The South Dakota Coyotes will kick their season off against the Illinois State Redbirds at Hancock Stadium in Normal, Illinois on Saturday.
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The game (1 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on TV, but anyone in the US can watch South Dakota vs Illinois State football live on ESPN+ right here:
ESPN+ will have coverage of most Missouri Valley, OVC, Southern, Big South and other FCS football games this spring, as well as live college basketball, UFC, international soccer, Australian Open tennis, dozens of other live sports, every 30-for-30 documentary, and additional original content (both video and written) all for $5.99 per month.
Or, if you also want Disney+ and Hulu, you can get all three for $12.99 per month, which works out to about 31 percent savings:
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch South Dakota vs Illinois State live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet.
You can also watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
South Dakota vs Illinois State Preview
The Coyotes have been holding a quarterback competition this offseason, and this game will likely showcase multiple players at the position. Fifth-year senior Tyler Tsagalis and redshirt junior Jakob Parks are the two likeliest candidates to emerge as the starter against the Coyotes, with freshmen Hayden Ekern and Carson Camp also on the roster. Look for Tsagalis and Parks to get the most reps at first, with the most efficient of the two emerging as the team’s starter.
South Dakota saw it’s first game against Western Illinois postponed due to COVID-19 protocols, pushing their home opener back a few weeks. “We’re disappointed,” USD coach Bob Nielson said this week about the postponement. “We were excited to play a home opener, (but) at the same time we entered the season knowing full well that these kinds of things could potentially happen. You just hoped that it wouldn’t impact your schedule.”
The team used the extra time to better prepare for the Redbirds. “We’ll spend a little time on some of the elements of the kicking game that we feel like we need to build on,” Nielson added. “With the bonus week, we’ll continue to find ways to continue to improve fundamentally and also start to look at game preparation for Illinois State and because we have a super-tight turnaround for our second game against North Dakota, we’ll even get a chance to do a little bit of preliminary work for that game. We’ll use the week to put us in a great position to start off the season.”
As for Illinois State, they also saw their first home game of the season against Missouri State postponed due to unsafe field conditions. It was a controversial cancellation, and Redbirds head coach Brock Spack said he’s proud of his team for how they handled the disappointing news. “They handled last week a lot better than the head coach did,” Spack said of the postponement. “I had to follow their lead. I was so impressed. They went right back to work, changing their mindset to get ready for a new opponent.”
The Redbirds are led by sophomore quarterback Bryce Jefferson, who saw limited action when he last played in 2019. Jefferson completed 15 of 34 passes for 184 yards, a touchdown and three picks, with a rating of 81.6. A dual threat, the sophomore signal-caller is also dangerous on the ground, and he’ll be facing a vulnerable rush defense, which should be one of the game’s key matchups to watch.