South Dakota Shocks North Dakota State, Looks to Avoid Letdown against Missouri State Saturday
A week after pulling off the improbable, the South Dakota Coyotes will try to come down to earth and string together back-to-back wins in the Missouri Valley Football Conference for the first time in two years.
USD snapped a 14-game MVC losing streak with a stunning 24-21 win at North Dakota State last weekend, handing the then #2 Bison their first conference loss at home in 27 games. The South Dakota win was the program's first in Fargo since 1978.
In the victory, the Coyotes outplayed North Dakota State in several areas NDSU has dominated en route to the last four FCS National Championships:
- USD won the rushing battle, outgaining NDSU on the ground 193 yards to 125.
- USD won the time of possession battle, keeping the #1 team in the nation in that category more than six minutes below their average.
- USD converted on eight third downs against the third best team in the FCS on that down.
- The USD defense forced seven NDSU punts. The Bison had been averaging less than five kicks per game coming in.
For their efforts Saturday, Coyote quarterback Ryan Saeger (202 yards passing, 92 rushing) and kicker Miles Bergner (game winning field goal, 49 yard average punting) were named Players of the Week in the MVFC.
South Dakota (3-3 overall/1-2 MVFC) will be looking to avoid a letdown this weekend when they the worst team in the league, Missouri State.
The Bears (1-5/0-3) have lost four straight by an average of more than 43 points and have given up more than 70 points twice in the last month.
The latest loss was 38-2 to #3 Illinois State at home last weekend.
MSU is giving up an average of 552 yards in total offense per game, is allowing teams to convert on 54 percent of their third down plays, has thrown six interceptions and only four touchdowns, and is being outscored 184-44 in the first half.
Kickoff is 2:00 PM in Vermillion Saturday.
I talked with USD head coach Joe Glenn about the historic triumph in Fargo and the potential challenges against the Bears this weekend: