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Big Changes On Campuses Since '03 Match Up

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The century old rivalry has faded in the past decade but now with both football teams making the jump to division one the intra-South Dakota gridiron match up is back on.

But the two largest universities in the state have a new look and feel since the last time they played in 2003.     

School officials say alumni who were there to watch the last match up between the Coyotes and Jackrabbits would find their respective schools unrecognizable today.

“I cannot believe how much this campus changed. I mean they’re almost in shock,” described SDSU Provost Laurie Nichols, of alumni’s reactions.  

“To a casual observer I'm not positive that USD would be recognizable to the student who graduated 10 years ago or 9 years ago who hasn’t been back,” said USD President Dr. James Abbott.  

The physical changes seem obvious at both schools.  

“A new med school, a new wellness center, a substantial upgraded Dakota Dome,” listed Abbott.  

“We were roughly 2,000 students smaller then we are today. Today we are a little bit more than 12,500. About 12,700 students,” said Nichols.  

Educationally, both schools claim great progress since their last meeting on a football field.  

“Today you walk into any classroom and you see classrooms that are completely set up for more high tech teaching,” said Nichols.  

“We are both dedicated to doing the best we can to make sure our students, each and everyone, get a great education,” said Abbott.  

The reason for their lack of match ups on the field, the schools staggered arrivals to division one. But, that leap has helped both schools national image.   

“We really started to see an increase in out of state students. So, they were recognizing us and I think that's part of what D1 does,” said Nichols.

“I think our national profile is greater than it was 8 or 9 years ago,” said Abbott.  

A dormant period in the South Dakota rivalry now renewed, has students and alumni of the schools feeling there will be an eruption of school spirit come Saturday.
Kick off is set for 2 o’clock Saturday afternoon at Coughlin Stadium on the SDSU campus.
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