Sept. 29, 2012
BROOKINGS, S.D. -- Despite stuffing the SDSU rushing attack in the Jackrabbits' first two drives, the nation's leading rusher got the best of the Bears' defense in the third go-around. Zach Zenner finally broke free for an 88-yard scamper to put South Dakota State on the board first, 7-0.
Likewise, it looked as if Missouri State offense would answer in its third drive of the game. The Bears began to move the chains as redshirt-freshman running back Ryan Heaston recorded back-to-back runs for 24 and 22 yards, respectively. Two plays later, the momentum generated by the Heaston runs was halted by an Ashton Glaser interception in the redzone.
Playing with a short field, SDSU started at its own 37 on the drive and advanced all the way down to the MSU 30 before Zenner coughed it up Forced by Mike Crutcher, cornerback Howard Scarborough fell on the ball at the spot of the fumble.
The defensive back duo of Scarborough and Crutcher came up big again as the Jackrabbits looked to recover from their turnover in the previous drive. Scarborough's tip traveled right into the hands of Crutcher for SDSU's second turnover of the game. But, the Bears had just one first down and were unable to capitalize.
Before the end of the half, SDSU placekicker tapped in a 23-yard field goal to increase the Jackrabbits' lead to 10-0. With 2:25 remaining, Missouri State needed to make a move quickly.
Immediately following Heaston runs of 9 and 22, the Bears were knocking on the door. Wide receiver Julian Burton pulled down a Glaser pass and tiptoed down the sideline for a 28-yard reception to the SDSU 3-yard line. Heaston moved it forward ahead another two yards, before Glaser pushed it in for the score. Glaser's 1-yard run capped a 5-play, 1:07 drive and snapped a six-quarter drought by the MSU offense, which previously reached the end zone in the third quarter against Murray State.
At the half, Heaston led the Bears' offense with 73 yards on eight carries. SDSU running back Zach Zenner compiled 139 yards on 16 carries.