Football Opens 2017 Season Against South Dakota on Saturday

first_img South Dakota Game Notes DES MOINES, Iowa — The Drake University football team opens the 2017 season against South Dakota Saturday at 6 p.m. at Drake Stadium.Saturday’s contest is the 19th all-time meeting between Drake and South Dakota. The Coyotes are making their first trip to Des Moines since 1971, which was the last time the Bulldogs defeated USD, 49-7.Fourth-year head coach Rick Fox and his Bulldogs were picked to finish fourth in the Pioneer Football League Coaches Preseason Poll, as they return nine all-PFL performers and 18 student-athletes that started at least one contest in 2016. Fox welcomes back a strong core group, cemented by the team’s four captains, fifth-year seniors Tanner Evans (DL), Ryan Lemke (OL) and Payson Wick (OL) and senior Nathan Clayberg (OL). Quarterback Grant Kraemer will settle behind an experienced offensive line after a 23-touchdown campaign that was third among PFL quarterbacks last fall. His 23 touchdowns were the most thrown by a Bulldog since 2011 by Mike Piatkowski. Drake’s defense is highlighted by preseason all-PFL selection Mack Marrin. Marrin battled through injury most of last season and recorded 17 tackles including 11 solo and 0.5 for a loss to earn all-PFL honors. He will look to get back to his 2015 form when he posted a league-best 8.5 sacks among 12.5 tackles for a loss and earned first-team all-PFL honors.South Dakota begins year two under head coach Bob Nielson and returns eight offensive and five defensive starters. Senior quarterback Chris Streveler, who earned all-MVFC honors and Valley Newcomer of the Year after accounting for 31 of 41 South Dakota touchdowns last season, will lead the 2017 Coyotes. He not only threw for nearly 2,000 yards but was a major threat on the ground, as Streveler ranked fourth in rushing in the MVFC with an average of 82.3 rushing yards per game.  Defensively, USD returns team captain middle linebacker John Wessel, who missed last season due to injury. Wessel was sorely missed as the Coyotes gave up 250 yards on the ground per game.Print Friendly Version Story Linkscenter_img Drake Game Notes last_img read more

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