Today (Sunday) while I was line at Hy-Vee, somebody in front of me turned and asked, “Quite a game yesterday in the Dome, huh?”
I guess people take notice of upsets.
That’s exactly what the USD football team did on Saturday in beating top-ranked and defending FCS national champion Eastern Washington 30-17.
For the record, I picked the Coyotes to win, though I didn’t expect the kind of defensive dominance showcased by USD. In the first half against the high-scoring Eagles, USD held them to a punt, a turnover on downs, punt, punt, interception return for a touchdown and another punt — followed by an Eastern Washington touchdown drive to close the first half.
And even in the second half, when EWU started making a comeback (getting within 27-17), the Coyotes were able to respond. Another inception later, with the Eagles driving and down by 10, sealed the win for USD.
It was an impressive performance for the Coyotes, who held EWU to 19 rushing yards on 11 carries. That’s what USD needed to do, take away the run and make the Eagles more one dimensional — more predictable.
A few other observations from the game:
** The Coyotes were indeed able to get the ball to wide receiver Jeremy Blount, who is probably the fastest player on the team. Also the team’s kick returner, Blount caught two passes for 60 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed one time for 14 yards on a reverse. It showed that the Coyotes are committed to getting him the ball in different ways.
** USD had two touchdowns in the second half called back because of penalties, one a Dante Warren run and another a lob pass to receiver Anthony Williams in the end zone. Each time, though, the Coyotes were able to come away with points on field goals by Kevin Robb.
** Coyote defensive end Tyler Starr continued his strong start to the season with two sacks and five total tackles. On many occasions he lined up off the line, over the center, and was able to force EWU quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell to move laterally.
** After the game, as the two teams met at mid-field, there was a brief scuffle, a lot of pushing and shoving. I remember seeing an EWU player going after USD’s Blount, with a couple wild swings missing their target. There was naturally some frustration by the visiting Eagles, but I imagine USD was also upset over Warren being leveled while taking a knee on one of the final plays.