The University of South Dakota football team is riding a seven-game losing streak and realizes it no longer have hopes of playing after the final game on their schedule. Yet, each individual you speak to wants to end the season on a high note and finish off the season with pride.
By losing to Youngstown State 13-10, the Coyotes are coming off their closest game since Oct. 13, when they lost 27-24 to Missouri State. USD scored 10 points unanswered in the fourth quarter but was unable to finish off the comeback and stalled on their final drive of the game.
Head Coach Joe Glenn said he was really proud of his team and how tough they played. He just wishes it would show up on the win column.
“We played extremely hard and laid it all on the line,” Glenn said. “We would’ve all loved a win, but it really goes to show you how tough our league (MVFC) is.”
Youngstown State jumped on the back of senior running back Jamaine Cook and he responded well. Cook finished the game with a season high 42 carries for 203 yards and a touchdown. However, the Coyotes defense played a bend but not break style, not giving up a play over 31 yards.
“We struggled with their big back (Cook), but we hung in there tough,” Glenn said. “The defense got a little confidence back, and we really were by Tyler Starr and Aaron Swift.”
Junior outside linebacker Tyler Starr had arguably the best game of his storied career, as he finished with 18 tackles. On the other hand, junior defensive back Aaron Swift was second on the team with nine tackles and had a momentum shifting blocked field goal.
Senior defensive tackle David Giese said the team came close, but now, it has to move onto next week.
“It would’ve been really nice to win last week, but now we have to focus on Northern Iowa,” Giese said. “They are going to come in and want a road victory, so we will have to play strong.”
The Coyotes will host the University of Northern Iowa, Nov. 10, their final home game of the season.
Sophomore quarterback Josh Vander Maten said his first season as the team’s starting quarterback has gone by very fast.
“The season went by crazy fast, and I really want to win our last home game of the season,” Vander Maten said. “Northern Iowa has a very athletic defense and has been playing well lately, so we’re going to have our work cut out for us.”
Northern Iowa has been lead by redshirt freshman quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen, who has thrown 18 touchdowns to only seven interceptions. Their leader on defense is sophomore linebacker Jake Farley, who has a team leading 72 tackles on the season.
Glenn and the coaching staff are crossing their fingers in hopes that senior running back Marcus Sims will be more of a factor this weekend. Sims has been hobbled by a bum ankle the last few weeks. Sims says his ankle is improving and he hopes to carry the load in his final career game at the DakotaDome.
“It hasn’t been nice being away from the Dome for over a month,” Sims said. “But I am definitely excited to finish up my career, and hopefully, it’s with a win over UNI.”