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SDSU tops Montana in National Championship, Jacks go back-to-back

South Dakota State University

For the second year in a row, South Dakota State can call themselves FCS National Champions. The Jacks defeated Montana on Sunday in Frisco, Texas to win the national title 23-3.

Not only is this the 29th straight win for the South Dakota State football program, this championship came with a lot to prove.

This was also one of the most impressive runs in FCS playoff history. Throughout four postseason games, South Dakota State only gave up just 15 total points, which included one touchdown.

“This is the best defense in FCS history, and I’m proud of that. I’m proud of this football team, I’m proud to go back-to-back, I’m proud to do it with these guys, and I’m proud to do it at South Dakota State,” said SDSU head football coach Jimmy Rogers.

The 2023 season marked a perfect 15-0 record. Along with beating rivals North Dakota State and the University of South Dakota in the regular season, the Jacks took down Mercer, Villanova, UAlabany, and Montana in the playoffs. They outscored their opponents 146-15 in the postseason.

“I couldn’t be more proud of these guys and the whole team. It takes a full team to get the job done,” said Rogers. “Especially with the hype this football program, we never paid much attention to it. We stayed consistent, we worked extremely hard week in and week out.”

In total, the Jacks will say goodbye to 18 outgoing seniors this offseason. But as all things go, Rogers and his 2023 squad are prepped to enjoy this moment.

“I think it’s the leadership on this football team. The guys buying into the message of not listening to a bunch of hype,” exclaimed Rogers. “This team is really close, and when you’re close and connected, and you want the same thing, it makes it easier to have success when people love being around together.”

Included in this year’s graduating seniors are offensive Madison, South Dakota standouts Jaxon and Jadon Janke. Next season, South Dakota State has a highlighted matchup against Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Nate Wek is currently the sports content producer and sports and rec beat reporter for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. He is a graduate of South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism Broadcasting and a minor in Leadership. From 2010-2013 Nate was the Director of Gameday Media for the Sioux Falls Storm (Indoor Football League) football team. He also spent 2012 and 2013 as the News and Sports Director of KSDJ Radio in Brookings, SD. Nate, his wife Sarah, and two kids Braxan and Jordy, live in Canton, SD.