Pregame report: Gophers vs. South Dakota

John Hageman

The fans are filing in here at TCF Bank Stadium on this brisk and and sunny Saturday morning for the 2010 home opener against South Dakota. Kickoff is set for 11. The Gophers (1-0) are coming off a 24-17 win on the road against Middle Tennessee State behind 281 total yards rushing last Thursday, 187 of them coming from junior running back Duane Bennett. We should see a more balanced offensive attack here today, so it will be interesting to see what the the passing game can accomplish against South Dakota’s three-four defensive scheme. South Dakota (0-1) was sent packing from Central Florida in a 38-7 loss last weekend, allowing 472 yards of total offense. The Coyotes went 5-5 last season and finished in a tie for second in the Great West Conference. Head coach Ed Meierkort is 44-24 in seven seasons at the helm in South Dakota. The Gophers will return all of their starters from the season opener, with Kyle Theret and Dominic Alford still serving suspensions. It looks like senior captain Kim Royston won’t be playing again today while he recovers from a broken leg. Freshman James Manuel is starting in his place. Senior captain Jon Hoese is starting today just days after his father Terry passed away after suffering a stroke. Hoese had all three of the Gophers’ touchdowns last Thursday, including the winning touchdown with 3:09 left in the fourth quarter while his father was in a coma. Follow the action on our live blog on the MNdaily website and on Twitter: