SDSU and USD fans keep the famous rivalry strong at Saturday's - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

SDSU and USD fans keep the famous rivalry strong at Saturday's game

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South Dakota State and the University of South Dakota met on the football field for the first time as Division-1 foes. 

It was the first meeting between the two teams since 2003 and this game played out a lot like the last one.  The Jackrabbits use a balanced attack to down the Coyotes, 31 to 8.   

The win will likely put SDSU in the FCS playoffs at 8 and 3; meanwhile, USD ends their difficult season at 1 and 10. 

There was action off the field as well, as the rivalry between fans from South Dakota's two largest universities is the stuff of legends.  

"It was huge, we lived for this game and we lived for all of the basketball events and track and field competitions," said SDSU 1976 Alumni Rick Kiley.   

Kiley's friend and neighbor Dave Needham graduated from rival USD in 1990.  He said the rivalry was just as strong when he was in school back in the 1980s. 

"It was always the biggest game of the years, something we looked forward to, as fans, there's nothing better than this," said SDSU 2001 Alumni Aaron Fink.  

Alumni from both schools came from miles around to see their old rivalry heat up again and to make sure today's students keep that tradition going strong. 

"I definitely think that rivalry is still here, I mean you can see all the students up here, everybody's been excited all week.  I think it's just as strong now as it was 10 years ago," said SDSU Junior Kelly McKnight. 

"I think it's great for the state, I mean obviously there a lot of allegiance to both of these universities…you know it's well known that the university of South Dakota has culture and South Dakota State has agriculture," said former USD Football Staffer Casey Glenn. 

Fans from both schools were quick to taunt one another. 

"It's going to mean a victory for the State Jackrabbits and a loss for the Coyotes," teased Kiley to his friend Needham. 

Needham said the rivalry is pretty friendly today, but it used to be very "hard core" between the schools. 

While everyone throws around some school pride, the rival game is full of fun and good spirits from everyone. 

"We're all South Dakotans and so we try to keep it friendly," said Fink. 

"We keep it friendly but we still hate each other," said former USD football player Donny Stewart.  

"This game means a lot, a lot of bragging rights come with it.  It also shows which school is better in the Dakotas," said McKnight.

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