VERMILLION, S.D. (GoYotes.com) — South Dakota football (3-6, 2-3 MVFC) hosts Youngstown State (5-4, 1-4 MVFC) at 2 p.m. Saturday inside the DakotaDome on Military Appreciation Day at USD.
South Dakota has averaged 30 points and 464 yards during its three-game losing skid, but 13 turnovers and a 3-for-9 performance on fourth down has kept more points off the board. Kai Henry has eclipsed 100 yards rushing in back-to-back games. Austin Simmons leads the Valley in passing and total offense. Caleb Vander Esch leads the league in catches. Two-time all-American Darin Greenfield is three sacks shy of the program record. Inside linebacker Jack Cochrane is the Valley’s third-leading tackler.
Youngstown State lost senior QB Nathan Mays to an ankle injury during last week’s 56-17 loss to NDSU. Sophomore Joe Craycraft took snaps and true freshman Mark Waid made his debut in Mays’ absence. Regardless, the strength of the Penguins is their defense and a ground game headed by senior Joe Alessi that both rank 22nd nationally. Only NDSU and SDSU have reached 200 yards rushing against YSU. Alessi averages 6.6 yards per carry and 77 yards per game. Top receiver Jermiah Braswell (453 yds, 5 TDs in 2019) is nearing 1,000 career receiving yards. DE Justus Reed(8.5 sacks, 13.0 TFL) is a disruptor on defense and safety Zaire Jones leads the team in tackles.
Game will be broadcast on The Talk of Watertown, 1480 KSDR with John Thayer (play-by-play) and Gary Culver (analyst).