There is no such thing as a good loss, but some sting more than others.

After the University of South Dakota dropped a 31-27 decision to Montana at home last Saturday, thanks in part to a late fumble and kickoff return for a touchdown, Head Coach Joe Glenn used words like 'horrible' and 'devastating' to describe the defeat:

University of South Dakota

USD clung to a 24-17 lead with about seven minutes to play when running back Trevor Bouma, who was having a big day (147 yards rushing), re-entered the game after injuring himself.  That injury led to a fumble, which was recovered by former Washington High School standout Matt Hermanson, and returned for a game-tying touchdown:

University of South Dakota

While there are more than a few question marks on the offensive side of the football for the Coyotes after Saturday's loss, the defense continues to step up, keyed by several big plays, including an Aaron Swift interception return for a touchdown on the Grizzlies' second pass of the day:

BROOKINGS, SD - NOVEMBER 9: Zach Zenner #31 from South Dakota State University is brought down by a pair of defenders including Jordan Jackson #41 from Indiana State University Saturday at Coughlin Alumni Stadium. (Photo by Dave Eggen/Inertia)

That defense will be tested once again this week, when they square off against one of the top rushers in the nation in South Dakota State's Zach Zenner, who ran for 137 yards in last week's win over Indiana State.  It was the ninth time this season the junior has topped the 100-yard mark in a game.  Last season against the Coyotes, Zenner  ran for 164 yards and a touchdown:

BROOKINGS, SD - NOVEMBER 9: Austin Sumner #6 from South Dakota State University looks for a receiver while being pressured by Mark Sewall #21 and Russell Jones #53 from Indiana State University Saturday at Coughlin Alumni Stadium. (Photo by Dave Eggen/Inertia)

When the Jackrabbits throw the ball, they've got the top passing attack in the Missouri Valley Conference, with Austin Sumner throwing for 229 yards per game, and Jason Schneider leading the league in receptions.

University of South Dakota

But whether SDSU is successful thru the air will be determined by the play up front, where the Jacks have allowed 25 sacks this season (2nd worst in the league), and USD has gotten to the quarterback 20 times in MVC play (2nd best ):

Photo by Dave Eggen/Inertia

Last year's meeting was no contest, with the Jackrabbits winning 31-8 in Brookings.  Coach Glenn knows there's a lot at stake in a big rivalry game like this and he's looking for a healthy dose of determination from his team in the DakotaDome Saturday, in the South Dakota Showdown:

Kickoff is 1:00pm Saturday afternoon in Vermillion.