It's the final non-conference tune-up game for the South Dakota Coyotes this Saturday, as USD travels to Flagstaff, Arizona to battle Northern Arizona of the Big Sky Conference.

The Coyotes were idle last weekend, and head coach Joe Glenn told me that the bye made for a different atmosphere on the practice field last week:

Northern Arizona University

This week's destination is a unique one for USD. The Lumberjacks play in the Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff, which, when it was built in the late 1970's, boasted the largest all wooden roof of any facility of its kind.

The other factor when teams travel to Northern Arizona, the thin mountain air at an elevation of nearly 7,000 feet above sea level.

But Glenn knows all about preparing for games at altitude.  He was once on the staff at NAU, and coached against the Lumberjacks when he was the head coach at Montana:

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The main goal of the Coyotes defense Saturday will be trying to contain Northern Arizona running back Zach Bauman, who is the all-time rushing leader in school history, with 13 100-yard or more performances in his career.

Coach Glenn says the key to Bauman's success is his running style:

Northern Arizona University

When USD is on offense, they'll be going against a Lumberjack defense that features the Big Sky Player of the Week, linebacker Lucky Dozier.

Dozier was one of two NAU players who picked off passes and returned them for touchdowns in last Saturday's 21-10 win at UC Davis, the same team USD beat 10-7 back in August.

Coach Glenn believes there will be some opportunities to gain yardage against this unit:

GoYotes.com

Saturday's game is USD's first since a 31-14 loss at Kansas, September 7th.

Coach Glenn says despite the 17-point defeat, there were some positives to take away from that performance on the road:

Kickoff is set for 6:00pm Saturday night in Flagstaff.