The Coyotes hung with rival South Dakota State throughout the game, but a missed opportunity to take the lead and a late interception would seal the game for the Jackrabbits. Despite the Coyotes’ best efforts, they fell 21-28.
SDSU struck first with a three-yard rushing touchdown to put the Jackrabbits up 7-0 early in the first quarter. The Coyotes responded with a 65-yard drive capped off with a 16-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Chris Streveler to junior wide out Brandt Van Roekel. SDSU kicker Chase Vinatieri would miss a 43-yard and a 52-yard field goal in the second quarter, which helped keep the Coyotes within one score. The game would go into halftime tied at seven.
The game was back and forth throughout the second half, as SDSU would take the lead again on a 47-yard rush to put them up 14-7 in the third quarter. USD would equalize on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Streveler to freshman wide receiver Dakarai Allen. The Jackrabbits would enter the fourth quarter with a lead, as they scored late in the third on a 86-yard drive finished off with a 20-yard rush from quarterback Taryn Christion.
USD was on the board first in the fourth quarter, when they tied the game at 21 on a three-yard rush from Streveler. The Coyotes would get a chance to take the lead midway through the fourth after an interception from sophomore Alex Gray, but senior Miles Bergner was unable to convert on a 32-yard field goal attempt. On the ensuing drive, SDSU marched down the field and scored on a seven-yard rush from Christion to take the lead. USD would go three and out on the following drive, but managed to get the ball back with 56 seconds left to play. The Coyotes would go 28 yards before giving up possession with 11 seconds remaining on an interception from Streveler. The Jackrabbits would take a knee and escape with a 28-21 lead.
Streveler led both teams in passing with 217 yards and two touchdowns, along with an interception. He also was USD’s leading rusher with 66-yards and a touchdown. While the two teams were nearly equal in passing yards, 217 to 215, the difference in the game was in rushing. The Jackrabbits totaled 415-yards on the ground to the Coyotes 136. USD struggled to stop the SDSU ground attack as two Jackrabbits would rush for over 100-yards. Brady Mengarelli and Isaac Wallace would go for 161 yards and 102 yards respectively, while Christion and Kyle Paris would run for 79 yards and 74 yards.
With the loss the Coyotes drop to 3-4 in Missouri Valley play and 4-6 on the season. They will finish up the regular season next Saturday when the North Dakota State Bison make a trip to the DakotaDome. Kickoff time is set for 2 p.m.