Nielson, USD Football Hoping to Bounce Back
3 mins read

Nielson, USD Football Hoping to Bounce Back

It’s been an eventful year for the Coyotes’ football. Most notably in the acquisition of offensive coordinator Josh Davis from South Dakota State and a new starting quarterback in redshirt sophomore Aidan Bouman.

But with the spring game complete, all eyes are set on the upcoming fall for USD football.

The 2023 season kicks off Sept. 2 at the University of Missouri. Sophomore quarterback Aidan Bouman said the opportunity to compete against Power Five competition is always exciting but that simplifying the game is key.

“Everybody’s a dude, everybody’s just a guy out there,” Bouman said. “We’re playing football. You can’t overthink it and you have to enjoy it. It’s a great opportunity for us, and we get to go showcase what we can do as a team.”

The Coyotes will return home to host St. Thomas and Lamar University for the first two home games out of six on the schedule. Getting to play at home six times is a first for head coach Bob Nielson at USD.

“We play great at home,” Nielson said. “From that standpoint, I’m really excited about our schedule and the opportunity that our fans are going to have to see our football team.”

Conference play will kick off for the Coyotes on Sept. 30 in Fargo, North Dakota where they’ll face FCS National Championship runner-up North Dakota State. The Coyotes haven’t beat the Bison in six seasons but led the matchup at half last year, and Bouman said after seeing their new offensive system in action in the spring game, the team is confident in competing with anyone.

“We put in a new offense 15 practices ago, and truthfully, for some of the stuff we did today, you wouldn’t know that,” Bouman said. “I think we executed at a really high level, and we have a quality defense across from us right now. I’m pretty confident in what we’re going to be able to do next year.”

Following the trip to Fargo, the Coyotes host a home stretch against Missouri Valley Conference newcomer Murray State and Youngstown State. They then travel to Terre Haute, Indiana to take on the Indiana State Sycamores.

SDSU will return to the DakotaDome on Oct. 28 for the first time since “The Catch” from 2021. Junior wide receiver Carter Bell said the “chip on the shoulder” is a little bit bigger having the reigning FCS National Champions in Vermillion.

“They’re always a good team and they always have a good plan for us, but I think it’s better to be at home this year,” Bell said. “It’s always exciting to play in front of your fans, but especially against SDSU.”

The schedule wraps up with the Coyotes playing at Southern Illinois, hosting North Dakota then closing the season at Western Illinois. 

“I think a lot of guys have bought into being a team as one,” Bouman said. “It’s tough and you never want to have a season like last year, but we have a lot of motivation from that and a huge chip on our shoulder.”