With three games remaining on its schedule, the University of South Dakota football team is attempting to gain whatever momentum is left in an otherwise forgetful season thus far.
There is no denying that the last two games have been a disaster. The Coyotes have been outscored 99-14 and have been outgained by 367 yards. Those types of numbers could easily cause players to point fingers and have their confidence shaken.
Senior running back Marcus Sims said it’s not the case and the team will continue going about its business.
“Everyone’s got to have confidence at this level and every man has to do his part,” Sims said. “Adversity shows character, so we’ll have to show what kind of team we are.”
Head Coach Joe Glenn agreed that the past two games have been very rough and says his team simply wasn’t good enough to play effectively versus the top two defenses in the conference.
“It’s been very hard on our confidence and the questions creep into what you are doing,” Glenn said. “But we have to remember that those two defenses (NDSU and Indiana State) are ranked No. 1 and No. 5 in the nation.”
USD will travel to Youngstown, Ohio this Saturday, Nov. 3, to take on a 4-4 (1-4) Youngstown State Penguin team. Though they were unable to compete with the top two teams in the conference, this matchup on Saturday presents a winnable game on their schedule.
Glenn admits they have looked at the numbers and hope to exploit Youngstown State’s weaknesses.
“We’ve noticed that their strength is stopping the run. I believe they are ninth in the nation in run defense and 92 in pass defense,” Glenn said. “Now that doesn’t mean we’re going to throw the ball 100 times, but we are hoping to move the ball through the air.”
One person that should be excited to play against a defense not ranked in the-top five nationally is sophomore quarterback Josh Vander Maten.
Vander Maten is coming off of his two worst games of the season and saw his backup come in last week and throw the team’s only touchdown pass of the game.
“I can’t let my performance from the last two games effect my play throughout the rest of the season.” Vander Maten said. “I’m just excited to go out there and play so we can all get this bad taste out of our mouths.”