USD hits the road to UNI

VERMILLION, S.D. (GoYotes.com) — South Dakota football (3-3, 2-0 MVFC) takes on the 14th-ranked UNI Panthers (3-3, 1-1 MVFC) at 4 p.m. Saturday inside the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

USD has won three in a row and is 2-0 to begin MVFC play for the third consecutive season. The Coyotes have outrushed their opponents 738-141 during their win streak. QB Austin Simmons (236 yds) and Kai Henry (211 yds) have led that ground attack in recent weeks, while Simmons has passed for 622 yards and six TDs in three wins. Caleb Vander Esch has led the team in receiving for four consecutive games. Defensively, the team has forced six turnovers and registered nine sacks during the streak. A senior-laden def. line has been the strength of that unit.

UNI’s three losses are road decisions at Iowa State (3OT), #5 Weber State and #1
NDSU.  The Panthers are 3-0 at home where an opponent has yet to top 14 points … UNI has yet to allow a 300-yard passer and NDSU was the first FCS team to surpass 101 yards rushing.  That’s thanks in large part to a front-seven that’s produced 17 sacks and 47 tackles-for-loss.  Junior DE Elerson Smith is putting together an All-America season with 7.5 sacks and 11.5 TFL.  The offense is led by R-Fr. QB Will McElvain who has thrown 9 TDs with just 1 INT.  Without sacks, he’s the team’s second-leading rusher behind senior Trevor Allen.  Tsaiah Weston (23 rec, 510 yds, 5 TDs) is the Valley’s top receiver.

Game will be broadcast locally on The Talk of Watertown, 1480 KSDR with Joe Van Goor (play-by-play), Gary Culver (analyst) and John Thayer (sidelines).