VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) –The USD football team has won four of their last six conference openers, but this year, they found themselves facing one of the top teams in the country, NDSU.

The Coyotes had lost six straight times to the Bison, but that changed on Saturday. USD raced out to a 21-3 halftime lead and then relied on their defense. NDSU scored 16 second half points, but couldn’t get over the the deficit, falling 24-19. For the Coyotes, it was a key conference opening win, against one of the best teams in the country.

“Our guys did exactly what we needed to do to win. We played with confidence and got off to a good start. We took care of a lot of the little things that are important in football. We did a good job with the kicking game and won the turnover margin,” USD head coach Bob Nielson said.

USD is now 3-1 on the season. They’ll host Murray State on Saturday.