SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Brick by brick. That was how one USF football player described this past off season for the team, as they prepare to enter a year of redemption.

“Energy, execution, physicality, determination and just the will to get it done,” USF safety Cameron Alfaro stated about what he wants to see out of his team.

After finishing 8-3, but just missing the playoffs a season ago, the Sioux Falls Cougars are intent on returning.

“We’ve been fortunate that four out of the last six years we’ve been a playoff team and we know how that feels, feels a lot better than sitting at home in December. So, I think it’s put a good focus on some of the details and some of the smaller things that we’ve been continuing to harp on with these guys,” USF Head Coach Jon Anderson said.

Last year’s starting wideouts in Ty Smith and Dom Pegley have both graduated, but the Cougars do return four of their five starting offensive lineman. Adam Mullen enters his second year at quarterback after completing 65 percent of his passes in 2021 and the backfield duo of Thuro Reisdorfer and Landon Freeman are as good of a one, two punch that you’ll find in division II college football.

“Well, if one’s not doing it, give it to the other one, that’s plain and simple,” Anderson said with a smile. “Our guys do a great job; they compete with each other, but they also support and love each other at a really high level.”

As for the defense, they will have a few holes to fill with seniors Dorian Fedrick and Harvey Enalls moving on, but the strength of this unit will be the front four.

“Our guys are moving around, flying around and it’s exciting to see and I love to see it back there because it makes my job a lot easier,” Alfaro said.

“They’re some dogs. I mean, they are good. They’re one of the best in the country. Our D-line is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Our guys in the secondary, they cover our guys well, it’s a great opportunity for our guys to go against them every day,” USF quarterback Adam Mullen said.

“We want to take a deep run into the post season and host a playoff game. That would be very nice and win it all,” All-Conference running back Thuro Reisdorfer said. “If we aren’t shooting for that, what are we playing for?”

The Coo will open the season on Thursday, September 1st against Minnesota State in Moorhead, Minnesota.