April 24, 2016

(STATS) - A new football stadium is deserving of a banner season, and South Dakota State has plans to provide just that at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium this season.

The Jackrabbits, who will seek their fifth straight appearance in the FCS playoffs, wrapped up spring practices Saturday indoors at Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex, with the offense beating the defense 62-47 in their annual intrasquad game.

SDSU already has a two-quarterback system with senior Zach Lujan and sophomore Taryn Christion, but Kanin Nelson, part of this year's recruiting class, introduced himself with three total touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) to lead the win. The true freshman completed 8 of 12 passes for 98 yards.

The Jackrabbits will hope that kind of depth will carry them after they open the season Sept. 3 at TCU and then christen 19,340-seat Dykhouse Stadium a week later against Drake.

Coach John Stiegelmeier's program is coming off an 8-4 season in which it went 5-3 and tied for third place in the rugged Missouri Valley Football Conference.

In addition to the depth at quarterback, the offense is deep in the skills positions with the likes of running backs Kyle Parris and Brady Mangarelli, All-America wide receiver Jake Wieneke and tight end Dallas Goedert.

The defense is plugging more holes than the offense, but the unit remains strong up the middle with a plethora of defensive tackles, led by Cole Langer. Redshirt freshman Brandon Thomas was another rookie who impressed in the spring game, leading all players with 10 tackles.

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