South Dakota Preview: Part 2

A look at how each team performed against their first opponents last weekend.


Minnesota is easy to figure out after one game. The Gophers are going to run the ball, often. The Golden Gophers opened the MTSU game with nine-straight running plays and finished with 67 total carries and 281 rush yards. Duane Bennett led the way with career high 187 yards and fullback Jon Hoese found the end zone three times.

With the running game producing, senior quarterback Adam Weber only attempted 17 passes, completing 10. While Weber struggled throwing the ball seemed to make easy throws more complicated he managed the game well and didn't turn the ball over.

On defense the Gophers struggled to slow down the fast-paced spread offense of MTSU. The Blue Raiders only had possession for 14 minutes but managed 318 yards of total offense. The Gophers missed a lot of open field tackles that resulted in even bigger plays and couldn't get pressure on the quarterback.

The University of South Dakota fell to Central Florida, 38-7, last Saturday. The Coyote offense was led by Chris Ganious who rushed 19 times for 89 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore wide receiver Will Powell finished with 44 receiving yards. South Dakota kept the game close until the middle of the second quarter when UCF scored 10 points to go up 24-7 at half time.

The Coyote defense gave up 231 yards rushing and 241 yards passing. The defense particularly struggled in key situations. They didn't stop the Knights once in the red zone allowing six scores on six trips inside the 20 yard line. Their third-down defense was only marginally better letting UCF convert 7 out of 10 third down attempts. Junior Shane Potter paced USD's defensive effort with 16 tackles.

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