The USD football team is expecting a lot more from it's offense this season. The Coyotes ranked 9th out of 10 teams in the Missouri Valley Football Conference in total offense last year. They were also second to last in scoring with just 17 points per game. A better idea of what works and what doesn't in the Valley should help turn things around as the Yotes will rely once again on an athletic quarterback to lead the way.
While the Yotes as a team may have been near the bottom overall last year, quarterback Josh Vander Maten wasn't. The now Junior playmaker used his ability to run along with his arm to rack up more than 196 yards a game individually. That was good enough for fourth in the conference just ahead of SDSU's Austin Sumner and NDSU's Brock Jensen.
"That's me, I'm an athlete and I like to use my legs but I also want to be a pocket passer and do the things that I can do in the pocket. That's something that's always there and it's only going to benefit me and the offense," Vander Maten said.
The trick this year will be to get a whole host of others involved. Vander Maten is quick to point out wide receiver Terrance Terry is his top target in the passing game. The junior hauled in 53 catches last season for more than 500 yards and 3 touchdowns.
"We've been together for a long time. It's been a lot of years we've been working. Even when we were backups, even when we weren't the starters on the field making the plays, we always kind of saw this day coming. When we got our opportunity and we actually took the field that we were going to be the difference in the Coyotes," Terry said.
With running back Jasper Sanders out for the year with a broken wrist, the rushing load transfers to a lot of new faces. Freshman Khorey Kilgore could see some time but red-shirt freshmen Trevor Bouma and Jordan Roberts are splitting the majority of the reps, and they're kind of hard to tell apart.
"We're very similar. We get a lot of crap because we are so similar," Roberts said. "We both get vertical and downhill. We're just going to get the yards that are there."
"I'm a one cut and go guy. I like to get downhill. I don't have the moves like Jasper did but I can get downhill and be a physical runner," Bouma said.
The Coyotes averaged just 120 rushing yards per game last season. Look for more preseason coverage of USD football this weekend including a story on the Yotes defense Sunday night.