SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — USF enters the Key to the City showdown with Augustana coming off a 7-0 shutout win over Minot State.
USF limited the Beavers to 201 total yards of offense in the Cougars’ first shutout in four years. After yielding more than 37 points a game over the first three weeks, the Coo defense is molding into form.
“We were really timid the first week, unsure of ourselves,” USF head coach Jim Glogowski said. “I think the biggest thing the last couple of weeks is we’ve got more confident. I could see it on the kids, their actions, their body language on Saturday.”
“Our defense is very young, so that comes with experience,” USF redshirt freshman linebacker Matt Goehring said. “We’ve gotten a lot better reading our keys and just being able to play fast.”
The Cougars averaged more than four touchdowns over the first three games, but their lone score against Minot State came on Adam Mullen’s 14-yard touchdown strike to Jaelon Taylor.
“There’s been highs and lows to both sides of the ball,” USF redshirt junior wide receiver Carter Slykhuis said. “With each week comes more experience for the younger guys because we are a younger team.”
Sioux Falls has won eight of the 10 Key to the City Games, including the last two. A victory on Saturday would make it a three-peat and have extra meaning beyond just the players on the field.
“For our alumni and our fans and our players,” Glogowski said. “This is something we look forward to. It’s a big deal. This gives Division II football in the state of South Dakota a nice little platform. And so at least on Saturday, Augie and Sioux Falls will be in the front row seats here and people get to kind of check us out. And it’s just a great thing for Division II football in the area.”
“Just knowing the history to it and how much it means to everybody that’s been through this program and so we don’t necessarily do it for us,” Slykhuis said. “We do it for those guys.”
“If you want to stay in Sioux Falls for your college career, you kind of pick between Augustana and Sioux Falls, and I picked Sioux Falls,” Goehring said. “So, I’m excited to be able to get a win and actually be a part of this key.”
The Cougars and Vikings will square off Saturday at 1 p.m. at Bob Young Field.