For the University of South Dakota football team, last week was one to forget.
After playing Southern Illinois to a draw through the opening 30 minutes on the road in their opening MVFC contest of 2014, the Yotes were outscored 31-0 in the second half in Carbondale against the then-16th ranked Salukis, ultimately falling by the final scoreline of 41-10. The defense struggled to get stops against the multi-dimensional SIU attack, and the offense gave them little time to recover. All in all, not a good combination for Joe Glenn's crew.
It's evident, though, that heads won't be hanging for long in Vermillion, as a massive Dakota Days test is up next in the form of the 21st-ranked Panthers of Northern Iowa. Like USD, UNI had a tough start to their MVFC slate, falling 20-19 on the road at Indiana State, and just like the Coyotes, they'll be desparate for a win on Saturday.
Between the presence of an old rival on the field (and one the Yotes beat last year in dramatic double-OT fashion), a sold-out Dakota Dome, new alternate uniforms to wear, and the return of starting quarterback Kevin Earl and nose tackle Nick Jacobs to the lineup, this weekend could very well prove to be one to remember.
For much more on the match-up, here's Jay Elsen and I in our latest Coyote Corner video blog post: