For the first time in more than a decade, the University of South Dakota is 5-0, and sitting as one of the nation best teams. The success may come as surprise to some, but inside the locker room the Coyotes have been confident in themselves since day one
"I'm proud with where we are at. You know, we have played good football over the first five weeks, and as I told our guys in the locker room Saturday night, what winning a big game like that one on Saturday does, is it just makes the next one that much bigger," South Dakota Head Coach Bob Nielson said.
"It's nice to be able to see your hard work paying off and winning games. You know, we did a lot of work this off-season, so be able to win some games and have it paying off so far - it's exciting, but at the same time we realize we need to keep the peddle pushed to the floor if we want to continue to have success," South Dakota Senior Quarterback Chris Streveler said.
USD is finding success this season by excelling in all three phases on the game. Special teams came up clutch with a game-winning field goal last week, their rushing defense is ranked 16th in the nation, and the lead in the country in total offense with more than 530 yards per game.
"The other thing is our offense is playing with confidence. we felt like we had a lot of experience back there, and we are making plays at critical times," Nielson said.
"Ah it's a lot of fun. You know, we distribute the ball, and at any given time anyone can score. We got that type of offense where you know, we can go on 10-play drives or two-play drives - it doesn't matter," South Dakota Junior Wide Receiver Shamar Jackson said.
"You know, nothing happens without those guys up-front. I mean, they work their tales off every single day and their is not another offensive line in the entire country that I would rather be standing behind," Streveler said.
The Coyotes have accomplished their early season goals, but know theirs a lot of football left to be played in the Missouri Valley. The message moving forward? Continue to get better each rep, and keep your foot on the gas peddle.
"It's a group that understands that if you want to be successful, it starts by number one believing that you can be successful, and then number two putting forth the effort that you need to be successful," Nielson said.
"In order to continue to have success, we need to continue to push harder and harder everyday. That is something that coach reiterates and I think everyone on this team really believes in," Streveler said.