Mental mistakes, botched plays and penalties all plagued the University of South Dakota during their game against Northwestern on Saturday, as the Coyotes stumbled to their second loss of the season, 38-7.
Lapses aside, the Wildcats dangerous defensive line kept the offense on their toes for much of the game, only allowing the Coyotes 240 yards on offense, holding them to just 69 yards on the ground.
The Wildcats took a swift 14-0 lead in the first quarter after scoring on the game’s first drive and capitalizing off of the Coyotes initial drive which accumulated to a total of negative 14 yards.
Northwestern’s junior running back Mark Venric tore open the Coyotes’ defense on his way to 120 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
Trailing 35-0 at halftime, USD managed to grab their only score of the game off of a 4-yard rush by sophomore quarterback Josh Vander Maten.
Vander Maten threw for 189 yards with zero touchdowns and zero interceptions, and ran for 43 yards and one touchdown.
The Coyotes accumulated 9 penalties worth 67 yards over the course of Saturday’s game.
Saturday’s loss put USD at 2-26 all time against Big Ten opponents, and 1-2 on the season.
The Coyotes’ next game will be against Illinois State on Sept. 29 in the team’s first conference match-up as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference.
Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at the DakotaDome.