The University of South Dakota’s Coyotes have advanced to the FCS quarterfinals for the first time and are set to face North Dakota State in a rematch.

In Vermillion, South Dakota, the football game against Sacramento State started slowly, with South Dakota leading 3-0 at the end of the first quarter. However, the momentum quickly shifted in favor of the Coyotes as they scored three touchdowns in rapid succession during the second quarter.

Aiden Bouman made passing plays for touchdowns of 18 and 75 yards, while Mi’Quise Grace seized an opportunity by returning a fumble for 56 yards, ultimately securing a 34-24 victory over the Hornets.

This win not only propels South Dakota, seeded third, into the FCS quarterfinals but also marks their first time advancing this far since transitioning from Division II in 2008. Additionally, achieving 10 wins for the first time as an FCS program, the Coyotes will host North Dakota St. at the DakotaDome on Saturday.

Head coach Bob Nielson expressed pride in his team’s performance despite some errors, commending their efforts across all aspects of the game. South Dakota capitalized on Sacramento State’s mistakes, converting turnovers into crucial points during the decisive second quarter.

Bouman’s leadership on offense was highlighted, particularly in critical moments, such as his third progression read leading to a touchdown. Defensive efforts were equally impressive, with Grace’s opportune fumble recovery resulting in a touchdown.

Despite Sacramento State responding with a touchdown drive of their own, South Dakota maintained control, with Bouman connecting with JJ Galbreath for a 75-yard touchdown pass shortly after. Despite Galbreath’s injuries, he displayed resilience, contributing to the Coyotes’ victory.

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