South Dakota rivalry resumes after 9-year hiatus

South Dakota rivalry resumes after 9-year hiatus

BROOKINGS, S.D. (AP) The 123-year-old hunt for South Dakota football dominance returns after a nine-year hiatus Saturday when the Coyotes from ``The U'' head up to Brookings to pursue the Jackrabbits from ``State.''

``I think it really brings it to fever pitch when State and the U get together,'' said South Dakota head coach Joe Glenn, a Coyote quarterback and wide receiver in the late `60s and early `70s. ``It doesn't get any better as far as competition and spirit. It's really a sensational thing that we're getting back together and doing this.''

After the last meeting between South Dakota State and the Coyotes in 2003, the Jackrabbits moved up to Division I. USD has since followed suit and joined the Jackrabbits in the Missouri Valley Football Conference this season.

The schools played to a 6-6 tie during their first matchup in 1889, which in that day would have involved each team scoring a four-point touchdown and a two-point conversion.

``You're just a small part of the big picture,'' SDSU head football coach John Stiegelmeir said. ``It brings out unique things, unique memories, unique efforts, talks and fan experiences.''

USD stoked the fiery competition last fall by erecting a billboard along Interstate 29 in Brookings showing a coyote running down a jackrabbit with the headline, ``Have an old friend for dinner.'' Within a month, Brookings police had to remove a dead coyote found hanging by a rope from the top of billboard.

Stiegelmeir said it won't be long until fans resurrect the tradition of smuggling in dead jackrabbits or coyotes under their winter coats and tossing them onto the football field or basketball court, ``which is not supposed to happen, but it will happen.''

Former SDSU cheerleader Margie Fiedler can't wait for the rivalry to return, and nobody knows the consequences of a tossed coyote more than her.

In 1976, she was a 20-year-old student cheering on the Jackrabbits men's basketball team when a fellow SDSU fan threw a frozen, 55-pound coyote toward the court that struck her in the head.

Fiedler was hospitalized with a severe concussion, but she holds onto her fondness for the rivalry.

She laughs about the yearbook picture showing security guards helping her off the court with the caption: ``We just thank God we weren't playing the Bison.''

``All of the rivalry was just good fun stuff,'' said Fiedler, now a 57-year-old camp director in Montana. ``There was never any anger, hatred or horrible things like that. It was just a fun way to get everyone revved up, and it did.''

Former USD defensive lineman Brian Augustine recalled walking up to Coughlin-Alumni Stadium in the 1990s. The visiting team dressed in the basketball arena across North Campus Drive and had to enter the field past the SDSU student section.

``They loved throwing pennies to your helmet,'' Augustine said. ``I mean, it didn't hurt anything.''

Keith Jensen, an SDSU season-ticket holder for more than 40 years, said he remembers lots of bunnies being tossed out during games but only two coyotes.

``Too big an animal,'' he said. ``Bunnies are easier to hide.''

But the behavior degraded over the years, he said, and fans venturing into an opposing field or stadium faced a volatile atmosphere.

``We'd like to win; they'd like to win,'' said the 78-year-old Jensen. ``When you win you've got boasting rights, but it doesn't need to go beyond that.''

Chuck Cecil, a Brookings writer and historian who graduated from SDSU in 1959, said the rivalry evolved over the years from such pranks as fans burning a signature into the middle of the football field the night before a game to rowdiness and nastiness.

College students always try to outdo the previous year's activities, he said, so the nine years off provide a route to a healthier rivalry void of disrespect and hate.

``I think we've broken the cycle, which is good,'' Cecil said. ``There's more of a respect for one another and I think we're treating each other better and more humanely.''

School officials, too, are hoping for a kinder, gentler rivalry moving forward.

Last week, the universities and the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council unveiled a new South Dakota Showdown Series traveling trophy as part of an annual athletic and academic competition.

The two schools' ROTC cadets are teaming up Friday and Saturday to run the game ball from USD's campus in Vermillion up to Coughlin-Alumni Stadium in Brookings, stopping at some of South Dakota's smaller towns along the way.

Stiegelmeir said he hopes the new matchups are void of ugliness.

``What I hope is the rivalry is first class and is done right,'' he said.

USD leads the series 50-48-7. In the last meeting in 2003, the Jackrabbits beat the Coyotes 22-11 in the DakotaDome.

No. 16 UMBC shocks No. 1 Virginia to make NCAA history

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No. 16 UMBC shocks No. 1 Virginia to make NCAA history

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Senior guard Jairus Lyles scored 28 points, and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County pulled off the most shocking upset in NCAA Tournament history, defeating Virginia 75-54 on Friday night to become the first No. 16 seed ever to beat a No. 1 seed.

Virginia entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed after going 31-2 this season, including 20-1 in ACC competition.

But the Cavaliers couldn't get anything generated on offense and the nation's top-ranked defense couldn't contain American East Conference champions.

The 74 points were the most Virginia had allowed this year.

Lyles was the catalyst.

He diced up Virginia's defense in the second half, getting the hole easily on six different occasions and making easy layups. He also knocked down a pair of 3-pointers as UMBC built a 16-point lead.

Lyles finished with 23 of his points in the second half and Joe Sherburne finished with 14 points.

The game was tied at halftime, but the Retrievers came out confident and motivated in the second half and built a double-digit lead that Virginia could never erase.

Sherburne scored on an and-one drive and then knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key after a behind-the-back pass from KJ Maura. After Virginia made a foul shot, the shifty 5-foot-8, 140-pound Maura drove the lane for uncontested layup.

A Tony Bennett timeout couldn't stop the bleeding, as Lyles hit two more 3's and Sherburne hit one to extend UMBC's lead to 14 with 14:57 left in the game. Lyles was fouled on a 3-point shot and suddenly the Retrievers led by 16.

A corner 3-pointer and a layups off a fastbreak by Arkel Lamer gave UMBC its biggest lead at 67-48. From there, the party was on as chants of "UMBC" rang through the arena.

It was yet another early exit for the Cavaliers in a season that seemed to hold so much promise.


UMBC: Despite being undersized and unknown, they shocked the world and made history with an epic game.

Virginia: This isn't the first time Virginia has struggled as the No. 1 seed. The Cavaliers trailed by five at halftime in 2014 to Coastal Carolina but went on to win 70-59.


UMBC: Will face No. 9 seed Kansas State on Sunday in the second round.

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Kuznetsov to be evaluated Saturday after leaving Islanders game with "upper body" issue

Kuznetsov to be evaluated Saturday after leaving Islanders game with "upper body" issue

The Capitals may have won the game Friday against the New York Islanders, but now they will wait to see if they also suffered a significant loss.

Kuznetsov left the game in the third period after taking a slash from Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey which sent him sliding head-first into the boards. The team labeled the issue as “upper body” when it was announced he would not return to the game.

Head coach Barry Trotz was tight-lipped afterward on Kuznetsov’s status.

“They're going to re-evaluate him tomorrow and we'll have some clarity hopefully tomorrow,” he said.


You can see the play here:

When Kuznetsov is first slashed he immediately reacts. His feet then catch the stick of goalie Jaroslav Halak which sends him tripping and sliding hard into the boards. He sat on the ice for several minutes afterward and was looked at by the trainer before getting to his feet and slowly making his way to the locker room.

When asked after the game what he felt about the slash, Trotz said only, “Hockey play.”

One of the Capitals’ biggest strengths as a team is their depth down the middle. Any injury to a center, considering it is arguably the most important skating position on the ice, would be significant. An injury to the team’s top-line center would be even more costly.

Kuznetsov leads the team with 28 assists and ranks second in both goals (21) and points (69).