BROOKINGS – Six home games highlight the 2017 football schedule for the South Dakota State football team.
For the first time in program history, the Jackrabbits will open the season with a Thursday night home game as SDSU hosts Duquesne in nonconference action on Aug. 31 at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium. The annual Dairy Drive game will mark the first meeting between the Jackrabbits and Dukes in 85 years. Duquesne won the first-ever meeting, 34-12, in the 1932 season finale.
SDSU will host Drake for the second year in a row in the 51st Annual Beef Bowl on Sept. 16. The two squads met during the 2016 season in the inaugural game played at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium, with the Jackrabbits coming away with a 56-28 victory.
"Our staff is excited about the entire 2017 schedule," SDSU head coach John Stiegelmeier said. "The Missouri Valley Football Conference should be as competitive as ever and we look forward to the challenge of taking the next step as a football program."
The Jackrabbits' MVFC home opener is slated for Oct. 7 versus Southern Illinois, followed by the Oct. 14 Hobo Day game against Northern Iowa.
The Jackrabbits wrap up home action with another two-game homestand in early November. SDSU will welcome rival North Dakota State to Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium for the first time on Nov. 4, followed by a Nov. 11 Military Appreciation Day game versus fellow FCS playoff qualifier Illinois State.
The remainder of the 11-game regular-season schedule consists of five road games. The lone nonconference road game is set for Sept. 9 at Montana State for the start of a home-and-home series. SDSU and Montana State last met in the 2014 FCS playoffs, with the Jackrabbits recording a 47-40 victory in Bozeman.
SDSU will kick off the MVFC season Sept. 30 at 2016 FCS runner-up Youngstown State. Other conference road games include back-to-back road contests at Missouri State (Oct. 21) and Western Illinois (Oct. 28). The regular-season finale is set for Nov. 18 at South Dakota.
Game times and other event designations will be announced at a later date. In addition, the 2017 Spring Game is set for April 22.
South Dakota State earned its first MVFC title and made its fifth consecutive appearance in the FCS playoffs during the 2016 season. The Jackrabbits finished the season with a 9-4 overall record and attained top-10 national rankings in the season's final polls.
2017 SDSU FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
April 22 – SPRING GAME
Aug. 31 – DUQUESNE [Dairy Drive]
Sept. 9 – at Montana State
Sept. 16 – DRAKE [Beef Bowl]
Sept. 30 – *at Youngstown State
Oct. 7 – *SOUTHERN ILLINOIS [Hall of Fame Game]
Oct. 14 – *NORTHERN IOWA [Hobo Day]
Oct. 21 – *at Missouri State
Oct. 28 – *at Western Illinois
Nov. 4 – *NORTH DAKOTA STATE [Dakota Marker Game]
Nov. 11 – *ILLINOIS STATE [Military Appreciation]
Nov. 18 – *at South Dakota
*Missouri Valley Football Conference game