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USD football primer: Coyotes head east to square off with Youngstown State

Everything you need to know ahead of USD contest against the Penguins

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South Dakota running back Travis Theis (5) carries the ball behind the block of Alex Jensen (70) with South Dakota State defensive lineman Quinton Hicks (48) closing in during the South Dakota Showdown college football rivalry game on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Dykhouse Stadium, in Brookings.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic
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VERMILLION — After picking up its first conference win of the season last week, the University of South Dakota football team hits the road to take on the easternmost Missouri Valley Football Conference opponent in Youngstown State. Here’s what to know about the game.

Where: Stambaugh Stadium, Youngstown, Ohio.

When: 1 p.m. Saturday.

Records: USD 2-5, 1-3 MVFC; YSU 4-3, 2-2 MVFC.

Coaches: USD’s Bob Nielson, 30th season (seventh at USD), 217-119-1 (31-39 at USD); YSU’s Doug Phillips, third season, 8-16.

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Last week: USD beat Southern Illinois 27-24 at home, YSU beat Western Illinois 28-27 on the road.

All-time series: YSU leads 7-2.

Last meeting: YSU won 28-10 on Saturday, March 20, 2021 in Youngstown.

Notes: YSU has won the last five meetings between the two schools and hasn’t lost to USD in Ohio. … The game can be viewed on ESPN+.

About the Coyotes: Though the Coyotes are far from Youngstown State, it’s not the furthest trip of the season for USD. That came back on Sept. 10 when USD traveled to Montana, a state that borders South Dakota. The trip from Vermillion to Youngstown is 938 miles, while Missoula is 1,039 miles west. … USD went with quarterback Aidan Bouman after falling behind 21-7 to Southern Illinois last week. Bouman led back-to-back scoring drives to trim the deficit to 21-17 and eventually led the Coyotes to the win. He finished 11-for-17 for 120 yards and a touchdown. … Head coach Bob Nielson has not committed to a starting quarterback for the upcoming contest against YSU even though Carson Camp has started all 23 games since arriving at USD. Bouman is listed as the starter on the team's depth chart this week. … With a win, USD is still in the hunt for the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, but with a loss the Coyotes are all but certain to be on the outside looking in. … USD corner Myles Harden, who’s responsible for six turnovers this season, did not participate in the win against Southern Illinois and is questionable for Saturday’s contest against YSU. … Both Shomari Lawrence and Travis Theis ran for over 100 yards and a score against the Salukis. … Theis currently leads the team with 535 yards and four touchdowns, while Lawrence paces the team in yards per attempt at 6.

About the Penguins: The star for the Penguins is Jaleel McLaughlin, who paces the country in rushing yards per game at 151.9. He’s also run for 200-plus yards in the past two games for YSU. … YSU ranks 49th in the country in yards per game defensively, giving up 367 a contest. … The Penguins are 3-1 at home this season. … Wide receiver Bryce Oliver is 49th in the country and fourth in the Missouri Valley Football Conference in receiving yards per game at 70.3. He’s caught a touchdown in each of the Penguins’ last three games and his five receiving scores rank tied for 31st nationally. … At 46 tackles for loss, the Penguins are tied for No. 32 in the country, and their 17 sacks are tied for 35th. … The defense is led by Dylan Wudke and James Jackson, who have combined for seven sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss.

Next: USD returns to the DakotaDome on Saturday, Nov. 5 to host Missouri State, while Youngstown State travels to Illinois State on Nov. 5.

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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