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South Dakota Loses at Kansas, 31-14

Memorial Stadium. Lawrence KS
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

About the only thing Charlie Weis has proven he can do in 13 games as head coach at Kansas is beat teams from South Dakota.

Weis’ Jayhawks have won just two games in the past 12 months, one against South Dakota State last September, 31-17, and now a game against South Dakota, 31-14, Saturday night in Lawrence.

Kansas outgained USD 390-286 in total offense, even though the Coyotes held the ball more than five minutes longer.

The Jayhawks appeared to get an early break, when they partially blocked punt in the first quarter, but the Coyote defense gave up just nine yards on the ensuing drive, forcing KU to give it back on downs.

That seemed to spark the USD offense, which had gone three and out of its first two possessions. The Coyotes put together a nine play drive, keyed by back-to-back runs of 14 and 13 yards from running back Jordan Roberts and quarterback Josh Vander Maten, setting up a Vander Maten to Drew Potter 2-yard touchdown pass, and it was 7-0 South Dakota. Vander Maten and Roberts both finished with more than 70 yards rushing on the night.

Kansas needed less than three minutes to tie it up, as the Jayhawks used a 25-yard pass from Jake Heaps to Tony Pierson to get inside Coyote territory, then two plays later,  Heaps connected with Josh Ford for 22-yards to get it down to the USD 1 yard line.  James Sims took it in from there to make it 7-7.

The two teams then traded turnovers.  KU’s Keon Stowers picked off an Aaron Swift pass and appeared to score a go ahead touchdown, but an illegal blocking penalty wiped the score off and gave the Jayhawks the ball on their own 42.

Kansas appeared to to be on the verge of taking the lead eight plays later, but Sean Bredl forced a Sims fumble on the USD four yard line.

When the Coyotes were forced to punt moments later, Miles Bergner got off a poor kick and Connor Embry returned it to the USD 9.

Two plays later, Kansas took advantage as Heaps hit Justin McCay for 5 yards to make it 14-7 at the half.

The Coyotes got the ball to start the second half, but after a three and out, Kansas strung together 12 running plays, with a Sims’ 6-yard run capping a 71 yard drive, eating up nearly six minutes, and it was 21-7 Jayhawks. Sims finished with 94 yards and two touchdowns.

The USD offense finally started clicking in the second half on its fourth possession, as a mixture of runs and passes led to a ten play, 74-yard drive, with Vander Maten going the final nine yards to cut the KU lead to 24-14.

But it took Kansas exactly 90 seconds to go up by 17, as Tony Pierson, Brandon Bourbon, and Sims each had carries of 13 yards or more, and Bourbon’s 8-yard run made it 31-14 with 5:59 left.

USD only had the ball one more drive, but managed only 18 yards on seven plays, and the Jayhawks got it back and ran out the clock.

The Coyotes fall to 1-1.  Kansas is 1-0.

South Dakota has next Saturday off before playing at Northern Arizona, September 21st at 6:00pm.

Zenner Breaks Record as SDSU beats North Dakota 35-28

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