OGDEN, Utah - No. 11-ranked Weber State turned up the defensive pressure on South Dakota and quarterback Austin Simmons en route to a dominating 27-10 non-conference football win Saturday evening.
The Wildcats sacked Simmons eight times - six in the first half alone with one resulting in a fumble and touchdown return for the Wildcats. Weber State held the normally prolific Coyote offense to just 80 yards at the break. Simmons spent most of the game running from the oncoming rush and was not able to get any flow going in the USD passing game.
Weber State took a 3-0 lead with 3:31 left in the first quarter on a 43-yard field goal. Simmons was sacked on a third down-pass play the next time USD had that ball which resulted in a fumble that Landon Stice scooped up and returned 28 yards for a touchdown. The Wildcats ran a quick two-point conversion play out a a spread set and McKade Mitton skipped into the end zone untouched to make their lead 11-0.
South Dakota got a drive going after the quarter break but had to settle for a 26-yard field goal by Mason Lorber.
Weber's Trey Tuttle kicked a pair of field goals in the second half for his team's only points after the intermission. The Coyotes got a touchdown with 10 seconds left in the game on a 4-yard Simmons pass to Dakarai Allen.
Linebacker Darin Greenfield led the USD defense with five tackles, 2.5 for a loss and a sack.
The game was one of eight scheduled in the Big Sky-Missouri Valley Challenge Series which the MVC clinched at least a tie in the set with Missouri State's win over Northern Arizona earlier in the day. The loss denied USD Coach Bob Nielsen from reaching his 200th career coaching win.
The Coyotes (1-2) are idle next weekend before entering MVC play a week from Saturday with a 6 p.m. contest at Southern Illinois.