CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Austin Simmons threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns to lead South Dakota to a 31-24 win over Southern Illinois in a Missouri Valley Conference opener on Saturday.
The win marked coach Bob Nielson's 200th career victory.
After Kai Henry's 1-yard touchdown run put South Dakota (2-2, 1-0) out front 7-0, Sam Straub completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Nigel Kilby, and later, a 20-yard score to Kilby for a 14-7 lead for the Salukis (1-3, 0-1).
Trailing 17-10 at the break, Simmons got hot and threw touchdowns of 9 and 45 yards to Randy Baker and unloaded an 89-yard TD strike to Dakarai Allen to put the Coyotes up 31-17 in the third. Javon Williams scored on 1-yard run with a minute left to play to reduce the deficit, but South Dakota recovered the on-side kick and ran out the clock.
Straub was 32-for-59 passing with 320 yards but was intercepted twice.
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