Coyotes Hold Off Western Illinois To Win Bob Nielson Bowl
USD Is 4-0 After 38-33 At Western Illinois
MACOMB, Ill.—Tenth-ranked South Dakota used four scores from quarterback Chris Streveler to build a 38-6 lead and held on late to secure a 38-33 road win at No. 16 Western Illinois Saturday afternoon at Hanson Field in the conference opener for both teams.
The Coyotes (4-0, 1-0 MVFC) moved to 4-0 for the first time since 2006 and won their third road game, also the most since that season. Western Illinois (3-1, 0-1), fresh off three impressive road wins, lost its home opener for the first time in eight seasons.
Streveler, the nation’s leader in points responsible for, threw three touchdown passes and ran for one more. He completed 19 of 32 passes for 328 yards for his second-highest tally as a Coyote and totaled 417 yards in all. His career best was a 378-yard performance against Western Illinois last season.
Brandt Van Roekel returned from an injury to catch six passes for a Coyote-best 119 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown catch late in the first half that gave USD a 17-6 lead. Both of Van Roekel’s 100-yard collegiate receiving performances have come against the Leathernecks.
Tight end Josh Hale caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Streveler with 1 second left in the first half to give USD a 24-6 halftime edge. The Coyotes outgained the Leathernecks 359-166 in the first half. Streveler’s 12 completions in the stanza totaled 232 yards, 109 of which went to Van Roekel.
Things were going South Dakota’s way when left guard Stetson Dagel recovered a Coyote fumble in the end zone to make it 38-6 with 5:44 left in the third quarter. It turned out to be just enough to hold off the Leathernecks.
Western Illinois wide out Jaelon Acklin caught a school-record 19 passes for 343 yards, fourth-most in FCS history. He caught touchdowns of 62, 11 and 41 yards, the third of which made it 38-33 with 2:11 remaining.
Phillip Powell recovered the ensuing onside kick for South Dakota, but Western Illinois defended a 3rd-and-1 plunge by Streveler and a 4th-and-2 run to give its offense one more chance with 34 seconds left and 66 yards to go.
On the first play, quarterback Sean McGuire, who passed for 441 yards, was picked off on a brilliant play by cornerback Danny Rambo for the game’s only turnover. It was Rambo’s first pick of the season and the fourth of his career. He was credited with a team-best eight tackles.
Western Illinois came in averaging 243 yards rushing, but were one dimensional against the Coyotes. The Leathernecks were limited to 33 yards on 23 carries. Max Norris, who entered with more than 300 yards rushing, ran four times for a team-best 19 yards. All-conference back Steve McShane carried 10 times for 15 yards.
The Coyotes passed for 328 and ran for 189. Streveler ran for 89 yards, Kai Henry added 58 yards and Michael Fredrick had 39. Assisting the passing game was Shamar Jackson, who caught three passes for 73 yards, and Levi Falck, who had 53 yards on three grabs. Hale finished with two catches for 31 yards.
South Dakota returns to Vermillion to host defending national runner-up Youngstown State in the annual Dakota Days game. Kickoff from the DakotaDome is set for 2 p.m.
-Recap Courtesy USD Athletics