Area college football roundup: SDSU opens at Missouri
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The South Dakota State University football team opens its season with a tough test taking on the Missouri Tigers.
Missouri was the 2013 Southeastern Conference runner-up and won the AT&T Cotton Bowl last season.
At 2:30 p.m. Saturday, the Jackrabbits will take on their lone Football Bowl Subdivision opponent this season. The game is being held at Farout Field at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Mo., and is being televised on ESPNU.
The Jackrabbits, rated No. 10 in Football Championship Subdivision, are coming off a 2013 season in which they made their second straight appearance in the playoffs, and third playoff appearance in five years. SDSU returns six players who were named to the Missouri Valley Football Conference Preseason Team, including senior running back Zach Zenner, senior quarterback Austin Sumner, senior wideout Jason Schneider, senior offensive lineman Trevor Greger, sophomore defensive lineman Cole Langer and junior linebacker T.J. Lally, who was an honorable mention selection.
Zenner has racked up 2,000 yards on the ground for SDSU in back-to-back seasons. He already holds the Missouri Valley Football Conference record for career all-purpose yards and needs fewer than 300 yards to set the conference's all-time rushing mark. Zenner is also one of 20 players on the watch list for the Walter Payton Award, which is presented annually to the top player in the Football Championship Subdivision by The Sports Network.
Missouri is ranked No. 24 in the preseason Associated Press poll and are also the top team receiving votes in the USA Today coaches' poll.
South Dakota at No. 3 Oregon
EUGENE, Ore. -- Starting the season against a top-5 Football Bowl Subdivision school in the No. 3 Oregon Ducks, the University of South Dakota will begin its season facing its toughest opponent on the 2014 schedule.
The Coyotes will kick-off their 2014 season at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore., with the game being televised on the Pac-12 Network.
USD was picked to finish eighth in the Missouri Valley Football Conference preseason polls. The team takes on its first-ever PAC-12 opponent in the Ducks, who won the 2013 Alamo Bowl.
The Coyotes return their starting quarterback, top four running backs and five of their top seven wideouts from a season ago. They named their 2014 team captains team on Tuesday in quarterback Kevin Earl, running back Jasper Sanders, linebacker Keyen Lage and defensive lineman Drew Iddings.
Dakota State University vs. Mayville State University
MADISON — Dakota State University comes into the 2014 season picked to finish sixth in the preseason North Star Athletic Association poll. The Trojans, who received one first-place vote in the poll, open their season against No. 4 Mayville State University Comets.
DSU opens the year in a conference battle with kickoff at 6 p.m. Saturday at Trojan Field in Madison.
Mayville State has beat DSU three times since they first played against each other in 2011. Last year, the Comets gave the Trojans their second conference loss in Dakota State's inaugural season in the NSAA Football Conference.