The Bob Nielson era will officially begin in Albuquerque.
The University of South Dakota announced Wednesday (Jan. 13) that Nielson and the Coyotes will open up the 2016 season against the University of New Mexico on Sept. 3.
The game had been in the works for a while, but nothing could be finalized until the University of California - USD's original Sept. 3 opponent - signed a document stating they had canceled their game against the Coyotes.
South Dakota Athletic Director received that documentation late last week, so things moved pretty quickly from there.
This is a deal that works out very well for South Dakota. Not only did Herbster manage to fill an empty date on relatively short notice - which is not an easy thing to do in the world of scheduling - he found another FBS opponent. That, of course, means more cash. In addition to the $500k buyout that Cal now owes, USD will receive $375k from New Mexico. Not too shabby.
With Wednesday's announcement, USD's 2016 football schedule is now complete. In addition to New Mexico, the Coyotes will play a pair of Big Sky opponents - Weber State (Sept. 10) and North Dakota (Sept. 17) - to round out non-conference play. They'll open the eight-game Missouri Valley Football Conference slate on Oct. 1 at Youngstown State. USD will play Indiana State (Oct. 15) for the first time since 2013, while Missouri State rotates off the schedule for the next two seasons.
2016 USD Football Schedule
- Sept. 3 - at New Mexico (7-6, 5-3 Mountain West)
- Sept. 10 - Weber State (6-5, 5-3 Big Sky)
- Sept. 17 - at North Dakota (7-4, 5-3 Big Sky)
- Sept. 24 - BYE
- Oct. 1 - at Youngstown State* *(5-6, 3-5 MVFC)
- Oct. 8 - UNI* (9-5, 5-3 MVFC | FCS Quarterfinals)
- Oct. 15 - at Indiana State* (5-6, 3-5 MVFC)
- Oct. 22 - Illinois State* (10-3, 7-1 MVFC | FCS Quarterfinals)
- Oct. 29 - Western Illinois* (7-6, 5-3 MVFC | 2nd Rd of FCS Playoffs)
- Nov. 5 - at Southern Illinois* (3-8, 2-6 MVFC)
- Nov. 12 - at South Dakota State* (8-4, 5-3 MVFC)
- Nov. 19 - North Dakota State* (13-2, 7-1 MVFC | FCS National Champions)
*Denotes MVFC Game