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University of South Dakota football primer: Coyotes welcome Cal Poly for home opener

Everything you need to know ahead of USD's home opener.

NCAA Football: South Dakota at Kansas State-3
South Dakota Coyotes running back Travis Theis (5) takes the handoff from quarterback Cole Stenstrom (16) during the second quarter against the Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022 at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas.
Scott Sewell / USA Today Sports
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VERMILLION — South Dakota fell to a Big Sky opponent last week in a 24-7 loss to No. 3 Montana. Now, the Coyotes are tasked with another Big Sky opponent in Cal Poly. Here’s everything to know ahead of the contest.

When: 1 p.m. Saturday.

Where: DakotaDome, Vermillion.

Records: USD 0-2, Cal Poly 1-1.

Coaches: USD’s Bob Nielson, 30th season overall (seventh at USD), 215-116-1 overall (29-36 at USD); Cal Poly’s Beau Baldwin, 13th season overall (third at Cal Poly), 98-48 overall (3-13 at Cal Poly).

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All-time series: Cal Poly leads 3-2.

Last meeting: USD won 48-14 on Sept. 18, 2021.

Notes: The game will be broadcasted on Midco Sports on TV, as well as ESPN+ online. … Carson Camp went 17-for-20 for 226 yards and two touchdowns in the contest against Cal Poly last year. … Mike Mansaray ran for 141 yards and two scores on 21 touches in the game last season. … Saturday’s game marks the final non-conference game of the regular season.

About the Coyotes: USD is 0-2 for the first time since the 2019 season, when the Coyotes started 0-3. … Saturday is USD’s home opener after road losses against Kansas State and Montana to start the season. … In its first two games of the season, USD has been outscored 33-0 in the first quarter.

About the Mustangs: Cal Poly is coming off a win against San Diego, who had won eight straight games dating back to last year. … The Mustangs trailed 27-14 in the fourth quarter but came from behind to win thanks to three fourth-quarter interceptions. … Cal Poly hasn’t been above .500 after three games since 2016 when the Mustangs went 7-5.

USD key players: Running backs Travis Theis and Shomari Lawrence have combined for 256 yards and a touchdown on the ground, averaging just over five yards per carry. … Preseason All-American linebacker Brock Mogensen is tied with teammate linebacker Stephen Hills for the Mountain Valley Football Conference lead with 22 tackles so far on the season. Mogensen led the team with six tackles, including one for a loss in last season’s matchup with Cal Poly. … Cornerback Myles Haden had eight tackles, including two for a loss, against Montana last week, while also forcing and recovering a fumble and intercepting a pass.

Cal Poly key players: Quarterback Jaden Jones has 596 yards passing and five touchdowns with no interceptions so far this season for the Mustangs. Jones is also the leading rusher with 84 yards on the ground. … Wide receiver Chris Coleman is the leading receiver for Cal Poly, hauling in 12 catches for 183 yards and a score through the first two games. He’s the only Mustang to eclipse the century mark in receiving yards. … Jay’Vion Cole will be someone Carson Camp needs to look out for in the Cal Poly secondary, as the freshman already has two interceptions, both coming last week against San Diego.

Next week: USD stays at home and welcomes No. 1 North Dakota State to the DakotaDome at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24. Cal Poly has a bye before hosting Sacramento State on Saturday, Oct. 1 for its Big Sky opener.

Zech Lambert is a sports reporter for the Mitchell Republic. He graduated from Penn State University in May 2022 and began at the Mitchell Republic in July 2022. He can be reached at zlambert@mitchellrepublic.com or on Twitter @Zech_Lambert.
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