Aug 31, 2023; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Missouri Tigers quarterback Brady Cook (12) runs the ball as South Dakota Coyotes linebacker Brock Mogensen (49) defends during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Brady Cook accounts for two TDs to fuel Missouri past South Dakota

Brady Cook passed for one touchdown and ran for another as the Missouri Tigers opened their season with a 35-10 victory over the South Dakota Coyotes on Thursday in Columbia, Mo.

Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz used the game to extend his quarterback competition. Cook completed 17 of 21 passes for 172 yards and ran for 17 more.

Sam Horn replaced him for the second half and completed 3 of 5 passes for 54 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Luther Burden caught seven passes for 96 yards and a touchdown and Mekhi Miller caught two passes for 49 yards and a TD for the Tigers (1-0).

Cody Schrader rushed for 148 yards and a touchdown for Missouri and Nathaniel Peat totaled 86 rushing and receiving yards and one TD.

Aidan Bouman completed 15 of 25 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown for the Coyotes (0-1).

Missouri outrushed South Dakota 221-38 and built a 447-194 advantage in total yards.

The Tigers took a 7-0 lead on their second possession of the game, on Cook’s 18-yard pass to Miller.

Missouri converted a partially blocked punt into a short field and a 14-0 lead on its next possession. Peat moved the ball with runs of 6, 13, 8 and 5 yards before scoring from the 1-yard line to cap a 38-yard drive.

South Dakota’s Will Leyland hit a 40-yard field goal with 7:06 left in the second quarter to cut Missouri’s lead to 14-3.

The Tigers countered with an 81-yard drive with Schrader rushing the ball eight times for 52 yards and a touchdown. He scored from 2 yards out as Missouri increased its lead to 21-3.

Missouri needed just 52 seconds to move 83 yards and tack on another touchdown with 33 seconds left in the first half. Cook completed passes of 30 yards to Burden and 15 yards to Peat to advance the ball, then he finished the drive with a 15-yard TD run on a quarterback draw.

Myles Harden put South Dakota into scoring position with his interception and 23-yard return with 13:22 left to play. The Coyotes capitalized with Bouman’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Mike Mansaray to trim Missouri’s lead to 28-10.

Missouri capped its scoring with Horn’s 15-yard TD pass to Burden with 1:42 left to play.

–Field Level Media

Dec 23, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Missouri Tigers quarterback Brady Cook (12) throws a pass against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the first quarter in the 2022 Gasparilla Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri leaning on two QBs in opener vs. South Dakota

Missouri’s quarterback competition will continue Thursday when the Tigers host FCS foe South Dakota to open their season.

Incumbent starter Brady Cook and redshirt freshman Sam Horn are both expected to face the Coyotes in Columbia, Mo.

Cook completed 247 of 382 passes for 2,724 yards and 14 touchdowns last season for the Tigers, who finished 6-7 and lost to Wake Forest in the Gasparilla Bowl. He also rushed for 585 yards and six touchdowns.

After recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, Cook had a strong camp showing.

“I thought he did a nice job being efficient throwing the football,” Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz said. “He’s really steady, knows the offense, digests plays. He’s a smart, disciplined decision-maker. We’re continuing to improve our third-down efficiency.”

Horn’s downfield passing ability vaulted him in the quarterback competition.

“With Sam … he extends and makes throws down the field that that he makes just because he’s such a big body,” Drinkwitz said. “We’ll see both, I anticipate, in the first game and then kind of play it from there.”

Drinkwitz has turned over play-calling duties to new offensive coordinator Kirby Moore, who has running backs Cody Schrader (744 yards, nine touchdowns rushing) and Nathaniel Peat (425 yards, two TDs) and a rebuilt offensive line to work with.

Missouri is also seeking a breakout season from sophomore receiver Luther Burden III (45 catches, 375 yards, six TDs).

The Tigers return the bulk of their defense, which ranked fourth in the Southeastern Conference last season while holding opponents to an average of 339.9 yards.

But they will play without injured linebacker Chad Bailey, who is a key component in their 4-2-5 scheme. Drinkwitz said Bailey will be sidelined for “21 days, maybe less, maybe more.”

South Dakota, a member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference, is coming off a 3-8 season.

“This team is different,” coach Bob Nielson said. “The depth of leadership we’ve got on our football team this year is different. As a result of that, our team’s desire to win — their melting together — has also been different. There’s a lot of passion in this football team, which I’m really excited about. Maybe that’s weird coming off the season we had, but that tells us something about the character of the guys we’ve got right now.”

The Coyotes’ offense is led by returning quarterback Aidan Bouman (80-for-132, 892 yards, eight touchdowns last season) and running back Travis Theis (775 yards rushing, five TDs).

South Dakota is also operating with a new offensive coordinator: Josh Davis, who was the passing game coordinator on South Dakota State’s national championship team last season.

“Systematically, we look different,” Nielson said. “The thing that fans will notice the most is multiple formations, more changes in terms of motions and shifts that you see maybe a little bit more on Sundays than you do on Saturdays if you’re a football watcher — by that meaning we look a little bit more like some of the things you see in the NFL opposed to the traditional spread offense in college.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 3, 2022; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats tight end Ben Sinnott (34) is tackled by South Dakota Coyotes linebacker Stephen Hillis (34) and South Dakota Coyotes linebacker Gage Tennyson (38) during the first quarter at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas State starts quickly, blows out South Dakota

Malik Knowles raced 75 yards on a jet sweep for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage and the Kansas State Wildcats dominated the South Dakota Coyotes 34-0 in Manhattan, Kan., in the season-opener for both teams.

It was the third time in eight seasons the two clubs have faced each other to start the season. It was Kansas State’s first shutout in almost three years.

Kansas State, expected to be more up-tempo this season, didn’t have to show a lot on offense. Quarterback Adrian Martinez, a transfer from Nebraska, was 11-of-15 for 53 yards. He also rushed for 39 and a touchdown.

Running back Deuce Vaughn finished with 126 yards on 18 carries for his seventh straight 100-yard game, even though he barely played in the second half.

The stifling defense held South Dakota quarterback Carson Camp 18-of-34 passing for 139 yards. South Dakota was 5-of-16 on third down and 0-for-4 on fourth down.

Even without the first-play strike, the Wildcats were in control from the start. After the second straight three-and-out by South Dakota, Seth Porter blocked a South Dakota punt and Desmond Purnell returned it for a touchdown to put the Wildcats up 14-0.

Kansas State then picked off a South Dakota pass at their 37. Five plays later, Vaughn took it in from 39 yards out to give the Wildcats a 20-0 before the end of the first quarter.

The Wildcats outgained the Coyotes 183-46 in the first quarter. The Wildcats had 146 of those yards on the ground.

Martinez scored his first Wildcats touchdown on a 6-yard run with 5:49 left in the second quarter.

South Dakota had just one first down before picking up three on their final drive before halftime.

DJ Giddens scored the Wildcats’ fourth rushing touchdown from 12 yards out midway through the third quarter for the game’s final points.

–Field Level Media

Sep 3, 2021; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks head coach Lance Leipold (left) shakes hands with South Dakota Coyotes head coach Bob Nielson before a game at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas edges South Dakota to end 13-game skid

Jason Bean connected for a 16-yard touchdown pass to Lawrence Arnold with 1:10 remaining Friday as Kansas snapped a 13-game losing streak by toppling South Dakota 17-14 at Lawrence, Kan.

The Jayhawks benefitted from a targeting call that got them into a goal-to-go situation before capping the game-winning, 64-yard march and giving coach Lance Leipold a win in his Kansas debut.

Kansas went 0-9 last year and dropped its final four games in 2019.

Bean, a North Texas transfer who beat out two veteran quarterbacks, completed 17 of 26 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns. He also led Kansas with 54 rushing yards.

The Jayhawks’ Travis Wilsom snagged five receptions for 50 yards and Mason Fairchild added 58 yards on four receptions.

The FCS Coyotes, picked eighth in the Missouri Valley preseason poll after finishing 1-3 during an abbreviated spring schedule, grabbed a 14-10 lead with 5:13 left on a 25-yard touchdown rush by Travis Theis.

Theis gained 96 yards on 18 carries. Carson Camp added 98 yards passing but completed only 10 of 22 attempts. Shomari Lawrence scored South Dakota’s other TD on a 29-yard burst. The Coyotes totaled 263 yards to 245 for the Jayhawks.

One of the biggest plays for the Jayhawks came when Nate Betts stuffed Theis on a fourth-and-1 from the Kansas 22 early in the fourth quarter. That stop came after South Dakota coach Bob Nielson called a timeout just before his kicker, Mason Lorber, made a 39-yard field goal that would have tied the game 10-10 with just over nine minutes left.

South Dakota countered with a fourth-down stop with 6:15 remaining and then gained its first lead on Theis’ TD.

Bean connected on an 8-yard strike to Lawrence Arnold with 24 seconds remaining for a 7-0 halftime lead. The Jayhawks had gone three-and-out on their first four possessions and punted on each of their first since possessions.

Bean accounted for almost all of the Jayhawks’ first-half production, going 7 of 10 for 59 yards passing while adding 44 yards rushing.

A 21-yard rush by Theis accounted for the longest first-half gain as the teams combined for 10 punts. Kansas generated 106 first-half yards to South Dakota’s 100.

–Field Level Media

Jan 11, 2020; Frisco, Texas, USA; North Dakota State Bison head coach Matt Entz reacts to a touchdown on a fake field goal in the second quarter against the James Madison Dukes at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

North Dakota State-South Dakota canceled due to COVID

An FCS game between North Dakota State and South Dakota was canceled hours before kickoff Saturday due to COVID-19 issues within the Bisons’ program.

The game will not be rescheduled, the Missouri Valley Conference announced.

The Bison, who saw their FCS-record 39-game winning streak come to an end earlier this season, had a positive test and were doing contact tracing.

North Dakota State (5-1, 4-1 MVC) has won the past three FCS titles and eight of the past nine.

The Bison posted a 34-13 win over rival North Dakota last week that saw them overtake the top spot in the conference standings.

South Dakota (1-3, 1-3) has lost its past three games.

–Field Level Media

South Dakota Special-Interest Group Wants Sports Betting Initiative

The fifth smallest state in the nation by population, South Dakota doesn’t want to be left out of the sports betting game. Known for Mount Rushmore and the scenic Black Hills, South Dakota has more than 30 commercial and tribal casinos, and if the Deadwood Gaming Association gets its way, sports betting will be on the menu by 2021. The association is working on a ballot measure and is going to ask state lawmakers to put it on the 2020 ballot.

South Dakota has had legal gaming since 1989 and 22 of the state’s casinos are located in Deadwood. Gaming is only legal in Deadwood and at tribal casinos, though the video lottery is legal across the state.

“We want to keep Deadwood a competitive gaming destination,” Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association told Sports Handle. “A few years ago (2014), we put in craps and roulette for just that reason.”

Rodman said the goal would be to have legal sports betting in South Dakota beginning on July 1, 2021. His group has already submitted the ballot initiative to the state legislature’s research council and it is now being considered by the state attorney general’s office. Rodman said that so far, state lawmakers support the idea, as long as sports betting is limited to Deadwood and tribal locations.


Read more South Dakota Special-Interest Group Wants Sports Betting Initiative on SportsHandle.