A lot, and deservdly so, has been made of the South Dakota State trio of quarterback Taryn Christion, receiver Jake Wieneke and tight end Dallas Goedert. Northern Iowa head coach Mark Farley once referred to them as the “The Three Amigos” and those three will be the featured players on the field Saturday afternoon in the Dakota Marker battle. But for the Jackrabbits to keep the Marker, those three specifically will not be the reason. It will, in general, be the run game of SDSU.
Granted, it was Christion who turned the trick last year at the Fargodome running for 141 yards in the 19-17 win that ended an eight-game losing streak to NDSU — six of which were for the Marker. The Jacks had Zach Zenner in that streak, but the Bison shut down the SDSU running back for most of his career with the exception of 2014 when he had 133 yards in the second round playoff game. It took the heroics of Carson Wentz for the Bison to take a 27-24 victory or else the SDSU running-success theory against the Bison would have held serve.
Before last year, the last SDSU win was in 2009 when Kyle Minett ripped off 164 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-13 win in Brookings. Minett outgained NDSU’s top back in Tyler Roehl in the Jacks’ 25-24 win in 2008.
So say all you want about one of the best passing games in the FCS and certainly the best three offensive players on one team in the FCS, history tells us in the Dakota Marker series that the team that can win the running game usually wins the game.