USD spring football game Saturday in Dome South Dakota will conclude spring football drills Saturday, May 1 with the Spring Game to be held in the DakotaDome starting at 1 p.m.
John Austin, named South Dakota's 23rd head football coach in December, has a team that returns 11 starters among 37 letterwinners from a squad that finished 3-8 last year and 1-8 in the North Central Conference. USD opens the 1999 regular season September 4 in Missoula, MT against the University of Montana.
The Coyotes will feature most of their returning experience on offense with eight starters back, including four in the offensive line in seniors Troy Shively (6-4, 270, guard), Luke Trowbridge (6-2, 275, guard), Jeff Armentrout (6-3, 265, tackle) and Per Ostrem (6-4, 260, tight end).
Peter Martin returns for his senior season at quarterback. Last year he completed 139 of 261 attempts (53.3 percent) for 1,697 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also led in total offense with 1,636 yards. Two of USD's top-three rushers are back in senior Jamel White and junior Darren Smith. White paced the Coyotes with 424 yards rushing and Smith was third with 246 yards. White also ranked fourth in receptions a year ago with 18 catches for 265 yards. Junior wide receiver Steve Young hauled in 16 passes for 298 yards, while sophomore tight end Dustin Sagedahl caught 7 passes for 81 yards. Junior kicker Adam Hicks led USD in scoring last year with 39 points on 15 of 15 extra points and 8 of 11 field goals.
Defensively, the Coyotes graduated eight players with starting experience. Devin Harvey, a senior cornerback, is USD's leading tackler returning after ranking fifth last year with 68 total stops and one pass interception. Juniors Lee Bunge and Scott Larson shared starting duty at left defensive end with Larson notching 50 tackles, 11 tackles for 35 yards in losses and three quarterback sacks, while Bunge had 29 tackles with 5 tackles for 16 yards in losses. Junior Joe Anderson was one of the team's starting outside linebackers and he recorded 32 tackles with 4 tackles for losses.