MVFC Week 5 Preview
Chad Lenz & JT Nutt, MVFC Contributors | September , 2015
Northern Iowa @ Illinois State
UNI beat Illinois State soundly in the regular season last year in the UNI Dome 42-28. UNI traveled to Normal in the playoffs and lost 41-21 in a game that was not even close. Ill State went on to nearly win a FCS title but falling to NDSU. UNI and Illinois State looked lost against Iowa State and Iowa to start the season but have things figured out. Both teams have their eye on a Valley title and this is a huge game for both. UNI QB Aaron Bailey will need to continue to improve if UNI has a shot at winning. UNI needs to contain dual threat QB Tre Roberson or it will be a long day for the Panthers. This one comes down to the wire or goes OT like it did in 2011. Redbirds win a tight one.
Youngstown State @ South Dakota
South Dakota has played 3 teams, won 2 and lost the first. The jury is still out as to how they will fair in the MVFC. They were spanked by K-State 34-0 then beat Drake 55-0 in their last game. SD QB Ryan Seager has got it done by land and by air throwing for 499 yards and 3 touchdowns while rushing for 112 yards. That being said, Youngstown will contain him and the Yotes. Youngstown looks to stay as an upper echelon team in the Missouri Valley using a balance of run and pass. They lock down defense of the Penguins is only allowing 53 passing yards per game. They ride the defense to a road win.
North Dakota State @ South Dakota State
Biggest game in the MVFC this weekend, maybe all year. North Dakota State has owned the Valley for 4 years but there time is up, the Jackrabbits time is now. Zach Lujan already has 1002 yards passing 8 touchdowns and 2 picks. He’s averaging 334 yards per game passing. NDSU lost several linebackers from last year’s squad and Zach will exploit this. SDSU is averaging 43 points per game but NDSU will cut that in half. NDSU will rely on QB Carson Wentz efficient throwing. Carson is 53-84 for 741 yards 9 td’s and no pics to go with 3 rushing TD’s and 150 yards. It will be a battle of the quarterbacks but SDSU uses it’s home field advantage and front runner Player of the Year candidate Lujan to win a close one, 34-31.
Typically when a new staff comes in there are some growing pains. I’m not sure I’d call what MSU is going through “growing pains”. The Bears are last in the conference in every single offense category. They are scoring just 11 points per game and giving up 49. Indiana State appears to be close to figuring things out to be competitive for a playoff spot, but they need to find a running game other than quarterback Matt Adam. This could be a game to experiment with that as the Bears are giving up 292 yards rushing per game. If the Sycamores struggle to get a ground game going this week I’m really going to question their ability to do so at any point.
. I’ve long referred to Western Illinois as the most Jeckyll and Hyde team in the conference. The Salukis may be making a push for that crown. Both teams have the ability to be a top 15 team but both lack the consistency getting production from all areas of the game at once. The Salukis lead the conference in total offense, second in passing offense, and average 35 points per game. The Leatherneck’s have similar talent top to bottom but have struggled to put much together for even an entire game, let a long multiple games in a row. Because of that I don’t know that I can trust WIU to get a win. I’m going with the Salukis in this one.