There never seems to be a good time to face North Dakota State on a football field, but these are especially trying times for the South Dakota Coyotes, as they get set to host the three-time defending FCS champs Saturday afternoon.

USD is the lone winless team in the Missouri Valley Conference, after a 31-12 loss to Missouri State last weekend.

It was a game that saw the Coyotes grab an early 3-0 lead, but then allow 24 unanswered first half points, as MSU quarterback Kierra Harris threw for three touchdowns before halftime.

The USD offense managed to make it into the end zone just once, while the special teams fumbled away a punt, leading to a Missouri State field goal.

South Dakota head coach Joe Glenn told me his team is not making the kinds of plays they need to win games right now:

AMES, IA - AUGUST 30: Running back John Crockett #23 of the North Dakota State Bison rushes for yards past linebacker Drake Ferch #3 of the Iowa State Cyclones in the first half of play at Jack Trice Stadium on August 30, 2014 in Ames, Iowa. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)

Against the Bison at the DakotaDome Saturday afternoon, the Coyotes will not only be battling a team that's won three straight national championships and 31 consecutive games, they'll be trying to do something they haven't done against the Bison since 2010: score a point.

NDSU's last two victories over USD (2012 and 2013) have been by a combined 96-0.

North Dakota State boasts the top defense in the Missouri Valley Conference, with end Kyle Emanuel the league leader in tackles for loss, and defensive backs Jordan Champion and CJ Smith among the leaders in defending passes.

I asked coach Glenn about the Bison:

Kickoff is 2:00pm Saturday in Vermillion.  The Coyotes are on the road next week when they travel to Youngstown State.