USF Football picked fourth in 2021 NSIC Preseason Coaches Poll

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (USF) — The University of Sioux Falls Football Team, which has advanced to the postseason in four of the past six seasons, has been picked to finish fourth overall in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC), according to the NSIC Preseason Coaches Football Poll released by the league office on Tuesday, August 3.

USF, which was 8-4 overall, including 8-3 in the NSIC and 4-3 for third in the South Division in 2019, earned 135 points overall in the poll. After the 2020 season was canceled due to the CoVID-19 pandemic, USF is picked fourth overall as play begins in early September in 2021. USF and has been a top four choice in the poll in each of the past seasons.

Minnesota State was the top choice in the coaches poll with 12 first place votes and 168 points with Minnesota Duluth picked second with 144 points with Augustana third at 140 and then USF at 135.

In the South Division Poll, USF, who finished 4-3 in the division in 2019, was picked in a tie for third with Winona State with 26 points. MSU was the South Division top choice with five first place votes (coaches cannot vote for their own teams) and 35 points. Augustana was second with 27 points and a first-place vote while USF and Winona State tied for third with 26 points. In the North Division, Minnesota Duluth earned six first place votes and 36 points while Bemidji State was second with 31 points and a first place vote.

USF, directed by fifth-year Head Coach Jon Anderson, return 38 letter winners and 13 starters (seven on defense, six on offense) from 2019. In 2021, USF will look to win its second NSIC title and qualify for the DII playoffs for the fifth time. USF, which finished third in the NSIC South in 2019 (8-4, 8-3 in the NSIC), will also look to extend their consecutive season winning streak to 27 years, which ranks fourth best across all divisions of NCAA.

Among USF’s returnees is USF’s Offensive Player to Watch, second team all-league running back Thuro Reisdorfer (1,150 yards, 19 TDs) and USF’s Defensive Player to Watch Harvey (Michael) Enalls (134 career tackles, 12.5 TFLs, 8.5 sacks, five FR) , who was a second team All-NSIC selection in 2019.

“We have a good number of players returning with game experience along with a group of younger players who have used the last 18 months to position themselves to make an impact. This group is extremely hungry to get back on the field play the game they love and have missed,” said Anderson.

In 2019, the Cougars had 12 selections to the All-NSIC squad. In that playoff season, USF put together one of the nation’s top defenses as they have consistently done over the past several years. In 2019, USF ranked fifth in DII with a 260.7 yards per game allowed. USF was fifth in the final DII rankings in passing efficiency defense at 94.15. USF’s offense averaged 427.6 yards per game, which ranked third in the NSIC.

USF Football, which received votes in the final 2019 AFCA Poll, dropped a last second 24-21 road loss in the NCAA DII playoffs at nationally-ranked Colorado Mines. The Cougars have recorded seven wins or more five straight years and the sixth time in seven seasons.

2021 Preseason NSIC Football Coaches Poll

  1. Minnesota State (14-1), (12), 168
  2. Minnesota Duluth (8-3), 144
  3. Augustana (9-3), (1), 140
  4. Sioux Falls (8-4), 135
  5. Winona State (8-4), (1), 126
  6. Bemidji State (8-3), 117
  7. Concordia St. Paul (6-5), 96
  8. Northern State (6-5), 75
  9. MSU Moorhead (6-5), 74
  10. Wayne State (4-7), 60
  11. SMSU (3-8), 46
  12. Minot State (3-8), 38
  13. U-Mary (2-9), 28
  14. Upper Iowa (2-9), 27

South Division Poll
Minnesota State (7-0), (5), 35
Augustana (6-1, (1), 27
Sioux Falls (4-3), 26
Winona State (4-3), 26
5. Wayne State (2-5), 15
6. Southwest Minnesota State (1-6), 10
7. Upper Iowa (0-7), 8

North Division Poll
Minnesota Duluth (7-0), (6), 36
Bemidji State (6-1), (1), 31
Concordia St. Paul (4-3), 26
MSU Moorhead (5-2), 16
Northern State (4-3), 15
U-Mary (1-6), 13
Minot State (2-5), 10

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