Posted September 19, 2013 on AP on Fox
South-dakota-state
(Eds: With AP Photos.) By ERIC OLSON AP College Football Writer The timing couldn't be better for South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits visit Nebraska on Saturday for a game with a host of potential distractions. The Cornhuskers are coming off a 20-point loss to UCLA in a game they led by 18 late in the second quarter. It was the Huskers' biggest blown lead at home since 1920. Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez has worn a walking boot on his left foot this week and might not play. Off the field, coach Bo Pelini snapped at former Huskers great Tommie Frazier, who tweeted that Pelini should fire his defensive assistants. Oh, and then there's that matter of the leaked 2-year-old audio of Pelini's profane rant about the fans and two sports writers during what the coach thought was a private conversation. ''I try to forget it,'' South Dakota State coach John Stiegelmeier said. ''What those things do is distract you as a football program or give you a false sense that they're going to be distracted. My job is to make sure we're focused and make sure our coaches put our players in position to have success.'' South Dakota State (3-0), ranked No. 6 in the Football Championship Subdivision, isn't going to be satisfied with collecting its $395,000 paycheck and going home. The Jackrabbits came to Lincoln in 2010 and played a sixth-ranked Huskers team to within 17-3. SDSU was stopped on a fourth-and-goal at the Nebraska 1, had an interception return for a touchdown called back for an illegal block and had a pass intercepted at the Nebraska 1. ''That was a tough loss,'' said senior cornerback Winston Wright, who was making his first start for the Jacks that night. ''I was young on the team, and seeing the seniors and upperclassmen, they were really hurt. There were some things that didn't go our way. It hurt last time, and we're hoping to capitalize this time.'' Stiegelmeier said he's bringing in a better team this time. All-American Zach Zenner is the SDSU headliner. He leads FCS rushers with 180 yards a game after running for 2,000 yards last season. He went for 128 yards and three touchdowns in a come-from-behind win over Southeastern Louisiana last week. That was after he ran for 295 yards against North Dakota the week before. ''He runs hard, definitely more athletic than you would perceive him to be,'' Nebraska defensive coordinator John Papuchis said. ''He's able to make guys miss in short space and in the hole, but he also has the ability to put a shoulder down and run you over.'' Offensive tackle Bryan Witzmann, who started the 2010 game, said he and his teammates love to play FBS schools that overlooked them in recruiting. ''It's a little extra motivation to kind of shove it back at them and say, `This is what we made of ourselves,' '' Witzmann said. ''I really think FBS-FCS, it's about depth. We have the talent here. We don't have as much depth.'' The Jacks are 0-5 against the FBS since elevating their program from Division II in 2004. What the Jacks lack in depth, they'll make up for in chutzpa, Papuchis said. ''We saw that the first time we played them,'' he said. ''They certainly came with a little chip on their shoulder. They were kind of in that something-to-prove mentality. They were scrappy and tough and they were here for a fight, and our guys better be ready to be in for a fight Saturday.'' Wright doesn't expect anything less. ''You can look at it two ways, thinking they're beat up and maybe a little tired,'' he said. ''But their backs might be against the wall right now, and the last thing they need is to lose to a I-AA school. I see them coming out hungry. I don't see them taking us lightly.''
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Nebraska fan posts ad on Craigslist for new coaches

Bo Pelini has done a very solid job as the head coach at Nebraska, but he currently isn’t held in the highest esteem by Cornhuskers fans. This weekend, Nebraska got trounced by UCLA despite getting out to a substantial early lead, which understandably drew the ire of the crowd. Then, Pelini came under fire when Deadspin released audio of a verbal tirade of Bo’s earlier in his...

Bo Pelini drops f-bombs during 2011 rant about media, fans

Bo Pelini has entered a time of great uncertainty in his career as the head football coach at Nebraska. After a tough loss at UCLA on Saturday, former Cornhuskers quarterback Tommie Frazier ranted on Twitter about how the program deserves better and is in need of a change. Pelini later fired back by saying the […]

Nebraska columnist responds to Bo Pelini's comments about him in now-infamous rant.

Omaha World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel was one of the targets of Nebraska head football coach Bo Pelini's now-infamous napalm-all-the-bridges profanity-laden rant from 2011 that has gone viral. Naturally, Shatel has responded to Pelini in his latest column. "I heard the audio. I read the comments. No apology is necessary. I've been cursed at by better coaches...

Bo Pelini’s future at Nebraska forecast through the movies

What's Bo Pelini's future like with the Nebraska Cornhuskers? We have no idea, but maybe Hollywood could forecast it for us.

Bo Pelini about to get shucked at Nebraska, Frost a hot replacement candidate

Bo Pelini's seat at Nebraska is so hot he'll be standing up for the remainder of his certain-to-be-brief career as Cornhusker-in-Chief.  Clubbed 41-21 at home by UCLA last week, Pelini's squad gave up 31 points in the second half and blew an 18-point lead. Former Nebraska quarterback and College Football Hall of Famer Tommie Frazier fired off an angry tweet during...

Bo Pelini immortalized in Taiwanese animation.

A controversy isn't a true controversy these days unless there's a bit of Taiwanese animation made about it. So the drama surrounding Nebraska head football coach Bo Pelini is now officially a controversy, as NMA has released an animated clip of Pelini and his cloud of schadenfreude. (via College Spun)

Nebraska chancellor releases statement regarding Bo Pelini

Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst issued a joint statement about coach Bo Pelini's curse-filled rant against his fans surfaced.

Life After Bo: Who Will Coach The Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2014?

The national eyes of college football are focused on Lincoln, Nebraska this week. This has happened before, only it was the result of attendance records or Heisman candidates. This week, however, the focus is on an embattled coach who is already a topic in the state that rivals politics and religion. An f-bomb laced conversation from two years ago where Bo Pelini ripped the Nebraska...

Huskers QB Martinez has turf toe

Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez missed practice Tuesday, putting his availability for Saturday's game against South Dakota State in question. Coach Bo Pelini said Martinez was wearing a walking boot on his left foot the last two days because of turf toe. Senior Ron Kellogg III or redshirt freshman Tommy Armstrong Jr. would start against the Jackrabbits if Martinez can...

Huskers' Martinez misses practice with a turf toe

Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez missed practice Tuesday, putting his availability for Saturday's game against South Dakota State in question. Coach Bo Pelini said Martinez was wearing a walking boot on his left foot the last two days because of turf toe. Senior Ron Kellogg III or redshirt freshman Tommy Armstrong Jr. would start against the Jackrabbits if Martinez can...

Pickin’ On the Big Ten, Week 4: THAT is the best game?

It’s a good thing nothing of interest happened in the Big Ten this week, isn’t it? I really can’t stand it when off-the-field issues distract from the competition we look forward to all week. Jerry Kill is fine and whether he’s fit to coach is really not for us to decide. Likewise, there’s no reason to talk about what Bo Pelini said a couple years ago in the heat of the...

Meeting of the Minds: What's up at Nebraska?

Forget about Texas and USC. What's going on with Nebraska? Photo: USA Today Sports While all of college football's hot-seat talk seems to center in both Austin and Los Angeles, a new group seems to have emerged as "The Most Disgruntled Fan-Base." That honor goes to Nebraska, which saw a 21-3 lead against UCLA evaporate Saturday, and end with the Bruins scoring...

Bo Pelini Appears On Bill King Show, “Has An Idea” Who Leaked Audio Tape, Wants Investigation

Photo via @BoPelini Bo Pelini has been under fire this week since Deadspin’s release of a 2011 audio tape that features the Nebraska coach unleashing a profanity-laced tirade against the Cornhuskers’ fans, in which he proclaims “F*** you fans. F*** all of you.” It was unclear why this video was suddenly leaked, but Deadspin’s informant provided the following explanation...

Former Nebraska RB Rex Burkhead Supports Bo Pelini On Twitter, Writes “Those Fans Gave Up On Us”

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini is finally getting some support. Former Cornhuskers running back Rex Burkhead, now with the Cincinnati Bengals, took to Twitter this afternoon to stand up for his former coach, who has been recently criticized for the team’s collapse this past Saturday against UCLA, his comments on former NU great Tommie Frazier, and an audio tape leaked by Deadspin in...

Big Ten coaches: Vent at your own risk

Big Ten football coaches say there aren't very many places where they can unload frustrations about fans, reporters or anyone else without paying a price. On Tuesday's weekly call with reporters, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said that about the only person a coach can vent to in confidence is his wife. And he joked that that isn't a sure thing. The sports website Deadspin...
Cornhuskers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.