Coyotes fall 21-7 on Dakota Day USD Coyote quarterback Ryan Justice (5) looks for an open man down field while receiving pressure from Nebraska-Omaha Maverick linebacker Lucas Brigman Saturday during football action in the DakotaDome. UNO effectively shut down the Coyote offense in the second half. The #8 ranked Nebraska-Omaha scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to win a physical, defensive battle with The University of South Dakota Coyotes, 21-7, on Saturday afternoon before a Dakota Days crowd of 5,961 in the DakotaDome.
UNO evened the overall Dakota Days series with South Dakota at 2-2 with the win. The Coyotes are now 54-29-5 during Dakota Days' games.
In the North Central Conference football encounter, South Dakota (4-3, 2-3) grabbed a 7-0 first quarter lead when Dusty Stamer scored from 17 yards at 2:50 of the first quarter of the 89th homecoming game. A 52-yard pass to senior wide receiver Jeremiah Charlson from sophomore quarterback Ryan Justice set up the score.
South Dakota moved the ball 65 yards in six plays against a stingy Maverick defense that has already recorded two shutouts this season.
South Dakota carried the lead into halftime behind solid defense, particularly the play senior cornerback Russel Burwell, who picked off two passes to give him an NCC-leading seven interceptions this season.
The Mavericks (6-1,5-0) managed just 58 yards rushing and 86 total yards in a first half controlled by the Coyotes. South Dakota had 123 total yards, led by 44 yards from Stamer.
Nebraska-Omaha retained their first place standing in the NCC by establishing their vaunted rushing attack in the second half. The Mavericks took the second half kickoff and moved the ball 75 yards in 15 plays, using 7:50 of the third quarter to tie the game when senior running back Adam Wright scored on a one-yard run. Neither team mounted any serious offense for the remainder of the third quarter.
UNO took their first lead of the day at the nine-minute mark of the fourth quarter on a one-yard run by Maverick quarterback Trey Guidry. On the drive, Wright carried the ball six times for 40 yards and Guidry had four rushes for 18 yards including a big 15-yard game on a second and eight play from the Coyote 25-yard line.
Three plays later Guidry, who had 107 yards rushing, culminated the 53 yard, 10-play drive with his touchdown. South Dakota failed to mount a drive on two consecutive possessions before Wright, who had 130 yards on 34 carries, put the game away on a 23-yard scoring run with 1:41 to play.
The Coyotes attempted to mount a final charge at the Mavericks, moving the ball to the visitor's 30-yard line but a pass interception by Demond Finister killed any South Dakota hopes for a miracle comeback.
UNO had 149 yards rushing and no yards passing in the second half as the Coyotes played strong defense but couldn't stop the Mavericks at crucial times. Defensive tackle Bill Gassen led the Coyote defense with 17 tackles including three tackles for losses (24 yards). Sophomore linebacker Korey Ebel had five tackles including one tackle for a loss of 18 yards.
Overall, South Dakota had seven tackles for losses, two interception and one sack which was recorded by strong safety Mark Blackburn. Blckburn had nine tackles.
Offensively, the Coyotes were limited to 169 total yards by the Maverick defense. Stamer, who needs just 39 yards to break the freshman record of 488 held by Emmitt Huston (1978), managed just two second half yards and ended with 46 yards for the game.
Justice completed 10 of 31 passes for 121 yards and had two interceptions. Junior punter Filip Filipovic, the nation's sixth best and the NCC's top punter, had a strong game as he had seven punts for 305 yards for a 43.6 average, including a long of 54 yards.