Southern Utah to face rival Coyotes of South Dakota

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CEDAR CITY -- Southern Utah looks to extend its conference winning streak Saturday against the rival South Dakota Coyotes.

The Coyotes are coming off of a 19-14 loss to No. 22 Northern Iowa. USD had the early lead before UNI scored 13 unanswered points in the second half to secure the win. The Coyotes moved to 3-4 and 1-1 in conference play.

Last weekend, Southern Utah defeated the No. 13 Cal Poly Mustangs 20-7 breaking a nine-game losing streak to the Mustangs and winning its homecoming game. The T-Birds gained 346 total yards on offense, and the defense shut down the option offense of Cal Poly. SUU is now 3-4 this season and 2-0 in Great West Conference games.

Football Head Coach Ed Lamb said he was pleased with the way the defense handled the tricky Mustang offense.

"If you try to make a play that's really not yours to make, the option offense will find that weakness," Lamb said. "I thought our defensive guys did a great job taking care of their particular assignments and trusting the guy next to them. It was just a total team effort."

The Coyotes have dominated SUU in the past two meetings. Last year USD beat the T-Birds 45-21 and again 45-20 in 2008. The T-Birds gave up over 800 rushing yards in those two games alone.

Lamb said the team is aware of these statistics, but SUU has not given up more than 800 rushing yards in their first seven games combined.

He said the offensive attack will depend on what the USD defense brings.

"We want to prepare the pass and run games efficiently," Lamb said. "Then we will take a look at what their defense wants to give us, and we need to be ready to take on what they put up against us."

Sophomore quarterback Brad Sorensen said the Coyotes are a talented team, but the T-Birds have found their "swagger" these past few weeks.

"In the past, South Dakota has taken the jump on us early in the game, and we've had to fight from behind," Sorensen said. "We're going to try to establish the run game early, and that will set up the pass game for us. We're feeling confident going into this game, so we just need to keep moving the football like we have been the past two weeks."

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. in Eccles Coliseum.

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Brooke Cersosimo


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