USD drops 20-3 decision to Jackrabbits Big plays continue to hurt The University of South Dakota football team which dropped a 20-3 North Central Conference football game to South Dakota State on Oct. 27 at the DakotaDome.
South Dakota (2-6, 1-5 in the NCC) fell to arch-rival SDSU (4-5, 3-3 in the NCC) as the Jacks had three big plays in scoring 20 unanswered points after the Coyotes had grabbed a 3-0 first quarter lead.
SDSU's Josh Ranek had 300 yards of total offense on the night (245 yards rushing and 55 yards receiving), found an opening on the left side and rumbled 94 yards for the go-ahead touchdown to give the Jacks a 7-3 first quarter lead. SDSU also had two big passing plays as quarterback Dan Fjeldheim threw 50-yard and 22-yard touchdown passes to senior wide receiver Josh Buchholtz.
Early on things looked good for the South Dakota as Filip Filipovic hit a 21-yard field goal to give the Coyotes a 3-0 lead in the opening quarter. The Coyotes moved the ball 86 yards on 12 plays to grab the advantage.
Early in the second quarter, the Coyotes moved the ball to the SDSU 31-yard line where the drive stalled and Filipovic was unsuccessful on a 49-yard field goal attempt.
From that point on, all the scoring went SDSU's way. After the two teams traded possessions, SDSU added their second big play of the night when Fjeldheim and Buchholtz converted on a 50-yard pass in the second quarter. The score gave the Jacks a 13-3 advantage at halftime.
Buchholtz's second touchdown reception of came in the third quarter, capping a nine-play, 66-yard drive to give the Jacks' a 20-3 lead.
On the Coyotes' ensuing possession, they drove the ball to the SDSU six-yard line as Justice completed a 40-yard pass to freshman receiver Chris Mikkelsen and a 12-yard pass to all-NCC tight end Dustin Sagedahl. After James Augustus had a nine-yard run to the SDSU six-yard line, South Dakota failed on three consecutive plays (incomplete pass and two running plays) and turned the ball over on downs to the Jacks.
Overall, the Jacks held a 33:29 to 26:21 time of possession advantage as they had 515 total yards on 76 plays. Meanwhile, the Coyotes had 261 yards of total offense on 59 plays. South Dakota gained 109 yards rushing on 33 carries and had 152 yards passing as Justice completed 13 of 26 passes with one interception.
SDSU had 40 rushes for 221 yards and 294 yards passing as Fjeldheim completed 19 of 36 passes for 294 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Buchholtz had five catches for 124 yards and Ranek had three catches for 55 yards.
Leading the Coyotes' rushing game was senior tailback Eric Tarasewicz who had 82 yards rushing on 17 carries while Augustus had eight carries for 42 yards. Sagedahl led South Dakota receivers with six catches for 62 yards.
Defensively, junior defensive back Scott Lilland led South Dakota with 11 tackles, including eight solo stops. Linebacker Korey Ebel had nine tackles while junior defensive back Derick Jelks had seven tackles and one interception.
Senior linebacker Mark Blackburn had five tackles, including two tackles for loss and one quarterback sack. Blackburn now has nine quarterback sacks this season. Aaron Dietrich had two tackles for a loss and a quarterback sack and junior linebacker/tight end Fred Mitchell also had a sack.