VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) — Saturday will be the latest installment of the State-U rivalry, which dates back to 1889.
The last time USD and SDSU crossed paths in the DakotaDome… history was made.
However, nearly two years later, neither team is thinking about the past.
“Those things are lingering on this football team. What has happened in years past has no bearing on what is going to happen this weekend,” Rogers said.
USD’s Hail Mary win capped their second straight victory over SDSU in Vermillion.
“We’ve been a team that’s played our best football here in the dome, regardless of what year it’s been,” Nielson said. “Our guys take pride in defending the dome.”
“I think every road game in the Missouri Valley, if you can fill the stands, is a tough place to play,” Rogers said. “I also think it’s what you signed up to play when you play South Dakota State.”
The Coyote defense allows just 14 points per game, third best in all the FCS.
“Their line-backing group is really good, their d-line is really good and on the back end, they’re really good,” Roger said. “Does that present challenges? Yeah, but we also have really good players as well.”
On the other side of the field, SDSU enters Saturday with a top five scoring offense and defense.
“What you have to do, is take advantage of every opportunity. A year ago, we had a couple scoring opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of,” Nielson said. “You’ve got to take advantage of of every opportunity you get, because they’re going to be hard earned.”
Now, the 134 year old rivalry plays sole possession of first place in the conference and a year of bragging rights.
“Whether they’re from the state of South Dakota or they’re from the state of Florida or the others, they appreciate the rivalry,” Nielson said.
“Will there be a heightened sense of urgency and energy? Yeah and that’s what a rival game is about,” Rogers said.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. You can follow the game on KELOLAND.com with our live blog.