South Dakota Coyotes (1-1, 0-1 MVFC) @ #4 MONTANA GRIZZLIES (1-1, 0-0 BSC)
Saturday, September 13, 2014 – 7:00 PM
Washington-Grizzly Stadium (25,217) – Missoula, MT
Last weekend, the Griz hosted the Central Washington Wildcats and cruised to a 48-10 victory. The win brought Montana to .500 on the season at (1-1), and gave the 2nd and 3rd stringers some well-needed playing time. This week, a more formidable foe comes into Washington-Grizzly Stadium and will look to try and end Montana’s 26-game non-conference winning streak in Missoula.
- Head Coach: Joe Glenn, 4th season at USD (5-18)
- Conference: Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC)
- 2014 MVFC Preseason Poll: 8th Place
- Overall Record: 515-500-36
- 2013 Record: 4-8 (3-5 MVFC) – 7th Place
- 2014 Record: 1-1 (0-0 MVFC) – Tied for 3rd Place
- Series History: Montana leads the series 11-6
- Last Meeting: Nov. 9, 2013 – Montana won 31-27 in Vermillion, SD
South Dakota Coyotes Season to Date
Game 1: South Dakota Coyotes (0-1) @ #3 Oregon Ducks (1-0)
Ouch… not much more can be said. This was a game that South Dakota was paid to go to Eugene and take a beating. South Dakota was flat out dominated by a stronger, faster Oregon squad and this game was over by the end of the 1st half with the score 41-13. On offense, Oregon held the Coyotes to 370 total yards, with 198 yards coming through the air and 172 yards on the ground. On defense, South Dakota gave up 637 total yards to the ducks, 380 yards in the air and 293 yards on the ground. Quarterback Kevin Earl threw 13/26 for 136 yards.
FINAL SCORE: Oregon 62, South Dakota 13. Box Score
Game 2: South Dakota Coyotes (1-1) vs NAIA William Penn
After playing Oregon, South Dakota welcomed NAIA William Penn to the DakotaDome. This game was a close one through the end of the 3rd quarter, with the Coyotes only leading William Penn 21-9. In the 4th, the Yotes finally pulled away to cruise to a victory. Sophomore QB Ryan Saeger took over for starting quarterback Kevin Earl, who suffered a broken thumb injury he acquired a week before at Oregon. On offense, South Dakota gained 468 total yards with Saeger throwing 111 yards in the air. On the ground, the Yotes rushed for 357 yards.
FINAL SCORE: South Dakota 41, William Penn 16. Box Score
It’s hard to tell what kind of team the Yotes have on offense after playing two drastically different teams in Oregon and NAIA William Penn. So far this season, South Dakota has averaged 419 total yards on offense with 155 passing yards and 265 rushing yards. On Saturday, expect the Coyotes to put an emphasis on running the ball a lot. Two players to watch for on offense will be Trevor Bouma and Jasper Sanders. These two RB’s both surpassed the century mark on the ground last week, gaining 115 and 110 yards respectively. In last year’s matchup, Bouma ran for 147 yards against the Grizzlies. The defense will need to step up and contain both threats from having big days on the ground.
Sophomore QB Ryan Saeger (replacing injured QB Kevin Earl) will lead the Coyotes on offense, and the Griz will need to keep him contained as he is a threat to run on the ground as well. Last week, Saeger passed for 111 yards and rushed for 79 yards.
The secondary for South Dakota is one of the weak links in the Coyotes defense, with four new starters in the secondary to start the season. Oregon took advantage of the inexperienced secondary, putting up 380 passing yards on the Yotes defense. So far this season, the Yotes defense has given up an average of 504 yards on defense, averaging 314 yards on the ground.
After last week’s easy win over Central Washington, the Griz now gear up for much tougher opponents. This matchup will be a good test for both teams to see how good they really are. With JJ returning from his concussion, the O-Line will need to protect him and give him time to complete his passes and gash up South Dakota’s inexperienced secondary. For the Coyotes, expect them to run the ball often, looking for any openings through the Griz defensive line. Every game is important and with 3-time defending National Champions North Dakota State looming right around the corner, the Griz cannot look past the Coyotes and fall into a trap. With the game being a night game in Missoula in front of 26,000 rowdy Griz fans, the Griz should leave the game victorious on Saturday.
Last Thought: Night Game in Washington-Grizzly Stadium = Electric Atmosphere!
Whenever there have been night games in WA-Grizzly stadium, Griz nation turns up the amp and the atmosphere has been nothing but electric. 2006 vs UMass, 2009 vs App State, 2011 vs Northern Iowa, 2013 vs App State… All night games have been electric and Saturday should be more of the same. Bring the noise again, Griz Nation! Get Loud, cause some false starts, have fun and enjoy the magic of Griz Nation inside the best stadium in the FCS! Beat the Yotes!
SCORE PREDICTIONS: Give them to us in the comments below! #GoGriz
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