That was a letdown. North Dakota State's 26 game home winning streak was snapped on Saturday afternoon as the Bison fell 24-21. South Dakota kicker Miles Bergner kiced a 33 yard field goal as time expired and sent the Bison faithful home wondering about the rest of the season. The Bison were outgained on offense 395 to 320. Joe Glenn's Coyotes finally have the signature win the program has been searching for since the move to the Missouri Valley.
The Bison run defense was missing in action again. They've been unimpressive since the -4 yards-against performance in Brookings against South Dakota State. The Coyotes did whatever they wanted in the running game, racking up 192 yards on 42 attempts. If North Dakota State can't improve against the run, teams aren't going to have to test the Bison's formidable pass defense.
It was a wholly impressive performance from South Dakota. After a 14-0 Bison start, it certainly looked like the rout was on. The Bison looked well on their way to their 3rd conference victory. It would have been easy for the 'Yotes to panic and start throwing the ball all over the place or to just fold up shop and take their beating.
Instead the Yotes came out in the second quarter and threw haymaker after haymaker at the Thundering Herd. Using read option runs and even jump passes, the unconventional, no huddle offense of South Dakota had the Bison on the ropes all day long. Quarterback Ryan Saeger and running back Trevor Bouma gouged the Bison defense for 186 yards on the ground by themselves
North Dakota State didn't play well either. South Dakota deserves a ton of credit but the Bison didn't do themselves any favors. Both the offensive and defensive lines of the Bison lost their battles all day long. Once again the Thundering Herd couldn't find a way to eclipse 4 yards per carry. Carson Wentz and the passing offense did not pick up the slack, failing to produce 200 yards passing against a Coyotes defense that has struggled so far in Valley play.
If the Bison want to host all their playoff games it is likely that they need to run the table. Three of the next five games for the Thundering Herd are on the road. Next week's game at Indiana State now looms large, as the Sycamores are tied with the Bison at 2-1 in conference play. The next home game for NDSU comes against Western Illinois, who are undefeated in Valley play.