USD Set To Play Second to Last Home Game of the Year
It has been a tough year on the field for the University of South Dakota football team, but they are looking to end the season on the right foot.
In order to do so they will have to get a win this weekend against Missouri State in their second-to-last home game of the season.
USD will host Missouri State for its annual Military Appreciation Day where they honor local military members and hopefully get a win on the football field as well.
The USD Coyotes are 2-6 on the year and 1-4 in the conference after going through one of the toughest schedules in all of the FCS ranks.
Here is the release from the USD Athletic Department on the upcoming home game.
It is Military Appreciation Day Saturday as South Dakota hosts the Missouri State Bears in a 1 p.m. kickoff inside the DakotaDome. It is also the first half of a football-volleyball doubleheader. Coach Leanne Williamson's first-place volleyball team (23-2) hosts St. Thomas at 4:45 p.m. in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.
Military vehicles will be displayed along Coyote Alley Tailgate located directly east of the DakotaDome. Food trucks and music will also be featured.
Two FCS playoff teams from last fall meet Saturday for the third time in less than two years. Missouri State beat South Dakota in both the spring and fall of 2021 in a pair of closely contested contests to even the young series at 4-4. The Bears are coming off a 64-14 drubbing of winless Western Illinois last week that ended a five-game skid. South Dakota is looking to bounce back from a 45-24 loss at Youngstown State.
South Dakota is taking a look at redshirt freshman quarterback Aidan Bouman, who helped rally the Coyotes to victory on Dakota Days and was rewarded with his first collegiate start last week. He passed for 254 yards and accounted for two touchdowns in that start. He will try to boost those numbers against an MSU defense that has allowed an average of 289 yards passing and ranks 102nd overall.
South Dakota's defense is led by the top two tacklers in the Valley in linebackers Stephen Hillis and Brock Mogensen. Injuries have piled up of late and coach Bob Nielson hinted younger players who will redshirt this season may get an opportunity on that side of the ball Saturday. They face a Missouri State team led by reigning Valley Offensive Player of the Year Jason Shelley at quarterback.
Missouri State made two playoff appearances in 2021. That led to a preseason top-10 ranking. Two impressive wins at the start made it a top-five ranking, but a close loss to the SEC's Arkansas was followed by an 0-4 start inside the Valley and a third straight postseason appearance seems unlikely.
Even if you take out the 64 points last week, Shelley and the Bears' offense was averaging better than 21 points per game. Shelley has passed for more than 2,000 yards with 16 touchdown tosses and has ran for three more. Ty Scott has 36 catches for 537 yards and four touchdowns. The defense is led by defensive linemen Kevin Ellis and Jalen Williams who have combined for 5.5 sacks.
One Last Thing
South Dakota is 2-1 at home this season and has averaged 27 points in those three games. The Coyotes host UNI for Senior Day on November 19 on the final day of the regular season. It will be another doubleheader Saturday for South Dakota as volleyball hosts North Dakota on its own Senior Day.
There are also four men's and women's basketball games in a span of six days next week inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. Head to GoYotes.com/tickets for information on those events.