USD left out of NCAA Division II playoffs

USD left out of NCAA Division II playoffs The University of South Dakota Coyotes football team bid for the 2000 NCAA Division II postseason playoffs was denied following the announcement of playoff participants by the NCAA football committee on Nov. 12.

"I certainly feel we are, at the end of the year, a top 20 team in Division II," said South Dakota head football coach John Austin. "I certainly understand and respect the committee's selection of the four teams that were chosen. We are honored we were considered for the final spot in the Midwest Region."

In the Midwest Region, Northwest Missouri State (11-0) will host North Dakota State (10-1) while Nebraska-Omaha (10-1) will host Pittsburgh State (9-2). In the South, West Georgia (10-1) will play at Catawba (10-0) while Delta State (10-1) hosts Valdosta State (10-1).

In the Northeast, Northwood (9-1) hosts Indiana (PA) (8-2) and Bloomsburg (9-2) will host Saginaw Valley (9-2). The West Regional matchup includes UC-Davis hosting Chadron State (8-2) and Mesa State (9-2) playing at Northeastern State (9-1).

Entering the final week of the regular season, the Coyotes were ranked #6 in the Midwest Region. Northwest Missouri State, Nebraska-Omaha, North Dakota State, Pittsburgh State and North Dakota were all ranked ahead of South Dakota. North Dakota lost at Nebraska-Omaha, 27-25 while the other five teams picked up victories.

In this turnaround season, the Coyotes, 4-7 a year ago, finished at 8-3, winning six of the past seven games. With the 24-3 win over Minnesota State-Mankato at home on Nov. 11, South Dakota finished the season with four consecutive victories.

This was the Coyotes' best season since 1995 when South Dakota was also 8-3. The Coyotes finished 6-3 and tied for third in the North Central Conference.

Over the past seven games, the Coyotes outscored opponents 181-75. During that run the Coyotes held four opponents to 7 points or less, including one shutout.

Overall South Dakota outscored opponents 270-189, averaging 24.5 points while allowing 17.2 per game. South Dakota outrushed opponents 1,727 to 1,112 and outpassed opponents 1,992 to 1,483. Defensively, the Coyotes had 22 pass interceptions, 27 sacks and 102 tackles for loss (-345). The Coyotes ended with a +16 turnover margin.

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