#7 South Dakota State Falls to Southern Illinois, 27-24
On a homecoming day highlighted by the announcement of a new football stadium, South Dakota State .
The conditions at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium were less than ideal, as rain in the Brookings area Friday and a Brookings - Harrisburg high school football game tore up the all-grass field.
That didn't slow down Jacks running back Zach Zenner, who picked up 75 yards rushing in the first half, including a 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Zenner's score brought the Jacks even, after the Salukis opened the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Kory Faulkner in the first quarter.
Each team added second quarter field goals. Southern Illinois' Thomas Kinney hit from 35 yards, SDSU's Justin Syrovatka from 44 yards to make it 10-10.
The Salukis got the ball back with 2:58 to go in the half, and Faulkner had them on the move, into Jacks territory, when Charles Elmore picked it off at the 11 and returned it 89 yards for a touchdown and a 17-10 SDSU halftime lead.
The Salukis pulled even less than 2:00 into the second half, as Faulkner hit John Lantz for a 59-yard touchdown and a 17-17 tie.
They then took the lead on their next drive when Thomas Kinney connected on a 42-yard field goal to make 20-17.
In the fourth quarter, MSU stretched the lead to 27-17, after a 9-play, 65-yard drive, with Faulkner scoring on a 3-yard run.
Three plays later, the Bears had a chance to put the game on ice, when they forced a Zenner fumble, taking over on the SDSU 45.
But the Jackrabbit defense got it right back two plays later as Elmore forced a fumble, and RC Kilgore recovered on the SIU 49.
The Jacks converted the turnover into points, capping a 6-play, 49-yard drive with a Zenner 1-yard touchdown run to cut it to 27-24 with 4:04 left.
But they could get no closer.
Zenner finished the day with 112 yards rushing.
South Dakota State plays at Western Illinois next Saturday at 3:00pm.