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South Dakota Beats Indiana State 17-14

University of South Dakota DakotaDome
University of South Dakota

Last weekend it was the first-ever Missouri Valley Conference win for the South Dakota football team, this weekend, the school’s first-ever Missouri Valley Conference winning streak, as USD beat Indiana State 17-14 in Vermillion.

The Coyotes jumped on top the first time they touched the ball in the first quarter, as three plays in, Kevin Earl connected with Tyler Wilhelm for 50 yards to the Indiana State 18.

Four Trevor Bouma runs later and USD was in the end zone and had a 7-0 lead.

The Sycamores answered with a touchdown drive of their own, 9 plays, 80 yards, aided by a pair of costly Coyote penalties, a personal foul and roughing the passer, to tie the game at 7.

Playing without linebacker Tyler Starr, who was suspended for the first half after being ejected for targeting last week, the USD defense came up big on a number of occasions in the first half.

After a missed 50-yard field goal gave the Sycamores the ball on the 33, the Coyotes got the ball back, stuffing Sycamores running back Shakir Bell on 4th and 4 from the Coyote 34.

Following a 28-yard Miles Bergner punt, the USD defense held Indiana State to a three-and-out.

The Coyote offense looked poised retake the next on their next possession, mixing runs and passes to drive to the Sycamore 7, but on third and 3, Earl’s pass was tipped and landed in the hands on Indiana State’s Donovan Layne in the end zone and killing a scoring opportunity.

Again the USD defense got the ball back quickly, forcing another three-and-out.

This time the Coyotes special teams came up with a big play, when Aaron Swift returned the ensuing punt 29 yards to the 49.

For for the second straight drive, USD turned the ball over in ISU territory, when Earl was intercepted by Tsali Lough on the goal line, that plus another Coyote personal foul, moved the ball out to the 25.

The Coyote defense came to the rescue again, forcing yet another three-and-out, but on this Sycamore punt, Swift fumbled the ball back to ISU at the USD 22.

Indiana State capitalized four plays later, when Robert Tonyan hit Logan Buske for a 3-yard touchdown and a 14-7 ISU lead at the half.

Jordan Robets helped jump start the Coyotes in the second half, returning the opening kickoff 30 yards to the USD 34, but again USD gave the ball away when Roberts fumbled on the 28 seven plays later.

Back came the Coyote defense with another three-and-out.

On USD’s next possession, a Bouma 23-yard run helped put the ball in field goal range, as Bergner hit a 43-yarder to move the Coyotes to within 4 at 14-10.

At the end of the third, another good return on special teams put USD in position to retake the lead, when Swift brought a punt back 15 yards to the Indiana State 36.

USD vs Indiana State
Aaron Packard/University of South Dakota

It took the Coyote offense 10 plays to cover that 36 yards, but they found the end zone on a Bouma 4-yard touchdown run.  17-10 USD with 11:06 left. Bouma finished the day with 145 yards rushing and two scores.

Again the Coyote defense proved opportunistic, when Dyllon Knox picked off a pass and returned it to the Sycamore 20.

But USD failed to convert the turnover into points when Bergner’s 34-yard field goal attempt was blocked, and the score stayed 17-14.

The Sycamores got the ball back with a chance to win it and they got off to a good start when Bell scampered 16 yards on first down.  But after two more first downs, ISU stalled inside the USD 35, and the Coyotes clinched the victory when Jet Moreland stopped Tonyan on a fourth down keeper.

The USD defense dodged four offensive and special teams turnovers and limited Indiana State to 198 yards of total offense.

The Coyotes (3-3/2-1) play at Northern Iowa next Saturday at 4:00pm.

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