VERMILLION, S.D.—Redshirt freshman running back Trevor Bouma ran for a season-high 145 yards and two touchdowns to lead South Dakota to a 17-14 win against Indiana State Saturday at the DakotaDome. It's the second straight win for the Coyotes (3-3, 2-1 MVFC), who improved to 3-0 at home.
Bouma scored the first touchdown of the game and the last. He capped the Coyotes' opening drive of the game with a 3-yard run, which gave USD a 7-0 lead. His 4-yard plunge made it 17-14 with 11:06 to go in the fourth quarter. South Dakota ran 52 times for 205 yards on the day.
Saturday's game pitted South Dakota and the top pass defense in the nation (109 ypg) against Indiana State and the conference's top pass offense (308 ypg). ISU quarterbacks Mike Perish and Rob Tonyan Jr. combined for 82 yards on 13 of 25 passing. They were sacked five times.
Perish, the starter, appeared to have injured his knee during the second series of the game. He sat out one play, returned the next, and immediately threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Johnson on 3rd-and-9 that tied the game at 7. Perish returned for one more series before giving way to Tonyan Jr. He finished 5 of 8 for 48 yards.
South Dakota committed turnovers on four consecutive possessions – two before halftime and two after halftime – but the Coyote defense yielded one score. Tonyan Jr. threw a 3-yard touchdown to Logan Buske just before halftime that made it 14-7. The Sycamores needed 22 yards on the series after the Coyotes failed to handle an ISU punt.
USD freshman Miles Bergner kicked a 43-yard field goal midway through the third quarter that cut the lead to 14-10. He downed a punt on the Indiana State 2 at the end of the next series. ISU failed to get a first down and Aaron Swift's 15-yard punt return to the ISU 36 set up the go-ahead score.
USD quarterback Kevin Earl converted three third downs on the Coyotes' final touchdown drive. The first was an 11-yard swing pass to Bouma on 3rd-and-11. Tight end Kayl Barkley caught his first pass of the season on 3rd-and-3 and gained four yards. Bouma was back in the end zone on the next play. Earl, in his second collegiate start, was 15 of 25 for 165 yards.
Dyllon Knox's first interception as a Coyote ended Indiana State's next drive. Knox returned the pick 25 yards to the ISU 20. The play led to a 34-yard field goal attempt, but Donovan Layne blocked Bergner's kick to keep the lead at three.
Indiana State's final possession stalled on the USD 34. Tonyan Jr. was forced to scramble on 4th-and-4 and was forced out of bounds by Jet Moreland four yards shy of the marker. Tonyan Jr. converted on 4th-and-6 earlier in the possession. He finished 8 of 17 for 34 yards.
USD took over with 3:39 to go and Bouma carried six consecutive times to run out the clock. He picked up a 3rd-and-2 and a 3rd-and-3 on the final drive.
South Dakota played the first half without starting outside linebacker Tyler Starr, who was forced to sit out following a helmet-to-helmet hit last week against Missouri State. Sophomore Keyen Lage, who starts on the other side, helped picked up the slack and had a team-high nine tackles, including two for loss. Lineman Drew Iddings had four tackles, including one of the Coyotes' three first-half sacks.
ISU ran 26 plays in the second half. In that time, Starr compiled seven tackles, forced a fumble and picked up his 25th collegiate sack. Starr stands two sacks shy of A.J. Schable's program record.