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Coyotes host UC-Davis in season opener today

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sports Mitchell, 57301

Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

VERMILLION — The last time the University of South Dakota and University of California-Davis met on the field, USD came away with a narrow 27-24 victory.

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The Coyotes will once again look to defeat UC-Davis at 2 p.m. today at the DakotaDome in Vermillion.

With a win, USD will also take the lead in the all-time series, which is tied at 2. Both teams are unranked heading into the matchup. Last season, the Coyotes finished 1-10, while UC-Davis was 4-7.

Leading the Coyotes this season is second-year starter Josh Vander Maten. Last season, Vander Maten threw for 1,662 yards and seven touchdowns. Vander Maten’s top target is Terrance Terry, who returns after hauling in 53 catches for 567 yards last season.

On defense, USD is led by defensive back Devin Taverna, who recorded 79 tackles and three interceptions last year.

UC-Davis, which has a first-year head coach in Ron Gould, is led by returning starting quarterback Randy Wright, who threw for 2,410 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.

The game will be broadcast on MidcoSN.

Butler at South Dakota State University, 6 p.m. in Brookings

BROOKINGS — No. 6 South Dakota State Jackrabbits look to build off a strong season.

SDSU kicks its season off against non-scholarship Butler University at 6 p.m. today.

Last season, the Jackrabbits won its first-ever home playoff game as has potential to improve this season with standout players returning.

SDSU returns key players quarterback Austin Sumner and running back Zach Zenner. Zenner, an All-American, racked up more than 2,000 yards and had 13 touchdowns in the 2012 season.

Butler returns running back Trae Heeter, who averaged 110.3 yards per game in 10 contests last season.

Dakota State University at Peru State, 7 p.m. in Auburn, Neb.

AUBURN, Neb. — Dakota State opens its 2013 football season with a nonconference matchup against Peru State (Neb.).

The game is set for 7 p.m.

The Trojans are coming off a 2-9 season, while Peru State finished 5-6. One of Peru State’s five victories last year was against DSU, which will try to avenge the loss.

Both teams will feature new faces in key positions. For Dakota State, Cole Whisenhunt takes the field as the starting quarterback. Whisenhunt replaces last year DSU starter Brandon Large, who threw for 2,883 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Marcus Spearman takes over at running back for Peru State. Last season, the position was held by Ryan Ludlow, who ran for 1,219 yards and 22 touchdowns.

On defense, Peru State is led by defensive backs Garret Campbell and Cody Sullivan. Campbell had 25 tackles and two interceptions last year, while Sullivan had 43 tackles and one Interception.

The DSU defense is led by defensive back Preston Powell and defensive end Josh Licht. Powell had 53 tackles last year, including three for loss and Licht recorded 49 tackles, 9.5 for loss and four sacks.

Cole College at SD Mines & Tech., 1:30 p.m. in Rapid City

RAPID CITY — The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Hardrockers begins its 2013 campaign today against Cole College, of Denver, Colo. SD Mines went 2-9 last season with wins over Valley City State and Presentation College.

On offense, the Hardrockers are led by a trio of wide receivers, Marshall Davis, Brandon Chong and Xavier Matthews. Davis caught 30 passes for 359 yards and two touchdowns last season, while Chong hauled in 28 passes for 370 yards and two touchdowns and Matthews had 18 catches for 270 yards and a touchdown.

On defense, the Hardrockers are led by cornerback Josh Thomas, who had four interceptions and 42 tackles.

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