In a game where the temperature at kickoff exceeded 90 degrees, the South Dakota State football team demonstrated why it was a 50-plus point favorite against the visiting University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
SDSU (2-0) dominated from the opening kickoff to the final whistle as the Jacks dismantled the Golden Lions (1-2) 90-6 in the 52nd annual Beef Bowl Saturday night at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.
The SDSU offense moved the ball at will all night long. The Jacks set school records for total yards (926), passing yards (557), points in a half (49) and points in a game (90). SDSU did not have to punt in the game.
Senior quarterback Taryn Christion threw five touchdowns on 14 attempts in the game. As a result of his performance, Christion set the Missouri Valley Football Conference record for career touchdown passes (81), and coach John Stiegelmeier notched his 150th career win in the blowout victory.
Three Jackrabbits found the end zone multiple times against the UAPB defense. Running backs Isaac Wallace and Mikey Daniel each ran for two scores and sophomore receiver Cade Johnson hauled in two touchdowns from Christion.
In total, 10 different Jackrabbits crossed the goal line in Saturday night’s offensive explosion.
Wallace led the way on the ground for the Jackrabbits with 192 yards on five carries while Johnson led all SDSU receivers with 162 yards on five receptions.
Junior wide receiver Adam Anderson was one of the Jackrabbit receivers to catch a touchdown from Christion. Anderson knew the SDSU offense would be capable of putting up points this season even in the absence of Dallas Goedert and Jake Wieneke.
“I’m not really surprised,” Anderson said. “We have a lot of weapons receiver-wise and running backs, and we have something to prove this year.”
The Jackrabbits have scored 135 points through two games.
The SDSU defense forced four turnovers (two interceptions and two fumbles) and held the Golden Lion offense well below its season average of 42.5 points per game.
UAPB had several big plays on offense in the first half, but the Jackrabbit defense made the necessary adjustments and held the Golden Lions in check during the final 30 minutes.
The UAPB offense fared better than Montana State against the SDSU defense. The Golden Lions gained 310 yards of offense (257 yards in the first half) but only managed to put a pair of field goals on the scoreboard.
By comparison, Montana State gained 193 yards over a full four quarters in last week’s contest.
Junior cornerback Zy Mosley intercepted two passes from UAPB quarterback Roger Totten II and senior linebacker Eric Kleinschmit led the Jacks with seven tackles.
UAPB starting QB Shannon Patrick was in street clothes on Saturday night for unknown reasons, and the Golden Lions were without the services of second-stringer Skyler Perry. This left Totten to start against the Jackrabbits. He went 9 for 21 passing for 131 yards in the game.
The big-play offense the Golden Lions displayed in the first two games of the season had its moments but was unable sustain consistent drives against the Jackrabbit defense.
Junior tailback Taeyler Porter led the UAPB offense with 106 yards rushing.
This year’s edition of the Beef Bowl drew an attendance of 14,526.
The Jackrabbits have a bye week next weekend, but travel to Fargo Sept. 29 to take on rival North Dakota State in the first conference contest of the season.