Streveler leads South Dakota past Nicholls

(STATS) -- The FCS playoffs have given South Dakota new life, and, oh, is senior quarterback Chris Streveler happy to take advantage of the opportunity.

Streveler passed for 378 yards and four touchdowns and set the Missouri Valley Football Conference's single-season record for total offense on Saturday as South Dakota won at Nicholls 38-31 in the first playoff game in the program's FCS history.

The Coyotes (8-4), who entered the postseason with a three-game losing streak and losses in four of their last five, will stay in the Southland Conference for the second round, visiting No. 6 seed Sam Houston State (10-1) next Saturday.

Streveler, the Missouri Valley offensive player of the year, completed 25 of 37 passes, and he rushed for 34 yards, giving him 412 yards of total offense. That lifted him to 4,283 yards this season, which pushed him past former Illinois State signal caller Tre Roberson's previous mark of 4,250 set in 2014.

Streveler's 10-yard touchdown pass to Brandt Van Roekel with 5:57 left in the fourth quarter broke a 31-31 tie. His other TD passes went for 20, 47 and 75 yards.

"I've got to give coaches a lot of credit, seeing what they were doing defensively and getting us into the right play calls and our players executing and making the plays," Streveler said. "Just trying to take advantage of the looks they were giving us and the coaches did a good job of putting us in the right position.

In the final 35 seconds, Nicholls (8-4), which never had a lead, converted a 4th-and-3 to reach the South Dakota 1. But running back Kyran Irvin was hit hard by Phillip Powell as he went through the line of scrimmage and fumbled the ball into the end zone, where Powell recovered it for a touchback, effectively ending the Colonels' chance for a tying score.

The turnover was Nicholls' fourth of the game as Chase Fourcade (309 total yards) threw three interceptions. Irvin carried the ball 20 times for 88 yards and a touchdown, while Tahj Smith rushed for a pair of scores.

"It was a great football game and (Nicholls) played really well," South Dakota coach Bob Nielson said. "They executed really well and, in some ways, I thought we were fortunate to win today. But I couldn't be prouder of our guys. That game kept swinging back and forth and back and forth momentum-wise and our guys kept hanging in there."

The two programs, who met for the first time, were the final two selected for at-large playoff bids. Nicholls had last appeared in the playoffs in 2007.