FARGO, N.D. — For the first time since 2015, South Dakota defeated No. 2 North Dakota State, with the Coyotes holding off the Bison 24-19 at the Fargodome.
South Dakota took control of the game early, stunning North Dakota State and hushing the passionate Bison fans after jumping out to a 21-3 lead at halftime. Quarterback Aidan Bouman stole the show early, throwing only two incompletions on his first two drives while leading the Coyotes to a 14-3 lead.
On the next drive — after an interception from North Dakota State quarterback Cam Miller — Bouman found wide receiver Carter Bell for his second touchdown pass of the day. Just two quarters in, the Coyote signal-caller matched his touchdowns and incompletions.
HOW IT HAPPENED: See complete stats from South Dakota's upset
However, North Dakota State is a championship-caliber team, meaning you can never count out the Bison. They rallied in the third quarter, dominating the time of possession and allowing the Coyotes to have the ball for just three plays. Ball control plus North Dakota State quarterback Cole Payton scoring a touchdown during the third quarter swung the momentum back to the Bison on their Homecoming. By 11:10 in the fourth quarter, the Bison cut the lead to one possession, 21-13.
South Dakota had its backs to the wall as the second-ranked team in the country was making a comeback. Yet, the Coyote offense responded with a 12-play, field-goal-scoring drive that took 8:14 off the clock. South Dakota pushed its lead back to two possessions, 24-13. That would be all the Coyotes needed, as not even a late Bison touchdown and failed onside kick attempt could prevent South Dakota's upset.
The road victory is the first win for South Dakota over North Dakota since 2015, one year before the start of head coach Bob Nielson's tenure. The Coyotes are now undefeated against FCS competition through four games, picking up a win that will resonate with the FCS playoff committee all the way in November.
"Had to do a lot of things right today and we did a lot of things right"@stan_becton interviewed @SDCoyotesFB Head Coach, Bob Nielson, after his win against No. 2 North Dakota State#FCS pic.twitter.com/55cEGA79sk— NCAA FCS Football (@NCAA_FCS) September 30, 2023