What can the Coyotes Muster Up?
The last two years we have had USD’s number, beating the Coyotes 49-14 at the Dome in 2017 and 59-14 last year in Vermillion. Both of those teams were high octane on offense. The 2017 team was in the playoffs for Streveler’s senior season. That offense generated 529 YPG & 40.2 PPG versus the non-Bison schedule. The 2017 squad played average defense in yards given up (382) and good in points allowed (22.8).
Austin Simmons took over the reins as QB last year and the offense slowed down to 401 YPG and 28 PPG, but that is still a good offense. They tanked on defense, allowing 417 YPG and 32 PPG. This year’s team resembles last years. They have increased rushing totals to 193 YPG and TO of 459 YPG. Scoring is up to 32.5 PPG. The problem is the defense has made the opposing offenses look just as good, 433 YPG and 32 PPG. They are 121st out of 124 teams in pass defense, giving up just under 300 YPG.
Other notable blemishes the Coyotes have shown this season is prolific penalties (117th in FCS at 85 YPG) and a terrible turnover ratio, -8 (110th FCS). They struggle on stopping 3rd downs (90th, .429) and they are 107th in 4th down conversions on offense (33%).
The last two years USD has moved the ball some between the 20’s on Code Green, but can’t punch it in when they get into the red zone. I think that script might be the same this year. They have a good QB, a shifty running back and good receivers. I just don’t think they can man handle Code Green into some type of shoot out. The glass slipper of turnovers and penalties should also slow them down (QB’s first time in the Dome).
I am looking for the continued advancement of our offense. If the Coyotes stack the line to stop our running game, we have too many weapons to burn them in the passing game. This is a game that we should score 40 plus. The last two years we have rushed for 340 & 384 yards, so USD has to be concerned on stopping this, if they can. Remember, this year’s Ram’s are really good. The Herd has to play a very bad game for this to be close.
What does Sagarin & others say? Sagarin has a range of 25 to 30 point favorite with 95% chance of winning. The Eigen spread is 35.7 points with a 97% win factor. I lean towards Eigen. Even though USD is 4-6, they are 3-3 in MVFC, so the Bison can’t sleep walk thru this game. They need to start fast, play clean and clinch their ninth straight MVFC championship.