(STATS) – It was one of those upsets that even in hindsight, it was hard to imagine.
Even for a Missouri Valley Football Conference that has a collection of the strongest teams in the FCS.
South Dakota’s Miles Bergner kicked a 33-yard field goal as time expired and the Coyotes upset No. 2 North Dakota State 24-21 on Saturday to end a 14-game conference losing streak as well as the Bison’s Missouri Valley-record, 26-game home winning streak.
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South Dakota (3-3, 1-2), which entered the game 3-23 in Missouri Valley play since joining the conference in 2012, handed the four-time defending FCS champion Bison (4-2, 2-1) their first loss at the Fargodome since they fell to Indiana State 17-14 on Oct. 13, 2012.
The Coyotes had been 0-8 in the Fargodome and hadn’t won in Fargo since 1978, but they kept NDSU scoreless in the second half while pulling off the biggest win of the Joe Glenn era.
"They didn’t give us anything. We earned it. We earned the win today," Glenn said.
South Dakota tied the game 21-21 with a 15-play drive that was capped by Ryan Saeger’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Drew Potter with 4:47 left to play. Then, after holding NDSU to a three-and-out, the Coyotes got the ball back at the 3:20 mark and went 55 yards in nine plays for Bergner’s game-winner.
They outgained NDSU 395 yards to 320. Saeger threw for 202 yards and ran for 92 while accounting for all three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing). Trevor Bouma rushed for a game-high 94 yards on 20 carries and caught two passes for 80 yards.
"The thing the coaches stressed was get the game into the fourth quarter and let’s see what happens, and that’s exactly what we did," Saeger said.
NDSU’s Carson Wentz was 16 of 28 for 195 yards and two interceptions, while linebacker Nick DeLuca posted a game-high 15 tackles. The Bison had 125 yards on 31 carries, but that was 69 yards below their vaunted run game’s average.
Jacksonville State returned from a bye week and rolled up 619 total yards in an easy victory. Quarterback Eli Jenkins passed for 184 yards and two touchdowns and added 86 rushing yards and a score.
No. 4 Illinois State (5-1, 3-0 Missouri Valley) 38, Missouri State (1-5, 0-3) 2
Redbirds quarterback Tre Roberson and wide receiver Anthony Warrum connected three times for touchdowns. Roberson was 15 of 23 for 304 yards, while Warrum had seven receptions for 194 yards.
Marshaun Coprich carried the ball 16 times for 139 yards and two touchdowns.
No. 5 James Madison (7-0, 4-0 CAA) 51, Elon (2-5, 1-3) 0
James Madison continued the best start in program history with its first shutout since a 56-0 win over Hofstra on Oct. 4, 2008.
Running back Cardon Johnson (17 carries, 165 yards, two touchdowns) and quarterback Vad Lee (198 passing yards and two TDs; 66 rushing yards) led the offense, while Taylor Reynolds intercepted two passes.
Chattanooga quarterback Jacob Huesman had 316 yards of total offense and accounted for two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) as the Mocs won their 10th straight Southern Conference game.
Sema’je Kendall’s 28-yard interception return for a touchdown gave the Mocs a 33-21 lead in the fourth quarter. Junior Henrique Ribeiro tied a school record with four field goals.
No. 7 South Dakota State (5-1, 2-1 Missouri Valley) 38, No. 11 Youngstown State (3-3, 1-2) 8
South Dakota State kept Youngstown State without a touchdown, while Kyle Paris rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns and quarterback Taryn Christion had both a TD run and pass.
No. 8 Eastern Washington (4-2, 3-0 Big Sky) 45, Idaho State (2-5, 1-3) 28
Junior Cooper Kupp was everywhere in Eastern Washington’s fourth straight win. He set the school’s all-time receptions record (261) by catching 14 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns from Jordan West and returned the favor by throwing a 24-yard score to West. He also returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown.
West was 29 of 46 for 323 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.
No. 9 Sam Houston State (4-2, 4-1 Southland) 49, Abilene Christian (2-4, 2-3) 21
Jared Johnson threw for a school record-tying five touchdowns to power Sam Houston State’s fourth straight win and finished with 250 yards.
Western Illinois built a 21-3 lead in the first half and held on to gain a share of first place in the Missouri Valley with Illinois State. Trenton Norvell was 25 of 36 for 263 yards and a touchdown, while Nikko Watson was a workhorse with 35 carries for 115 yards and one touchdown.
UNI’s Deiondre’ Hall scored on a 32-yard interception return.
Eastern Kentucky scored the final 20 points, including Bennie Coney’s two touchdown passes in the second half. He finished 20 of 29 for 275 yards.
Defensive end Noah Spence finished with seven tackles, 3 1/2 tackles for a loss and 1 1/2 sacks.
No. 15 McNeese State (6-0, 5-0 Southland) 28, Central Arkansas (3-3, 3-1) 13
Wallace Scott sparked McNeese State with a 45-yard fumble return for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter. Ryan Ross (100 rushing yards) later scored on a 10-yard run and quarterback Daniel Sims added his second TD run as the unbeaten Cowboys scored 21 unanswered points in the quarter.
No. 17 Portland State (5-1, 2-1 Big Sky) 59, No. 16 Montana State (3-3, 2-2) 42
Senior David Jones carried the ball 23 times for 285 yards and three touchdowns to lead Portland State’s 465-yard ground assault.
Montana State quarterback Dakota Prukop rushed for 102 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 211 yards and a score.
No. 18 Harvard (5-0) 42, Lafayette (1-6) 0
Harvard posted its second straight shutout while extending its winning streak to an FCS-high 19 games. The Crimson have not allowed a touchdown in the last 188 minutes, 41 seconds.
Linebacker Eric Medes had a team-high seven tackles, including two for a loss. Paul Stanton Jr. rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns.
No. 24 William & Mary (4-2, 3-1 CAA), No. 19 New Hampshire (3-3, 1-2) 18
The Tribe’s Kendall Anderson rushed for 174 yards and two touchdowns while quarterback Steve Cluley ran for two scores and threw for one.
UNH quarterback Sean Goldrich returned to the lineup after missing three starts with a high ankle sprain. He struggled, though, going 15 for 29 for 154 yards and two interceptions while being sacked five times. Running back Dalton Crossan led the Wildcats’ offense with 132 yards from scrimmage, including a 37-yard touchdown run.
Villanova ended a two-game losing streak by forcing five turnovers, with Cameron McCurry intercepting two passes and forcing a fumble. Quarterback Zack Bednarczyk was perfect, completing all 12 of his passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns.