Vermillion, SD (KWSN) - Ask 3rd year USD Football Coach Joe Glenn about what motivates him the most and he will not hesitate to tell you – it’s proving someone wrong. His young Coyote squad was picked near the bottom of this year’s Missouri Valley Football Conference pre-season poll, and Glenn says he is using that as motivation for the upcoming season.
To prove those doubters wrong Glenn will be relying on a young defense and an offense that returns 11 lettermen from 2013’s squad that finished 4-8, losing 5 of those contests by 2 possessions. Glenn says the offense will be the backbone of this year’s squad, beginning with an offensive line that returns 4 starters and a center in Sam McLeren who he feels is an all-American caliber player. The Coyote offense also boasts former Minnesota Mr. Football nominee Riley Donovan, who had his redshirt pulled last year and finished the season with 553 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns on his way to a spot on the 2013 College Sports Journal FCS All-Freshman Team.
As far as Defense goes Glenn says his staff is still sorting out some position battles, mainly in the secondary where 10-12 athletes are competing for the 4 spots. Glenn says he may not name his secondary rotation until after the fall scrimmage. South Dakota's defense does return LB Auston Johnson and DL Drew Iddings, who were named MVFC Pre-season All-Conference and will be called upon to fill the void left by current Atlanta Falcons LB Tyler Starr.
South Dakota’s non-conference schedule kicks off August 30th at #4 Oregon, a game that will be televised nationally by the PAC-12 Network. The home opener is slated for Sept. 6th against William Penn (IA). Dates with Montana and Northern Arizona round out the Coyotes Non-Conference slate before the MVFC opener against Southern Illinois on October 4th.