BOWLING GREEN, Ohio | When South Dakota finally gets to play a home football game, it will head into it with a full head of steam.
The Coyotes posted an impressive if not improbable 35-27 victory over Bowling Green at Perry Stadium here Saturday.
If nothing else, handling an FBS program in its home opener to improve to 2-0 should send the Coyotes into their first home game next week against North Dakota brimming with confidence.
Quarterback Chris Streveler was once again the center of attention and the senior had his second consecutive stellar performance. Streveler rushed for 119 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 306 yards and a week after tearing through Drake for six touchdowns in the first half.
It was the 10th time that South Dakota had taken on an FBS program in the last eight seasons, but its first win since knocking off Minnesota 41-38 on Sept. 11, 2010.
“I’m really proud, we had guys who really played hard today and I can’t say enough about their effort,” South Dakota Coach Bob Nielson said. “The two things we can control is we can control that we believe and we can control our effort and that showed today.”
Streveler had two rushing touchdowns in the first quarter and the Coyotes bolted to a 21-3 lead. From there, they held strong although Bowling Green scored a touchdown and two-point conversion with two minutes left to make it a one possession game.
The Falcons tried an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, but backup quarterback Austin Simmons scooped it up and the Coyotes were able to run out the clock.
“To come in here against a team like this and get off to a good start certainly build a lot of momentum and confidence,” Nielson said. “I couldn’t be prouder of our guys right now. It’s a great win and we just have to keep building.”
Streveler completed 19 of 34 without an interception, hooking up with true freshman Kody Case for a 72-yard touchdown strike in the first quarter. The workhorse signal-caller carried 23 times, scoring on runs of 2, 2 and 4 yards.
Michael Fredrick added a 17-yard touchdown run and carried 16 times for 81 yards.
“Chris is a warrior and played like one today,” Nielson said. “I keep telling people he’s one of those guys who makes everybody around him better and he showed that today.”
Bowling Green’s James Morgan passed for 315 yards, but the Falcons were 6-for-19 in third-down conversions.
Doug Lewis had an interception for USD, while Alex Coker recorded a team-high nine tackles and Adam Harris and Danny Rambo eight apiece.