North Dakota State posted 700 yards of total offense as they handed the Coyotes (4-7, 3-4 MVFC) their seventh loss of the season 49-14 in the Fargodome on Saturday.
NDSU (11-0, 7-0 MVFC), ranked No. 1 in the Football Champion Series (FCS), clinched the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) regular-season championship with the win, securing its ninth-straight championship in the process. In that span, they have won eight FCS football championships.
In front of nearly 18,000 fans, the Bison scored the game’s first 28 points unanswered, finishing with 455 more yards of total offense than USD. Freshman quarterback Trey Lance only attempted 15 passes but totaled 249 yards and two touchdowns on 12 completions for the day.
Junior quarterback Zeb Noland subbed in late in the game to complete all three of his pass attempts for 32 yards and another score. The Coyotes did little to disrupt the Bison passing attack, securing zero sacks.
The Coyotes also struggled to stop the run, allowing 419 rushing yards on 52 carries. NDSU senior running back Ty Brooks gashed the defense for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 10 attempts.
Junior running back Adam Coefield also carried the ball 10 times for 75 yards and one touchdown, while freshman Kobe Johnson added 57 yards on nine carries.
As a team, the Coyotes gained 172 of their 245 offensive yards on the ground. Junior running back Kai Henry carried the ball eight times for 58 yards, all in the first half. He finished the Coyote’s first scoring drive with a one-yard score before exiting the game at the half with an injury.
Sophomore Canaan Brooks and junior Ben Klett split carries in the second half, combining for 63 yards on the ground. Brooks scored USD’s second touchdown on a two-yard run with seven minutes left in regulation.
Senior quarterback Austin Simmons contributed 51 yards on the ground but threw for a season-worst 73 yards on just 11 completions. Simmons was sacked three times by the Bison as well. Freshman receiver Carter Bell led the team in receptions (3) and receiving yards (46). He caught Simmons’ longest completion of the afternoon for 35 yards.
Junior safety Elijah Reed led the way defensively, securing a team-high 14 tackles and a pass breakup. Freshman linebacker Jakari Starling followed with 10 tackles, while junior linebacker Jake Matthew and senior defensive lineman Kameron Cline secured two tackles for loss each.
USD returns to the DakotaDome for its final game of the season as they host rival South Dakota State for Senior Day this Saturday at 2 p.m.