South Dakota Wins First Missouri Valley Conference Game, Beats Missouri State 17-14
It took 10 games, but the South Dakota Coyotes are now in the win column as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference.
In front of a Dakota Day crowd in Vermillion, USD rallied to beat Missouri State, 17-14.
USD took the opening kickoff down the field behind new starting quarterback Kevin Earl who was effective on the first drive throwing the ball, with Trevor Bouma picking up 22 yards and the Coyotes were knocking on the door at the 4-yard line.
But on the 12th play of the drive, Earl was picked off in the end zone by Chris Hoffman and the Coyotes were denied.
It took the USD defense just three plays to provide the score the offense couldn't, when Kyle Guziec picked off Kierra Harris and returned it 22-yards for a touchdown. The extra point was blocked and it was 6-0.
The South Dakota defense was tough throughout the first half, getting pressure on Harris, sacking him 3 times, Tyler Starr with 6 first half tackles.
6-0 South Dakota at intermission.
The defense again forcing a turnover on the first drive of the half, as Jarrid Bryant picked off Harris on the USD 3.
Missouri State's defense returned the favor on USD's second drive of the half, when Earl was sacked by Martin Montgomery, fumbled, and the ball was recovered by the Bears' Christian Hoffmann on the Coyote 8.
MSU took advantage as Harris kept on the option and took it in from 3-yards out, the the extra point made it 7-6 Bears with 6:28 to play in the third.
Moments later, an all-too-familiar sight for the Coyotes this season, a botched snap in punt formation, this one leading to a blocked Miles Bergner punt, as Vernon Scott returned it 10 yards for a touchdown and a 14-6 Missouri State.
The USD defense responded by forcing another turnover when Devin Tervena stripped Phoenix Johnson, as the Coyotes got the ball back on the MSU 44.
Three Trevor Bouma runs, and an Earl-to-Bouma 18-yard touchdown pass, plus a two-point conversion tied the game at 14 with 14:55 left.
USD had a chance to take the lead on their next possession, but Bergner hooked one just outside the left upright from 31 yards and it stayed 14-all.
Bergner got another chance on the next possession and he didn't miss this time, connecting from 41-yards to give the Coyotes a 17-14 lead.
The defense did the rest, forcing a three-and-out, and giving USD the victory.
Earl finished the day 22-of-35 for 159 yards and a touchdown. Bouma had 59 yards rushing and 56 yards receiving.
The Coyotes host Indiana State next Saturday at 1:00pm