Left and a look at USD-UNI


Foreplay

Coyote Alley Tailgate leads across the street to the Dakota Center at Pizza Ranch and is open from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. There you can get a $12 Pizza Ranch Tailgate Buffet, a drink, and a $5 Fun Zone Card. This deal is free for the first 50 students at the University of South Dakota.

The game

South Dakota hosts UNI on Seniors’ Day at the DakotaDome. Kick-off is at 1 p.m. It is the last game of the regular season for both teams. UNI, at 5-5 and fresh from their bye week, need to win to play after the season. South Dakota is looking to end the year 4-1 at home.

The coyotes

South Dakota has alternated solid home wins with tough away losses for the past four weeks. This one is at home where the Coyotes have averaged 25 points per game. The Coyotes will need another team effort on this one as UNI come out with the No. 1 offense led by the Valley’s No. 1 passer.

Aidan Boumann has rushed for 760 yards with seven touchdowns and zero interceptions since taking the field on Oct. 22. He is expected to make his fourth college start. Wesley Elodor is the first Coyote at the Division I level and overall since 2005 to make a touchdown pass in four straight games. On the defensive linebacker Stephen Hillis (101) and Brock Magensen (96) are struggling to finish the regular season with the most tackles in the conference.

The panthers

UNI have won five out of seven after a 3-0 start to the season. The Panthers lost two points to North Dakota, two points at home to Illinois State and three points to leaders South Dakota last time out.

Theo Day, the Panther and Michigan State transfer sophomore, averages 274 yards per game and has 21 touchdown passes against six interceptions. Dom Williams and Vance McShane are capable defenders who share carries. Sam Schnee and Deion McShane pace up and down a deep reception room. Defensively, UNI has averaged 400 yards. That unit is led by linebacker and lead tackler Spencer Cuvelier and safety Benny Sapp III, who leads the league with four interceptions.

The series

Due to COVID-19, the last two games of this series were held in Cedar Falls. This is the Panthers’ first trip to Vermillion since 2018. Since South Dakota’s move to Division I in 2008 (2011, 2020), the teams have met every year but two. South Dakota won last year’s meeting 34-21. UNI leads the perennial streak 30-20-1.

One last thing

South Dakota will honor 11 seniors in a pregame ceremony. Eight of the 11 seniors are in their sixth season of college football. Josh Manchigiah, the South Dakota State transfer, was in its seventh season. Four have been with the Coyotes for six years, two for five years and four are completing their freshman year with USD. The list includes: John Bickel, Dalton Godfrey, Austin Goehring, Alex Jensen, Josh Manchigiah, Isaiah McDaniels, Eddie Ogamba, Parker Rickert, Michael Scott, Trevor Shohoney and Cameron Tisdale.

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