The Coyotes prevailed in a defensive slugfest to earn its first win of the season against Northern Colorado at Nottingham Field in Greeley, Colorado on Saturday.
USD mustered 387 yards of total offense on the day – over 250 fewer yards than the previous week’s 642 yards against Houston Baptist.
Both teams opened with respectable 12-play drives, but neither could capitalize. Junior kicker Mason Lorber missed a 45-yard field goal attempt on the first drive of the game, and Northern Colorado failed to convert on fourth down the following drive, losing possession.
The next scoring opportunity didn’t come until the second quarter, as senior quarterback Austin Simmons connected with junior tight end Connor Herrmann for a 10-yard score and his third score in two weeks. The touchdown capped a 13 play, 74-yard drive, giving the Coyotes the 7-0 advantage.
USD had the chance to extend the lead to 10 points one second before halftime, but Lorber’s 42-yard field goal attempt was blocked by the Bears.
With 4:47 remaining in the third, Northern Colorado capped an 80-yard drive as senior running back Milo Hall punched in a touchdown from two yards out. It looked as if the Bears were going to tie the score, however, another blocked kick, this time by senior defensive lineman Kameron Cline, held the Bears to just six points.
USD’s dagger came three minutes into the fourth quarter when junior running back Ben Klett hit paydirt from 12 yards out to extend the Coyote lead to 14-6. USD regained possession with 4:37 remaining and ran out the clock to secure the victory.
Simmons led the Coyotes in both passing and rushing yards on the day. He totaled 184 yards through the air on 24 completions with one touchdown and 64 net rushing yards on 18 attempts. Junior Kai Henry added 50 yards on the ground as well.
USD’s defense held Northern Colorado to 223 yards of total offense and only 37 net rushing yards, tallying five sacks along the way. Junior linebacker Jack Cochrane spearheaded the attack, notching seven total tackles. Junior linebacker Jake Matthew recorded five tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack in the game.
USD has a bye next week but returns to action in the Dakota Days game against Indiana State on Saturday, Oct 5. in the DakotaDome.