Josh Davis, the Coyotes new offensive coordinator who came over from the reigning champion South Dakota State Jackrabbits, has made a huge impact in a short amount of time.
Last year, the Coyotes’ offense averaged 16.2 points per game and 286.1 yards per game with an average of five yards per play. The Coyotes averaged 122.8 rushing yards per game and had 23 touchdowns on offense in 11 games.
Under Davis, the Coyotes are averaging 26.2 (51) points per game and 326.2 (76) yards per game with an average of six (28) yards per play (FCS ranking). The Coyotes are averaging 164.2 rush yards per game. The Coyotes have 17 touchdowns on offense in 5 games this season with 100% red zone efficiency.
Davis spent one season with the Jackrabbits as the wide receiver coach and passing game coordinator where he helped tight end Tucker Kraft to an All-Conference First Team and was drafted 78 overall to the Green Bay Packers. Second Team All Conference also featured quarterback Mark Gronowski, tight end Zach Heins and wide receiver Jaxon Janke.
He also helped Gronowski to the Most Outstanding Player in the FCS Championship game last year as he went 14 of 21 passing with 233 yards and three touchdowns. He also added 58 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Davis used his time on the Jackrabbits to learn everything he could and bring it over to the Coyotes where he continues to build trust and belief.
“More time together, more trust, more love and more belief,” Davis said.
The Coyotes season did not start off very strong though as they lost to Missouri 35-10. From there, Davis knew there was a lot to learn and grow from then till now.
“A lot of growth. Growth in me, our staff, our game plan and in the performance of our students athletes,” Davis said.
The Coyotes are currently 4-1 on the season after a Dakota Days victory (38-7) over the Murray St. Racers. This win was also coming off a massive upset victory over at the time No. 2 North Dakota State Bison the week before.
With the two victories, the Coyotes are ranked No. 10 in the FCS Stats Performer Poll for the first time since 2017 and No. 17 in the FCS Coaches Poll. Davis said that the Coyotes must have a championship state of mind if they want to continue the success this season.
“We need to attack everyday with a championship state of mind,” Davis said.
A championship state of mind starts with the coaches and the staff but also the leaders and the captains of the team. One of those captains is junior running back Travis Theis, the Coyotes leading rusher.
Theis said he loves the new change with Davis at the helm and looks up to his new offensive coordinator. He also has a whole new understanding of the offense with his new mentor.
“Better understanding of how the play works and what people’s jobs are and why the play should work,” Theis said.
Davis said that this understanding leads to everyone on the field knowing what they are expected to do during the game.
“Take care of the football, run the football effectively with zero turnovers and minimize negative yards,” Davis said.
With Davis being a first time coordinator at the Division-I level, he knows he has more to learn and get better.
“Everybody gets better in their own way,” Davis said.
Davis said it is not just the offense, defense or the staff but it is everyone combined together.
“Coyote football is a we team,” Davis said.
Photo Credit: Submitted | USD Athletics