Well, what’s left to say?
For some reason, the phrase “program-defining win” comes to mind.
Now that the dust has settled on USD’s 41-38 win over the University of Minnesota on Saturday, we can look back and examine just how big the win really was.
First, take into account where USD is compared to its FCS friends to the north, who also played well against the Gophers.
** When North Dakota State nearly upset Minnesota in 2006, the Bison were a top-10 team in the third year at the FCS level.
** And so, the next season, when NDSU beat the Gophers, the Bison were in year four of the transition.
** And in 2009, when South Dakota State lost to Minnesota 16-13, the Jackrabbits were playoff eligible and were the No. 12 in FCS.
** Compare that to USD, which has now played two full seasons at the Division I level, plus two games. The Coyotes have never been ranked in the top 25 (expect that to change this week) and are obviously, a few years away from being playoff eligible.
Second, how many people watched ESPN and saw the love the network gave USD? I was in the pressbox and couldn’t watch the coverage, but judging by the Twitter frenzy during the game and the comments I heard after the game, this was apparently a big-time story across the nation. We heard on the way home Saturday that USD head coach Ed Meierkort was interviewed on ESPN Radio, unfortunately we didn’t hear it. And speaking of radio, we heard a Minneapolis radio host joke that USD quarterback Dante Warren should now be considered for the Heisman Trophy.
Third, say what you will about Minnesota, but that’s a Big Ten Conference school. No matter how you slice it, beating a Big Ten team is an accomplishment. And remember, that was USD’s second game EVER against an FBS foe (at least according to the way the system is set up now), including the season opener at Central Florida. The Gophers and Coyotes had played before, but not since 1930. Obviously, a lot has changed since then.
Here are a few other interesting notes about yesterday’s win — Meierkort has yet to start a season 0-2, which was something he’s joked about lately (with his team playing Central Florida and Minnesota to start the season). And yesterday’s win was also his 100th career victory.
And P&D reporter Justin Rust was at the game with me, taking photos and video — Here is his Spotted gallery