UPDATE: The game has been canceled due to COVID-19 protocols
Back up to No. 2 in the country, the North Dakota State Bison (5-1) will take on the South Dakota Coyotes (1-3) Saturday in an FCS football matchup.
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The game (2 p.m. ET start time) will be televised locally on NBC North Dakota and MidCO SN, but if you don’t have those channels, anyone in the US can watch North Dakota State vs South Dakota football live on ESPN+ right here:
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You can also watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
North Dakota State vs South Dakota Preview
The Coyotes have lost three straight after winning their season opener, with their most recent loss coming to Youngstown State, 28-10, last weekend. South Dakota failed to generate much offense at all, with quarterback Carson Camp going 21-30 for 214 yards and an interception. The running game stalled in a big way, as the Coyotes managed just 26 yards on 12 carries all game, and their three total turnovers cost them in the end.
“Offensively, we played poorly,” Coyotes coach Bob Nielson said after the loss. “You have to score more than 10 points in college football to have a chance to win, and we didn’t give ourselves a chance to win today.”
The no-huddle, high-tempo offense run by South Dakota could be a challenge for some teams, but the Bison should be also able to get home against the run, particularly if starting linebacker Jackson Haney is healthy enough to play. Haney is day-to-day after leaving the game with an injury last week, but even if sophomore backer Luke Weerts plays in relief, NDSU should have enough in the middle to stop the Coyotes’ rushing attack.
NDSU is coming off a dominating 34-13 win over North Dakota last week. Despite a lackluster performance by Bison quarterback Zeb Noland, who went 5-13 for 127 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, North Dakota State was aided immensely by a devastating ground attack. Hunter Luepke led the way for the Bison, netting 190 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries (that’s 6.8 yards per carry), while Dominic Gonnella added 12 carries for 83 yards in a dominant performance on the ground. If NDSU wants to continue its winning ways, the team will need better play under center — but right now, their leader is stressing patience.
“He’s 23-years-old. He gets concerned that he wants to be perfect,” Bison head coach Matt Entz said about Noland. “He needs to understand that he’s not filling anyone’s shoes, he has his own pair of shoes he makes sure he needs to take care of. That goes with the position here at NDSU. It’s part of the job. It’s my job, it’s our staff’s job to make sure he’s comfortable with what were calling offensively and we put him in a situation to be successful.”
NDSU is 56-24-2 all-time against South Dakota, winning the last four, and it should make it five in a row Saturday, even with a struggling signal-caller leading the way.
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