Rushing at a record-setting pace Junior running back Stefan Logan slips by Truman State tacklers for a large gain during his record-setting performance on the DakotaDome gridiron Saturday. "Extraordinary" is The University of South Dakota's marketing theme and it defined the performance of the 20th-ranked South Dakota Football Team (2-0) on Saturday. USD again broke its single-game total offense record and rolled to a second consecutive nonconference win with a 63-24 decision over Truman State (1-1) on Saturday before 5,335 in attendance at the DakotaDome.
After the game, South Dakota head coach Ed Meierkort talked about the special efforts of several Coyotes. He noted that no one fashioned a more "extraordinary" performance than junior running back Stefan Logan.
"He is a special player," said Meierkort, who improved to 11-2 overall as USD's head coach. "Anything Stefan gets, he deserves because he works so hard and is a fantastic running back.."
Logan of Miami, FL, set two single-game records with the best rushing performance in school history. Logan rushed for 295 yards on just 13 carries and scored three rushing TDs. He broke the old single game mark of 285 yards rushing in 1999 by Jamel White � now of the Detroit Lions in the NFL. Logan had TD runs of 42, 77 and a school-record 98-yards. A two-time All-NCC selection, Logan averaged 22.7 yards per carry and eclipsed 100-yards rushing for the eighth straight game, dating back to last season. He also has three 200-yard rushing games in his career. Logan had 184 yards rushing on seven carries in the third quarter.
With Logan providing the impetus, the Coyotes set five school records by putting on an offensive display unmatched in school history.
Overall, USD accumulated a school-record 746 yards on 50 plays in total offense. The Coyotes rolled up 459 yards on 30 carries on the ground and had 287 yards passing.
"This feels real good," Logan said of the Coyotes' win. "We did a great job today. I had great blocking from the offensive line and our receivers and tight ends really did a job."
With the win, USD won its eighth consecutive home game. USD has now defeated eight straight nonconference opponents.
Quarterback Wes Beschor-ner, a senior from Lohrville, IA, also shined for USD by totaling five TDs, including four by pass and one on a nine-yard scoring run. He completed 13-of-15 passes for 277 yards and four TDs.
Other standouts for USD included wide receiver Brooks Little, a sophomore from Castlewood, who had career-bests in catches with eight, yards with 162 and TDs with two. Wide receiver Derek Gearman, a junior from Lennox, added two catches for 63 yards and pulled in a 54-yard TD reception. Freshman T.J. Simmons of Houston, TX, had 99 yards rushing on five carries. His 84-yard TD run � a USD freshman record � on the game's final play allowed USD to break the total offense mark.
"The sky is the limit for our offense," said Meierkort. "The offensive line carries us with their play. And, I have to say that Wesley was simply fantastic. I also am impressed by the play of Brooks Little and Derek Gearman's play is inspirational."
Offensive coordinator Glenn Caruso also lauded the play of his offense.
"For an offense to have the opportunity to break the total offense mark once in a season is a dream. Now that we have done it twice in two weeks, it shows the mettle of this team. We have two staples in our offense and that is tempo and being relentless. We had that today."
While USD had a historic performance, early on the visitors from Kirksville, MO, carried the upper hand. Truman State jumped on the Coyotes early by opening with a seven-play, 81-yard scoring drive. Jeff Amundson's 10-yard TD reception from Jonathan Duffy provided the Bulldogs with a 7-0 lead at the 11:40 mark of the first quarter.
The Coyotes quickly answered with a three-play, 77-yard scoring drive, capped by Beschorner's nine-yard scoring run with 10:10 to play in the first quarter. He also converted a two-point conversion after a mishandled extra point, providing USD with an 8-7 lead. The big play in the drive was a 61-yard pass reception by Little.
Once again, Truman State responded when the Bulldogs marched 61 yards to set up Mark Kamphoefner's 36-yard field goal. After one quarter, Truman State owned a 10-8 lead.
From that point, USD scored 42 unanswered points, including 28 in the second quarter, to put the game away. First, it was Logan who had a 77-yard scoring run at the 11:57 mark, to give USD a 15-10 lead. Next, sophomore tight end David Cronin of Holstein, IA, caught a one-yard scoring pass from Beschorner at the 7:26 mark. The Beschorner to Cronin TD connection occurred on a fourth-down play from inside the one-yard line. With Frank Leibfarth's extra point, USD led 22-10.
At the 2:25 mark of the second quarter, Little caught his first TD pass of the day on a 14-yard strike from Beschorner. With just 11 seconds left in the half, Beschorner and Little again hooked up, this time from 41-yards. With Leibfarth's kick, USD took a 36-10 advantage into halftime.
Early in the second half, Beschorner threw a 54-yard scoring strike to Gearman at the 14:21 mark of the third quarter. After Truman State was denied a scoring opportunity inside the Coyotes' five-yard line, it was Logan who again found pay dirt. At the 11:17 mark, Logan electrified the crowd with his school-record 98-yard run. After Leibfarth hit the PAT, USD owned a 50-10 lead.
Truman State broke through when Duffy and James Walton connected on a 30-yard scoring pass play at the 9:43 mark of the third quarter. With Kamphoefner's kick, USD had a 50-17 lead.
Just three minutes later, Logan scored his third TD of the game on a 42-yard run. Leibfarth's kick gave USD a 57-17 lead.
In the final seconds of the game, the Bulldogs scored on a 13-yard pass from Duffy to Phillip Henry. Then, after USD downed the ball at its own 16-yard line on the kickoff, Simmons broke loose and raced 84 yards for a TD on the final play of the game.
The Coyote defense was led by senior linebacker Alex York of Guthrie Center, IA, who had nine tackles. Redshirt freshman linebacker Blake Hofer of DeSmet, had six tackles and an interception. Junior linebacker Ryan Hedden of Fairmont, NE, added six tackles.
Next for the Coyotes is a home encounter with Minnesota-Moorhead at 2 p.m. on Sept. 10 in the DakotaDome. USD defeated Minnesota-Moorhead, 51-3, in 2004.