The 1-1 Fighting Hawks hit the road after a 37-16 loss to FBS Utah and a 34-0 win over Missouri State to take on a Coyotes squad that has two wins to open the season over Drake (77-7) and FBS Bowling Green (35-27).
A season ago these two teams met in Grand Forks and played a double-overtime thriller, won 47-44 by North Dakota to take the Sitting Bull Trophy for the second straight season. This weekend, North Dakota will look to notch its third straight win against the Coyotes while South Dakota will try to defend their home stadium.
|STAT||NORTH DAKOTA||SOUTH DAKOTA|
|Total Yards Allowed/Game||355.0||309.5|
|Turnover Margin||plus 1||plus 7|
South Dakota's Chris Streveler averages 275 yards a game, and he'll be tested by a North Dakota defense giving up less than 200 passing yards per contest. He's been able to find his top target, Kody Case, 6 times for 170 yards and a pair of scores this season. Levi Falck also has six grabs on the year.
South Dakota's defense has been a bit more porous, allowing 230 passing yards per game. UND quarterback Keaton Studsrud could be productive with his favorite target Noah Wanzek (9 catches, 167 yards, 2 TDs). De’mun Mercer and Travis Toivonen each have nine receptions, too.
South Dakota run defense vs. North Dakota
The Coyotes have allowed just 77 rushing yards per game this season, which could prove to be the key stat in the game. Can North Dakota's duo of Brady Olivera and John Santiago find some creases to run? Here's how they've played so far:
The duo combine for an average of 126 yards per game, and as a team North Dakota rushes for more than 150 yards per game.
If South Dakota can continue to shut down the run, they'll have a good shot at the upset.
North Dakota run defense vs. South Dakota
While the UND defense is averaging less rushing yards allowed per game, they'll face a tough test this weekend as dual-threat quarterbacks like Chris Streveler are always hard to wrangle.
South Dakota rushes for 263 yards per game (they put up 312 against Drake) and has a two-headed attack of Streveler and Michael Fredrick:
Both players are averaging well over 100 yards per game on the season, and they've combined to score 6 rushing touchdowns. North Dakota has allowed less than 200 rushing yards each game, but this duo will certainly test them.
How to Watch
WHAT: North Dakota vs. South Dakota
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 16, 2 p.m. CT
WHERE: DakotaDome, Vermillion, South Dakota
LIVE STREAM: WatchESPN
North Dakota leads the all-time series 61-29-5 — can South Dakota close the gap? We'll find out this weekend.