Fans watched last week as the University of South Dakota football players and coaches jumped up and down in excitement as the clock hit 00:00.
Head coach Joe Glenn and the football team finally got over the hump by beating Missouri State 17-14 Saturday, marking the school’s first ever win in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Glenn didn’t hold back his excitement
“I’m really happy, obviously,” Glenn said. “I’ve never won a game in this league before, so that’s a first. We’re all really happy.”
However, the celebration is over, and the team is back to business. Up next on the team’s schedule is the Indiana State Sycamores.
For the Coyotes (2-3), not only is this a home game, where they are 2-0 on the season, but also a game versus a team with an inferior record.
The Sycamores come to Vermillion with a 1-4 record, falling 35-24 to Youngstown State (5-1) last week.
Despite their record, first-year running back Trevor Bouma said the Coyotes view them as a very solid team.
“We’re in the Dome so we view this as a great opportunity to get to .500,” Bouma said. “But their record doesn’t speak for how good they are. They’re a great 1-4 team, if that makes sense.”
Indiana State’s lone victory came against Divison II Quincy University in a 70-7 clobbering Sept. 14.
While that was their sole win, the Sycamores gave Big Ten school Purdue a run for its money Sept. 7, losing just 20-14.
Another close loss came against Tennessee Tech Sept. 28, losing 38-37.
The showdown this Saturday will mark the first time the Sycamores have played in the DakotaDome and only the second time the two schools have met.
In 2012, the Coyotes fell 45-14 in the first meeting between the two teams in Terre Haute, Ind. The Sycamores jumped out to a 21-0 lead after the first quarter and never looked back.
However, this will not be the first time Indiana State defenders will have seen newly named starting quarterback sophomore Kevin Earl.
The then back up quarterback, Earl replaced starter Josh Vander Maten mid-way through the 2012 game, throwing for over 100 yards and a score.
Now a sophomore, Earl made his first collegiate start last week, throwing for 159 yards and a score.
Vander Maten, a junior, switched over to wide receiver and showed his athleticism on a 17-yard end around run.
Earl said making his second career start is exciting, and he feels less nervous after last week’s outing.
“It definitely helped getting that first start under my belt,” Earl said. “My nerves are a lot more calm now, and being at home definitely will help.”
Earl also said playing in front of the home crowd for the second week in a row helps out everyone.
“We were on the road for four weeks, so being home for a second week in a row now is nice,” Earl said. “I’m looking forward to continue winning inside the DakotaDome.”
Getting some experience last year versus the Sycamores should also benefit, he said.
“Last year, they had a great defense,” Earl said. “This time around we want to control the ball and attack them when we can. What will be big is to keep their offense off the field.”
After the game against Indiana State the Coyotes will hit the road to take on Northern Iowa Oct. 19.