The University of South Dakota Coyotes saw their three-game win streak come to a stop Saturday afternoon. Going up against the Illinois State Redbirds, the Coyotes were unable to win back-to-back games on the road, falling 28-14.
Illinois State came into the game with some momentum, beating Indiana State 55-14 last week. But the Coyotes also had a lot of momentum after beating Northern Iowa 38-31 in double OT.
The Coyotes got off to a quick start when senior cornerback Dyllon Knox intercepted Illinois State’s first-year quarterback Blake Winkler on the opening drive. Unfortunately, first-year Coyote kicker Miles Bergner missed a 43-yard field goal on the ensuing drive. Illinois State marched down the field to take a 7-0 lead within the blink of an eye.
USD was able to match the Redbirds with a 22-yard touchdown from another first-year player, running back Jordan Roberts, who scored his second touchdown of the year.
From that point on it was all Illinois State. Going into the fourth quarter down 28-7, the Coyotes tried replicating last week’s magic. Sophomore quarterback Kevin Earl, who was named Missouri Valley Offensive Player of the Week against Northern Iowa, threw for 256 yards on the day. His lone touchdown came early in the fourth quarter, when he found junior wide receiver Terrance Terry from three yards out. The comeback stopped there. Earl would go on to get a pass deflected and intercepted with just under three minutes to go and the Redbirds were able to run the clock out from there.
The Coyotes fell to 4-4 on the year but still hold a 3-2 record within the MVC. They now will set their focus on a 7-1 Youngstown State team that defeated Illinois State 59-21 Oct. 12. The game vs. Youngstown will start up a three-game home stand.