And here we are again once more…another football season has come and gone (well…regular season, anyway). I’d say that it seems like it goes faster every year, but really…isn’t that just life? I plan on going into each team a little more in-depth a little later on into the postseason; maybe do a brief “year in review” of each team, who they’re saying goodbye to, hope for the future, that kind of stuff. No promises, but I’ll do my best.
Now that the regular season has wrapped up, we can take a look at the final conference standings (ordered by conference record, then by overall record).
|North Dakota State||10-1||7-1|
|South Dakota State||9-2||6-2|
Missouri State at Youngstown State
Thank You Penguin Nation for all your support this season, and best of luck to the rest of the @ValleyFootball teams that made it. Time to prove again who the best conference in football is. We will be back.#GoGuins pic.twitter.com/Y03bzXl9K5
— YSU Football ?? (@YoungstownStFB) November 19, 2017
- MSU – QB Peyton Huslig only threw for 45 yards, but also ran for 124 yards
- MSU – S Jared Beshore led the Bears with 9 tackles, 1 for loss
- MSU – Last week’s MVFC Newcomer of the Week, LB Angelo Garbutt, had 8 tackles (1 for loss) and a forced fumble
- YSU – RB Tevin McCaster ran for 181 yards and 2 TDs
- YSU – S Jalyn Powell led the Penguins with 9 tackles, 1.5 for loss, 1 pass breakup, and 1 QB hurry
- YSU – WR Samuel St. Surin recovered a botched snap in the end zone for a TD and won the MVFC Special Teams Player of the Week award
The first half was all Penguins, putting up 10 in the first quarter and 14 in the second, while holding MSU to no points. MSU finally got on the board with a FG in the 3rd. In the final quarter of the game, YSU had two TD runs that sandwiched a MSU TD run, which pushed the game even further out of reach for the Bears and gave the Penguins the 38-10 victory.
Youngstown State finishes the regular season at 6-5 overall and 4-4 in the conference.
Missouri State drops to 3-8 overall, 2-6 against MVFC teams
My Pick in Review:
I said: Penguins by 7
It was: Penguins by 28
Well…YSU has been kinda on-again-off-again this season, getting shut out by Illinois State, then putting up 66 the next week on Indiana State. I guess I figured this would be a lower-scoring game for YSU, and I was wrong. I did get the pick right, though, so that counts for something…right?
#2 North Dakota State at #26 Illinois State
It’s hard to get to the top, and even harder to stay on top. The Bison are 7-time Missouri Valley Football Conference champions. pic.twitter.com/V0MZenJTxD
— NDSU Football (@NDSUfootball) November 18, 2017
- NDSU – QB Easton Stick only threw for 15 yards, but ran for 65 and 2 TDs
- NDSU – RB Bruce Anderson ran for 95 yards and a TD
- NDSU – LB Chris Board and SS Robbie Grimsley led the team with 7 tackles each, with Board having .5 for loss and 1 pass breakup
- ILSU – RB James Robinson ran for 96 yards and 1 TD
- ILSU – LB Barry Brannon led the Redbirds in tackles with 10, including 1.5 for loss and a QB hurry
This game was a full-on “Snow Bowl” with significant wind and near-blizzard conditions, so obviously that stats were significantly hindered by the conditions of the game. No team was really able to get anything significant going in the first half, which led to a couple of big old zeros on the scoreboard at halftime. In the 3rd, however, NDSU was able to get their run game going in a couple of drives that led to TDs to go up 13-0. In the 4th, ILSU finally put points on the board with a running TD of their own, but the Bison answered back immediately with a 3-play, 40 second TD drive with under 3 minutes left in the game to put the final nail in the coffin on a 20-7 win over the ranked Redbirds.
North Dakota State finishes the regular season at 10-1 and 7-1 in the MVFC. They are the #2 seed in the playoffs and will sit out the first weekend awaiting the winner of San Diego and Northern Arizona.
Illinois State ends up at 6-5 with a 4-4 conference record.
My Pick in Review:
I said: Bison by 14
It was: Bison by 13
Damn you blocked XP attempt. Otherwise…nailed it.
Southern Illinois (4-6, 2-5 MVFC) at #11 Western Illinois
That’s a Leatherneck dub on Senior Day to end the regular season!!ðŸ‘ðŸ‘ pic.twitter.com/hnMKyElWCw
— WIU Football (@WIUfootball) November 18, 2017
- SIU – QB Matt DeSomer throws for 62 yards, 2 TDs, and 2 INTs, while leading the team in rushing with 73 yards on the ground
- SIU – S Ryan Neal led the team in tackles with 9 total (6 solo)
- SIU – P Lane Reazin kicked 6 times for a 43.2 yard per punt average, which was impressive considering the 20+ MPH wind that North/South, so half the game was into a stiff breeze for each team
- WIU – WR Jaelon Acklin catches for 93 yards and 1 TD, and breaks the school record for receiving yards in a season (previously set by Lance Lenior in 2015)
- WIU – LB Brett Taylor again leads the team in tackles with 16 including 1 for loss and finished the regular season as the 2017 FCS leader in tackles, by nearly a full tackle per game over the #2 player. He also received the MVFC Defensive Player of the Week award
- WIU – DBs Xavier Rowe and David Griffith each have INTs and help the Leatherneck defense reach 9 straight quarters of football played (going back to 3rd quarter against Illinois State) without allowing a point
Again the WIU defense steps up huge for most of the game. On a day where the wind played a significant factor (making things much easier for SIU in the 2nd and 4th quarters), the SIU offense was held to 6 total first downs, with the Salukis finally getting first down #3 halfway through the 4th quarter. The first part of the game, pretty much neither offense was able to figure out a rhythm in the blustery conditions. It wasn’t until under 2 minutes left in the first half when WIU went ahead with their first TD. A couple plays into SIU’s next drive, WIU got an INT and then on the next play, threw a 52-yard TD bomb to standout WR Jaelon Acklin. Early in the 3rd, WIU picked up another TD on a 17-yard Max Norris run, and then midway through the 4th, another Acklin TD…this time 8 yards on the ground to put the Leathernecks ahead 28-0. The WIU defense ended up taking the foot off the gas a bit near the end of the game and allowed SIU, with the wind at their backs, to pick up their first points of the game with around 6 minutes left. They tacked on another one with just over 3 minutes left, but the Leathernecks would hold the Salukis for the remainder and win 28-14.
Western Illinois finishes the regular season at 8-3…their first 8-win season since 2003, with a 5-3 conference record. They will head out west to take on 9-2 Weber State in a first round playoff matchup in Ogden, Utah.
Southern Illinois ends their season at 4-7 overall and 2-6 in the conference.
My Pick in Review:
I said: Leathernecks by 12
It was: Leathernecks by 14
Pretty nearly nailed that one. I was hoping for another shutout like last week, but I suppose holding another team to a goose egg was a bit too much to ask.
#5 South Dakota State (8-2, 5-2 MVFC) at #15 South Dakota
Jackrabbits outlast USD, 31-28 https://t.co/W7v2l5DB9j
— SDSU Football (@GoJacksFB) November 19, 2017
- SDSU – QB Taryn Christion threw for 299 yards and 3 TDs with 1 INT and won the MVFC Offensive Player of the Week award
- SDSU – TE Dallas Goedert caught 11 receptions for 117 yards, including this amazing grab that he was also incredibly lucky on (I’ve seen more than one receiver come down like that and end up with a nasty broken arm)
- SDSU – LB Christian Rozeboom led the team in tackles with 10, 2 for loss, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 pass breakup
- SDSU – WR/KR Cade Johnson had 124 all-purpose yards with 1 TD averaging 21.3 yards on 4 kickoff returns and had 39 yards and 1 TD receiving. He was awarded the MVFC Newcomer of the Week award
- USD – QB Chris Streveler threw for 286 yards, 2 INTs, and 1 INT, while also running for 65 yards
- USD – RBs Michael Frederick and Kai Henry each had 100+ yards rushing, Frederick with 123 yards and 2 TDs, and true freshman Henry with 109 yards
- USD – DB Isaac Armstead led the team in tackles with 9 including 2 for loss (1 sack), had 1 INT returned 17 yards, and a pass breakup
Unlike the last few games, this one wasn’t significantly impacted by the weather. It also ended up being the closest of all the conference games this weekend. Lots of defense in the first quarter…bunch of punts and an INT…meant no points. Apparently they were saving most of them for the 2nd quarter because the Jackrabbits got the scoring started with a FG early in the quarter. They tacked on a TD before USD put up their own TD. That was quickly followed by a quick SDSU drive capped by a 69-yard TD pass…which was itself quickly answered by a short USD drive finishing with a 17-yard TD run, which would put the score at 17-14 at halftime, with “State” holding the narrow lead. Late in the 3rd, USD would get their first lead of the game on a 10-yard TD pass, but SDSU would take it right back with their own TD drive. SDSU would add one another score with under 5 minutes left in the game, but USD would end up keeping it close with one of their own with just over 2 minutes left. At that point the Jackrabbits had the 3-point lead, which they would hold onto for the win.
South Dakota State ends their regular season at 9-2 overall, 6-2 in the MVFC. They were awarded the #5 seed in the playoffs and will host the winner of next weekend’s matchup between Northern Iowa and Monmouth University.
South Dakota drops to 7-4 in their regular season, with a 4-4 conference record. Despite losing their last 3 games, they were able to find their way into the playoffs and will head down to Thibodaux, LA to take on 8-3 Nicholls State next weekend.
My Pick in Review:
I said: Jackrabbits by 4
It was: Jackrabbits by 3
Hey, I think I’m getting pretty good at this picking thing.
Indiana State at #17 Northern Iowa
RECAP | Panthers Cut Down Sycamores, 41-3
— UNI Football (@UNIFootball) November 19, 2017
- INSU – RB LeMonte Booker ran for 99 yards and led the team in receiving with 57 yards
- INSU – LB Katrell Moss led the team in tackles with 12 (.5 for loss) and 2 pass breakups
- INSU – PK Jerry Nunez got the only points for the Sycamores on a 48-yard FG
- UNI – QB Colton Howell threw for 216 yards and 2 TDs with 1 INT. He also ran for 35 yards
- UNI – RB Marcus Weymiller ran for 105 yards and 2 TDs, while WR Daurice Fountain matched his scoring with 80 receiving yards and 2 TDs
- UNI – LBs Rickey Neal and Duncan Ferch, and DB Nikholi Jaghai led the Panthers in tackles with 6 each. Neal also had 1 sack; Jaghai had an INT; and Ferch had a pass breakup
Indiana State vs a ranked team…do we really need to talk about this?…ok, fine.
The Sycamores started off the scoring with a FG early in the first quarter to take their first and only lead of the game by 3 points. UNI would answer with 2 TDs and a FG of their own to go ahead 17-3. In the second quarter, UNI had another FG and another TD to take a 27-3 lead into halftime. A TD in each of the last two quarters put the Panthers ahead with a final score of 41-3.
Northern Iowa finishes the regular season on a high note with a 7-4 overall record and 6-2 in the conference. They will host 9-2 Monmouth University at the UNIDome next weekend.
Indiana State finishes a heavily disappointing winless season with a 0-11 record…8 of those in the MVFC.
My Pick in Review:
I said: Panthers by 30
It was: Panthers by 38
Not bad…could have been closer on the margin, but pretty solid. Specifically what I said was “I think the Sycamores will struggle to get points on the board this game, and while the Panther offense might not put up the 42 points that have been averaged against them in the last few games, I think they’ll get close.” So…close to 42 points…how about 41?…close enough?
I was 49-15 in my picks this season going into this week. This week I went 5-0 in my picks which puts me at 54-15 for the regular season, which works out to 78.2% correct picks. Not too bad…not amazing, but decent, I’d say.
Later this week I’ll preview the 3 MVFC playoff games coming up the Saturday after Thanksgiving.