Strong's big day catapults South Dakota State to win

BROOKINGS, S.D. (AP) Freshman Pierre Strong Jr. ran for 253 yards and three touchdowns on just 17 carries and Taryn Christion had three TD passes and ran for a score to propel South Dakota State to a 49-27 victory over South Dakota on Saturday.

Strong had three rushing TDs for a second straight game and is averaging more than 10 yards per carry this season. The Jackrabbits (8-2, 6-2 Missouri Valley Football Conference), ranked fifth in the FCS coaches poll, will find out Sunday if they are one of eight teams chosen to host a first-round playoff game. SDSU beat the Coyotes (4-7, 3-5) for a 10th straight time, including seven straight at the Division-I level.

Strong scored on a 30-yard run on the Jackrabbits' first possession. After Austin Simmons hit Brett Samson for a 3-yard score to knot the score at 7, Strong took a first-down handoff and raced 73 yards for a TD and a 14-7 lead. Christion followed with two scoring strikes - a 20-yarder to Cade Johnson and a 59-yarder to Blake Kunz - to put the Jackrabbits up 28-7 at the end of the first quarter. Christion added a 16-yard TD run in the second quarter for a 35-7 halftime lead.

A Christion-to-Johnson 10-yard scoring strike in the third quarter and Strong's 46-yard TD run in the fourth capped the scoring for SDSU.

Simmons, who passed for 295 yards and ran for 79 more, scored on runs of 8 and 16 yards and connected with Connor Herrmann for a 17-yard score in the second half for South Dakota.

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