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Football Release: November 24, 2006
South Dakota at Grand Valley State

South Dakota will face its biggest challenge of the season when the Coyotes meet defending national champion Grand Valley State (11-0) in the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs at noon (CST) in Lubbers Stadium (capacity of 8,550) in Allendale, Mich., on Saturday. USD and Grand Valley State will meet for the first time. USD is 1-1 all-time against the GLIAC.

This past Saturday, the Coyotes won its first playoff game in 20 years with a 31-28 overtime win over Northwood (8-3) at Hantz Stadium in Midland, Mich. Like the 1986 team, the Coyotes rallied from a halftime deficit to record a playoff win. USD is 4-3 in the NCAA Division II playoffs. In 1986, the sixth-ranked Coyotes trailed second-ranked California-Davis, 17-6, at halftime before rallying for a 26-23 win in Davis, Calif. The Coyotes overcame a 14-0 deficit in the win over Northwood. USD will face its fourth straight ranked opponent in Grand Valley State on Saturday. The other ranked opponents include Nebraska-Omaha, North Dakota, and Northwood. USD is 2-1 in the previous three games.

Grand Valley State is one of the nation's top programs with the best winning percentage in DII football at 274-114-3 (.704). The Lakers are 87-13 in its past 100 games and has won a school-record 24 straight games. The last loss by Grand Valley State was to North Dakota on Nov. 27, 2004 in the Northwest Regional final at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.

North Dakota at Nebraska-Omaha

North Central Conference co-champions UNO and North Dakota will stage a rematch Saturday in the second round of the NCAA II playoffs. Kickoff is at 12:05 p.m. at Caniglia Field. The Mavericks edged the Fighting Sioux in the first game between the teams this season, 21-20.

The Mavericks edged the Fighting Sioux 21-20 on Oct. 14 in the regular season meeting this year. Zach Miller's second touchdown of the game, with 8:44 remaining, gave UNO the lead for good and the Maverick defense held UND to two second half field goals by Brandon Hellevang. North Dakota quarterback Reed Manke completed 25 of 31 passes for 232 yards, including his first 15 in a row before a diving interception by UNO cornerback Matt Ajuoga late in the first half.

North Dakota reached the second round of this year's playoffs with a 42-0 drubbing of Winona State last week in Grand Forks.