In the face of some difficult circumstances South Dakota delivered one of it's most inspired performances of the season in last week's 42-0 win over Southern Illinois at the DakotaDome.
Not only was it the Coyotes' first ever shutout of a Valley opponent, but it also gave them seven wins on the season. That's bar that had previously never been reached during the program's relatively short history. And while it's tough to ignore it's significance in terms of a potential playoff berth, head coach Bob Nielson is keeping his team focused on other things.
"It means we've won seven games, which is a good thing" Nielson said with a chuckle earlier this week. "Our team really has goals of continuing to play the kind of football that we've been playing throughout the end of the season. If we do that we've got a chance to compete for a conference championship. Being at seven wins gives us a chance to do that and control our own destiny the rest of the way out."
South Dakota will kickoff a difficult final month of the regular season this Saturday at Northern Iowa. The Panthers (4-4, 3-2 MVFC) experienced some early season struggles, but have rebounded to win two of their last three games.
That stretch includes a 38-18 victory at South Dakota State on Oct. 14, which was as impressive as it was surprising.
UNI leads the all-time series 27-19-1, although the schools have split the last four meetings. The Coyotes beat the Panthers, 28-25, at the DakotaDome last October.
By The Numbers
After taking last week off, Argus Leader Media's Mick Garry and I got the band back together for some in-depth conversation about South Dakota football. What's the status of Chris Streveler? Is seven wins enough to get the Yotes a playoff spot? Those are the kind of answers you'll find here: