What to expect in Vermillion come Saturday? Since Carson Wentz broke his wrist in 2015 and the Coyotes pulled off their 24-21 upset in Fargo, the gang from the other South Dakota school has come up empty against the Herd. The last four games have been blow outs (49-14, 59-14, 49-14 and 52-24). We ran over, around and thru the Coyotes for 340, 384, 419 and 303 yards. Last year’s 303 yards was against a run defense that ranked in the top 25 in the FCS (subtracting out the Ram damage they were 11th in FCS run defense).
This matchup is very similar to these match ups coming into the contest. Two of these previous four contests had a playoff team for USD. Chris Streveler was a hot shot QB (CFL Star & fringe NFL). He was their offense in 2017, totaling 93 yards rushing and 232 passing. The rest of the team combined for 94 yards. This year we face hot shot sophomore Carson Camp, who burst onto the scene as a true frosh in the infamous spring season. Barring injury, he will be a five year starter because of the Covid year. He, like Streveler, is a dual threat QB. He has gained 115 yards rushing, but this has been negated by 13 sacks for minus 91 yards.
Guiding last year’s playoff team, he ran for 41 yards against Code Green, but we sacked him three times for minus 20 yards. He was efficient in the passing game hitting 21/27 passes for 196 yards with 2 TD’s (1 Int).
Code Green needs to show growth in this game. Our young DT’s need to grow up quick. USD does a lot of RPO. Their two RB’s are quick hit, hard runners. If we give up 4-6 yards on first down, it could be a long day. They have four starters back on the OL from last year. They average 311 lbs across the board. Giving up 13 sacks so far in three games is something we have to take advantage of, PERIOD!
Getting healthy offensively last week against Cal-Poly isn’t a ringing endorsement by the Coyotes Offense. Cal-Poly ranks 106th in total defense (484 YPG) out of 123 qualified FCS teams (there are 7 FCS teams still transitioning from DII). Nor did the USD defense shine, giving up 559 yards of total offense, including yielding 5.3 YPC in the run game. The Coyotes have eight new starters on defense.
I can’t see how their defense is going to contain the Rams and all our weapons. This is also a character game for the Herd. Truly we are back in 1-0 mode. The loss to the Arizona Wildcats has to be flushed. It is the MVFC gauntlet. USD is a bubble playoff contender. An upset here gives them hope. With a loss, I don’t see how they get into the playoffs.
Sagarin has the Herd as a 17 point favorite. If we play clean and up to our ability, we should even surpass that. USD is giving up 5.5 YPC in run defense. They haven’t faced anybody even close to the Rams and our bevy of RB’s. Go Bison!