North Dakota State hadn’t lost a homecoming game or conference opener since 2010 but both streaks came to a screeching halt as the South Dakota Coyotes came to Fargo and shocked the second-ranked Bison 24-19.
The Bison came into the game as 21.5-point favorites to beat a South Dakota team that hadn’t won in Fargo in 8 years and had questions after a pretty easy non-conference schedule outside of Missouri. NDSU had looked like a top-five team after beating two ranked opponents, were coming off a bye, and the Bison are historically one of the best teams in the country off of a bye week. None of that seemed to matter to USD
The Coyotes received the opening kickoff and threw a haymaker that sent NDSU into a neutral corner as USD went 75 yards on just six plays as quarterback Aidan Bouman caught the NDSU defense napping as he connected with wide receiver Carter Bell for a 50-yard touchdown pass to go up seven to nothing.
The NDSU offense responded by marching the ball 56 yards over 16 plays but could only muster a Griffin Crosa field goal to cut the lead to four, 7-3. South Dakota then proceeded to look like Bison teams of old as they scored on their next two possessions as Keyondre Jones found paydirt from 8 yards out and then after a Cam Miller interception, South Dakota took all air out of the Fargodome. By connecting on a 52-yard bomb from Aidan Bouman to Carter Bell to make it 21-3 Coyotes at the break.
The Bison did their best to claw their way back into the game by scoring on the opening possession of the second half by covering 89 yards in 12 plays, capped off by a Cole Payton touchdown run to make it 21-10. The defense then finally got the Coyotes offense off the field and then covered 80 yards in 16 plays but had to settle for a field goal due to questionable play calling to make it a 21-13 game.
The Coyotes preceded to then take the final 15 minutes out of NDSU’s hands by taking over eight minutes off the clock in the 4th quarter and put the game out of reach with a field goal to make it 24-13.
The Bison offense did score a touchdown on the next drive but failed to get the two-point conversion or the onside kick as USD pulls off a massive upset over the Bison, 24-19.
The stats don’t pop out for either side but the efficiency of the South Dakota offense and the way they managed the clock made NDSU play left-handed, meaning they had to play from behind which is something NDSU is not familiar with nor are they built to do. NDSU in the 2nd half took up way too much time on the drives they had including a drive where they had the ball for nearly nine and a half minutes and got only three points. The Bison didn’t use their possessions effectively and it ended up biting them in the end.
North Dakota State goes on the road to face the Missouri State Bears at Plaster Stadium on Saturday at 2 p.m.