ESPN 2.