The undefeated Coyotes are looking forward to the upcoming homecoming game.
USD will take on Youngstown State, ranked No. 3, this Saturday at 2 p.m. in the DakotaDome.
The team’s winning attitudes are high, now being 4-0.
“Things have changed — we used to be a team that used to hunt people and now we’re being hunted, because this is the first time in a long time we’ve been 4-0, even dating back to my freshman year when we had a losing record, going against NDSU,” said junior wide receiver Shamar Jackson. “We were hunting them because they were undefeated that year, and now I know what it feels like to be in that situation.”
Head coach Bob Nielson said the team doesn’t do anything differently to prepare for the D-Days game.
“With those homecoming weeks, the most important thing from a football team standpoint is to prepare to win the game,” he said.
Jackson said he’s excited to play such a big game at USD after doing well so far this season.
“I’m looking forward to playing in front of the home crowd,” Jackson said. “(We’re) coming into the game being 4-0 in a long time, so I expect this to be a great game and the crowd to be crazy.”
Jackson’s favorite part of D-Days is the student section, which helps the team do well.
“Attendance-wise, we get a lot of people who are ready to see us this year because of what we’ve done so far, and attendance helps in situations such as kicking field goals in our territory,” he said. “It’s just something about playing for your home crowd that gets people going.”
Nielson said the environment is the most important part about the D-Days games.
“We’re going to play a highly-ranked team — Youngstown State is going to come in as one of the best teams in the country,” Nielson said. “Based on how we played earlier on in the year, we’ll be a team that has momentum, so it’s going to be a game that’s going to have a lot of meaning in the Conference race. I hope what we get is a great turnout in terms of people who come back to celebrate the experiences they had at the university, and also a great turnout by our students and fans.”
Jackson said it’s important that the team continues playing their best so they don’t lose that momentum.
“It’s going to be a physical game, we know that,” Jackson said. “It’ll be tougher to practice, so we’ll be prepared for it. A ranking is a ranking, at the end of the day, you still have to play to win.”