Western Illinois beats South Dakota State 30-24 in 2OT
MACOMB, Ill. (AP) Sean McGuire ran for a touchdown in the second overtime to give Western Illinois a 30-24 win over South Dakota State on Saturday.
McGuire finished with 19-of-40 passing for 282 yards and a score for the Leathernecks (6-5, 5-3 Missouri Valley Conference). Nikko Watson ran for 178 yards and a touchdown. Devon Moore also ran for a score.
But it was McGuire's touchdown run in the second overtime that made the difference against the fifth-ranked Jackrabbits (8-3, 5-3).
With the score tied 24-24 in the second overtime, South Dakota State's Jay Carlson missed a 35-yard field goal, setting up McGuire's 7-yard keeper four plays later for the win.
''We played really good football,'' WIU coach Bob Nielson said. ''Hopefully it's a game that gives us a chance to keep playing.''
For SDSU, it was a chilling way to end a weekend that began stuck in an airport in Sioux Falls in a snowstorm and ended on a cold night in a game delayed 90 minutes due to travel difficulties.
''You have to play with confidence and put behind you all the travel stuff and blizzards and play in the present and we didn't do that,'' SDSU coach John Stiegelmeier said. ''We didn't stop their running game. We didn't stop their passing game. We just weren't sharp.''
Western Illinois was 14-for-22 on third down and SDSU just 5-for-14. The Jackrabbits entered the game with just six turnovers - all interceptions - this season. But it was intercepted three times and lost a fumble.
''I'm just disappointed we weren't a better team tonight,'' Stiegelmeier said.
Western Illinois trailed 10-3 at the break but Moore's rushing touchdown late in the third quarter and McGuire's 3-yard TD pass to Isaiah Lesure with 14:51 to play - capping a 10-play, 82-yard drive - gave the Leathernecks a 17-10 lead.
The Jackrabbits sent the game into overtime on Kyle Paris' 2-yard TD run with 1:35 left.
Zach Lujan finished with 21-for-37 for 246 yards passing for the Jackrabbits. Jake Wieneke caught nine passes for 118 yards and Brady Mengarelli ran 20 times for 187 yards.
The steady wind appeared to play a role in the game as it blew Carlson's field goal attempt wide in the second OT.
The Jacks were denied a nine-win season for the first time since 1979. More importantly, the loss may have cost the team a high seed in the FCS playoffs and a first-round bye.