This week’s AnyGivenSaturday.com Game of the Week did not live up to hype it had generated throughout the week. Both teams had some questions to answer but I assumed that would provide us with a high scoring, but close game. Unfortunately, Western Illinois did not get that memo. The Leathernecks were run out of the stadium, leaving with a 38 point loss in their first MVFC match-up of the 2016 season.
The first quarter of play went as expected. The teams traded scores and headed to the first break with a 14-7 Western Illinois lead. The second and third quarters of the game belonged to the Jackrabbits (some might say it was a Jack Attack). SDSU scored 45 unanswered points, with neither team scoring in the fourth quarter.
South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert made sure that everyone knew Jake Wieneke was not the only star receiver the Jackrabbits had in Brookings on Saturday night. Goedert had four touchdowns (tying a school record for receiving touchdowns in a game) and 200+ yards on eight receptions in the route. That was good enough to earn him the MVFC Offensive Player of the Week. He now has seven total touchdowns on the season. That’s not to say Wieneke was not involved. Jake added 102 yards through the air on seven receptions.
Taryn Christion had quite the night for the Jackrabbits. He went 22 of 31 (71%) for 361 yards and 5 touchdowns with no interceptions. He also ran the ball six times for 20 yards.
Connor Landberg was Christion’s target for the other SDSU touchdown through the air. Here is the highlight of that circus catch:
For Western Illinois, quarterback Sean McGuire threw two touchdowns, but added two interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown. He was replaced by backup quarterback Trenton Norvell who did not throw a touchdown or interception. The Leathernecks as a team rushed for 183 yards. They were led by WR Stacey Smith whose one carry went for 71 yards.
Here’s the game recap from SDSU Athletics. It’s nice because it includes both team’s highlights, but the camera angle leaves a lot to be desired.
Western Illinois highlights are short and sweet, but have a better camera angle.
The Jackrabbits removed some of the doubt that may have been expressed about them after the loss against Cal Poly. Next week they will look to go 2-0 against a Southern Illinois team that struggled defending the pass against a Northern Iowa squad that is not known for throwing the ball. The week after that will be the real challenge as SDSU heads to Fargo for the Dakota Marker game against the Bison.
Western Illinois has a chance to bounce back against a down-on-their-luck Indiana State team who gave Missouri State their first MVFC win since October of 2014. The Leathernecks should get the ship righted and continue their path towards a playoff berth. They should be favored in their next two games, but then North Dakota State comes to Macomb and they will get another chance to prove themselves.