NCAA Preview: South Dakota State At TCU

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South Dakota State (8-4 last season) at No. 13 TCU (11-2), 7:00 p.m. on Saturday

Line: No line.

Series record: First meeting.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

TCU has won its last 14 home openers, the fifth-longest streak among FBS teams. The last time the Horned Frogs lost a home opener was in 2001, Gary Patterson’s first as their head coach, when they lost 27-24 to Northwestern State, another FCS team. While not to be confused with unprecedented five-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State, the Jackrabbits have been to the lower-division playoffs the last four seasons.

KEY MATCHUP

South Dakota State rushers vs. TCU defense. The Jackrabbits have three returning players — running backs Brady Mengarelli and Kyle Paris, and quarterback Taryn Christion — who each ran for at least 480 yards and five touchdowns last season. TCU’s defense returns seven defensive starters from last season, along with four others who had season-ending injuries last year.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

South Dakota State: Senior WR Jake Wieneke set a Missouri Valley Conference record last season with 1,472 yards receiving. He also had 11 TD catches.

TCU: Defensive ends Josh Carraway and James McFarland. Carraway had a team-leading nine sacks last season when right end McFarland missed the entire season because of a broken toe after leading the team with seven sacks in 2014. Now they will both be on the field together, coming from opposite sides.

FACTS & FIGURES

South Dakota State coach John Stiegelmeier is going into his 20th season with the Jackrabbits. TCU’s new starting QB Kenny Hill, the former Texas A&M transfer, threw for an Aggies-record 511 yards with three touchdowns in his starting debut for A&M in a lopsided season-opening win at South Carolina two years ago. He eventually lost the start job that season. TCU has a 13-game home winning streak, more than double the next-closest in the Big 12 (Oklahoma’s six in a row).

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