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Illinois State beats South Dakota 45-26

VERMILLION, S.D. (AP) Marshaun Coprich rushed for 221 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday and eighth-ranked Illinois State beat South Dakota 45-26 in a Missouri Valley Football Conference game.

Coprich rushed for more than 100 yards for the 10th straight game for the Redbirds (6-1, 9-1), who kept pace with North Dakota State atop the conference.

Tre Roberson passed for 226 yards and a score and ran for two touchdowns for the Redbirds. He gained 71 yards on 13 carries. Cameron Meredith caught six passes for 105 yards.

Most of the Redbirds’ offense came in the first half.

”I’m not talking moral victory, but as a coach you have to see how your team played in the second half,” South Dakota coach Joe Glenn said. ”We need to be a better second-half football team and I think we did that. We need to show some fight and I thought we did that.”

The Coyotes allowed 165 yards in the second half after giving up 354 in the first.

South Dakota (2-9, 0-7) lost its seventh straight game despite making a game of it in the second half. South Dakota hasn’t won a game in November since 2011.

Coprich scored on runs 56 and 7 yards. His 56-yard run with 12:54 left in the first quarter made it 7-0. On the Redbirds’ second possession, Roberson scored on a 12-yard run with 6:22 left in the quarter. Coprich tacked on another score with a 28-yard TD run early in the second quarter.

”We make some big plays on offense. We just let them get out in front of us and got too far behind,” Glenn said.

South Dakota got on the board with 4:02 left in the half when Kevin Earl tossed a 2-yard pass to Kayl Barkley to make it 21-6.

Earl was 22 of 35 for 295 yards and two touchdowns, including a 43-yard strike to Eric Shufford.

Shufford had six catches for 138 yards.

The Coyotes were held to just 19 yards on the ground, while Illinois State rushed for 293 yards.

South Dakota kicker Miles Bergner was injured and removed from the game in the first half before he could add to his school-record field goal streak. Bergner is 16-for-16 on the season and has made 18-straight field goals.

”We had to fight with one hand behind our backs because we didn’t have a kicker or a punter,” Glenn said.

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