(From the SDSU sports desk)
VERMILLION, S.D. – Taryn Christion threw for three touchdowns and the South Dakota State came up with three key stops in the second half to defeat the University of South Dakota, 31-28, in the regular season finale for both teams at the DakotaDome.
With their fifth consecutive win, including their fourth in a row against a ranked opponent, the fifth-ranked Jackrabbits improved to 9-2 overall and 6-2 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. USD, ranked 15th, dropped to 7-4 overall and 4-4 in league play.
After USD missed a 42-yard field goal that would have tied the game, the Jackrabbits pushed the lead back to 10 points at 31-21 with an eight-play, 75-yard drive. A leaping one-handed catch by Dallas Goedert for 10 yards on third-and-1 kept the drive alive before Christion found Cade Johnson open in the right flat for a 17-yard touchdown with 4 minutes, 52 seconds to play.
The Jackrabbit defense came up with its second turnover of the day on the next Coyote drive as Eric Kleinschmit forced a fumble and Christian Rozeboom recovered at the SDSU 23. Rozeboom led all players with 10 tackles, followed by nine from Chris Balster and eight by Nick Farina. The Coyotes got the ball back after burning all three of their timeouts and drove the length of the field to pull to within 31-28 on a 3-yard pass from Streveler to Allen.
However, SDSU secured the victory by recovering the onside kick and managing to run out the clock thanks to some scrambling by Christion. The junior quarterback completed 23-of-36 passes for 299 yards and tied Austin Sumner (2011-14) atop the SDSU career charts for touchdown passes with 65. Goedert ended the day by tying a season high with 11 catches for 117 yards, while Isaac Wallace gained 69 yards on 10 carries.
USD finished with a 583-386 advantage in total offense as Streveler ended the day 27-of-39 passing for 286 yards and added 65 yards on 12 carries. The Coyotes had two running backs go over the century mark as Fredrick tallied 123 yards on 15 carries and Kai Henry added 109 yards on 17 carries. Allen posted a team-high seven catches for 83 yards.