GRAND FORKS -- The University of North Dakota football team played South Dakota at a strange time -- Thursday at 5 p.m. -- in order to provide enough time to change over the Alerus Center for this weekend's Dakota Territory Gun Collectors Show.
The Fighting Hawks' Alerus Center magic apparently shows up no matter the time or the day.
No. 4 UND won for the 10th-straight time at home in beating No. 20 South Dakota 21-10, improving to 3-0 for the first time since 2008.
UND sophomore running back Otis Weah rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns to lead a balanced Fighting Hawks offense, which produced 489 yards of total offense.
"We're excited about the wins, but we're going to keep focusing on the next game and keep moving on," said Weah, who scored on third-quarter touchdown runs of 18 and 5 yards. "We have bigger plans in store, so we have to continue to move forward."
With a 14-7 advantage in second-half points, UND has started its Missouri Valley Football Conference era by outscoring opponents 63-17 in the second half.
UND led 7-3 at halftime. Weah had just 33 rushing yards at halftime and fumbled the ball at the 1-yard line.
"We really challenged our guys to play better and play really physical football," UND coach Bubba Schweigert said. "That's one thing we've been able to do. Our offensive line and Otis gave us a spark there in the third quarter."
After a Mason Lorber 20-yard field goal to give the Coyotes a 3-0 lead early in the first quarter, UND countered with a score early in the second quarter.
Backup quarterback Quincy Vaughn came in the game on third-and-3 from the 20. Known more for physical running so far in his career, Vaughn started the play by faking a quarterback sweep to the right.
But he pulled back and found tight end Adam Zavalney wide open in the end zone to take a 7-3 lead. It was the first career touchdowns for both freshmen.
UND came out in the second half and put together a quick scoring drive. The first play of the second half was a Weah 45-yard run. After a Bo Belquist 12-yard reverse, Weah ran for 18 more into the end zone for a 14-3 lead.
"I've been practicing with him for the past two years, so I know he's a really good running back," UND linebacker Jaxson Turner said. "I was excited for him to get his chance this year and prove he's one of the better running backs in the country. He has a great offensive line and the coaches scheme it up for him well, so I'm happy for him."
Weah was the workhorse to UND building a 21-3 lead, too. His 37-yard carry, as well as a Luke Skokna 16-yard catch from Tommy Schuster, eventually led to a Weah 5-yard touchdown run with 7:46 remaining in the third quarter.
The Hawks were balanced on offense, rushing for 249 yards and passing for 240. Schuster finished 23-for-35 with one interception and 219 passing yards. He completed balls to eight different receivers, led by Garett Maag's three catches for 75 yards and Belquist's five catches for 32 yards.
Schuster wasn't sacked for the third-straight game.
South Dakota was led by running back Kai Henry, who finished with 15 carries for 88 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown. He also caught three passes for 31 yards.
USD freshman quarterback Carson Camp was 19-for-31 passing for 193 yards. He was sacked four times.
UND's defense was led by Ray Haas' eight tackles and Turner's two sacks.
After three straight at home, UND will go on the road for the first time this season next Saturday at Western Illinois. Kickoff is set for noon in Macomb.
"I thought our guys handled (the short week) pretty well, and we felt like we had some confidence coming into the game," Schweigert said. "We had to grind through it a little bit today because of some adversity that we had to overcome."