SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- Redshirt freshman quarterback Thomas O'Brien, starting in his first game, threw for 211 yards and two touchdowns to lead South Dakota State to a 24-17 win over Missouri State on Saturday.
South Dakota State (4-1, 3-0 Missouri Valley Conference) had to hold on after taking a 24-10 lead at the end of the third quarter on O'Brien's second TD pass, a 19-yard strike to Glen Fox.
Missouri State (3-3, 1-2) cut the lead to 24-17 on a 5-yard pass from Cody Kirby to Jared Emery with 4:49 left and its defense held South Dakota State to three plays in the Jackrabbits' next possession.
The Bears took over on its own 18 yard line and Kirby drove the team down to the South Dakota State 6 yard line. His end zone pass, however, was intercepted by General Parnell, who took the ball back to the Missouri State 38 where South Dakota State ran out the last 38 seconds.
Missouri State opened the game with a 49-yard field goal by Matt Hottelman but South Dakota State scored on its next two possessions, using just 2:18, to go up 14-3 with 2:18 left in the first quarter.
South Dakota State scored first on a 3-yard run by Kyle Minett with 4:34 left in the quarter. South Dakota State then recovered its pooch kick on the ensuing kickoff at the Missouri State 32 and South Dakota State scored five plays later on a 23-yard pass from O'Brien to Saunders Montague.
Missouri State responded on its next possession with a 6-yard run by Miguel Warren with 7:37 left in the half. South Dakota State closed the half with an 18-yard field goal by Peter Reifenrath to lead 17-10 at halftime.
Minett finished with 105 yards rushing, becoming the first player to run for more than 100 yards against Missouri State this season.
Kirby had 288 yards passing and 59 yards rushing.
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