It was the atmosphere they were looking for and the competitiveness that was missing from last year's South Dakota Showdown game, but in the end, the result was the same for USD Saturday, a loss to in-state rival South Dakota State.

The problems for the Coyotes in the 27-12 loss started with the running game - or a lack of one - with regulars Trevor Bouma and Jordan Roberts limited with injuries, leaving USD to start the game with wide receiver Josh Vander Maten pressed into service as a running back.

Bouma and Roberts did eventually make it on to the field, but were noticeably limited by their injuries, as the Coyotes managed just 59 yards on the ground.  Head Coach Joe Glenn told me that made things tough for his team:

Despite having the ball 9:40 less than SDSU, the USD offense did out gain the Jackrabbits 384 yards to 315, thanks to a career high day from wide receiver Terrance Terry and 21 completions from quarterback Kevin Earl:

Despite the setbacks running the ball, the Coyotes did have plenty of opportunities offensively.  Eight different times in the game USD drove the ball inside the SDSU 40 yard line, but only three of those drives netted points (2 field goals and a touchdown). Three other drives ended on downs, one with a missed field goal, one with an interception:

With South Dakota State trying to close out the game in the fourth quarter, the USD special teams and defense came up with two big plays to keep the Coyotes clinging to life.

With 4:34 to play, Dyllon Knox blocked a field goal to keep it an eight point game, and then with 2:53 left, Keyen Lage forced a Zach Zenner fumble, giving the Coyotes the ball on the SDSU 30, with a chance to tie the game.

But on the very next play, a combination of things went wrong for USD on a pass attempt from Earl to Terry that instead was picked off by the Jacks' Winston Wright, who took it 80-yards for a touchdown that put the game out of reach:

SIOUX FALLS, SD - OCTOBER 20, 2012. Photo by Dave Eggen/Inertia

The loss leaves USD 4-7 (3-4 in Missouri Valley play) with one game left on the 2013 schedule, at #1 North Dakota State Saturday at the FargoDome.

Last season in Sioux Falls, the Bison handed the Coyotes their worst loss of the Joe Glenn era, 54-0, out gaining USD 385-76 in total offense.

So will there be any mention of that game heading into this week's match-up?

Kickoff is 2:30pm Saturday afternoon in Fargo.