Even if South Dakota State does not win its football game on Saturday against Northern Iowa, the sun will still rise on Sunday and kittens will still be cute and Zingers will still be tasty.
BUT... if the Jacks do beat the Panthers, it will be a sunnier, fuzzier, more delicious Sunday AND the Jacks will still have a shot at a spot in the FCS playoffs.
The matchup against UNI is attractive in a very Vanilla Ice, Lindsay Lohan, Lance Armstong fall from grace fashion.
Both teams got off to great starts.
UNI beat Iowa State to open the season and won its first four games but has lost 3 in a row.
SDSU started 3-0, but the Jacks have lost 4 of their last 5 including a 35-21 head-scratcher last week at Missouri State in which the Jacks gave up 352 yards rushing.
Both defenses have been beaten up pretty good in conference play... some of the numbers are below and the two teams are dead last in the Valley in several categories.
All in all, though, it should make for good TV (2:00 on Midco SN)... with two of the top 5 running backs in the nation head-to-head.
Zach Zenner is 3rd in the FCS right now at 141 yards per game. (Remember that 4 yards he had against North Dakota State? That hurt his average a little bit.)
David Johnson is the man for UNI... he is 5th in the nation at 127 per game. He scored 4 TD (2 run, 2 catch) at Iowa State.
The Jacks should/might be able to do some damage thru the air... Austin Sumner leads the Missouri Valley in passing at 232 yards per game and UNI is 9th in passing defense at 248 allowed per outing.
We will see. It will be two teetering titans trying to stay on their feet and rally down the stretch. Game on.
These are stats in Missouri Valley Conference play only.
TEAM UNI SDSU
PPG 23.7 20.8
OPP PPG 28.7 24.0
TOTAL YARDS PER GAME 309 310
OPP TOTAL YPG 440 (last) 371 (6th)
RUSH YPG 137 77.5 (last)
OPP RUSH YPG 192 (8th) 237 (last)
PASS YPG 172 232 (2nd to SIU)
OPP PASS YPG 248 (9th) 135
3RD DOWN CONVERSIONS 9/40 (23%) (last) 22/61 (36%) (6th)
OPP 3RD DOWN CONVERSIONS 44% (6th) 47% (8th)