Week 4 (the week of bye weeks) is over and even though it was a light week for MVFC games, it was a pretty good one. 2-1 in non-conference games, with both wins being VERY dominating and the 1 loss still a very impressive performance, all things considered.
#14 Illinois State at Missouri State (Alumni Day)
Birds go 3⃣–0⃣
2 Illinois State dominates the second half to defeat Missouri State 34-9 pic.twitter.com/U3vY0FLDD6
— FCS Football (@NCAA_FCS) September 23, 2017
- ISU – QB Jake Kolbe threw for 312 yards and 1 TD with 1 INT
- ISU – WR Spencer Schnell went into triple-digits with 135 yards receiving
- ISU – Threw down coming out of halftime with 28 points in the 3rd quarter to put the game essentially out of reach for the Bears
- ISU – P/K Sean Slattery was 4-for-4 on XP attempts, hit FGs from 48 and 28 yards, and had 4 TBs on kickoffs (helping keep MSU’s dangerous kick returner from making any game-changing plays). For his efforts he was awarded the MVFC Special Teams Player of the Week Award.
- MSU – WR Deion Holliman scored MSU’s only TD in the game with a 53-yard TD run 42 seconds into the game
- MSU – Bears defense held the Redbird offense to 6 points in the first half, taking a 6-6 tie into halftime
- MSU – PK Zach Drake hit a 28-yard FG for the only other Missouri State points in the game, but had 2 blocked and 1 missed kick in the first half.
The first half was something of a defensive battle. MSU struggled on kicks, and ISU struggled on holding onto the ball, with a fumble and an interception. The second half however, ISU’s Coach Spack must have found the missing pages of his playbook somewhere under his ‘stache because the Redbirds blew things open with TDs on the next four possessions. Overall outcome was pretty well expected, but took a while to really develop.
Illinois State moves to 3-0 and will head back home to take on the 0-3 Indiana State Sycamores
Missouri State drops to 1-4 and will face probably their toughest test of the season at the Fargodome, taking on 3-0 North Dakota State at their Homecoming game.
My Pick in Review:
I said: Redbirds by 14
It was: Redbirds by 25
Fairly close…game was closer than I expected in the first half, but I didn’t really expect the 3rd-quarter offensive explosion. Not too far off with my pick though.
Robert Morris at #2 North Dakota State (Trees Bowl)
Anyone else think the “Trees Bowl” should be when they take on Indiana State, or is that just me?
No doubt in Fargo!
The No. 2 Bison blank RMU, 56-0, behind Lance Dunn’s monster game! pic.twitter.com/xYnBsBpCnQ
— FCS Football (@NCAA_FCS) September 23, 2017
- NDSU – RB Lance Dunn touched the ball 4 times (3 rushes, 1 reception), had 121 total yards and 4 TDs….yes…4 touches…4 TDs…oh, and a MVFC Co-Offensive Player of the Week Award.
- NDSU – QB Easton Stick threw for 132 yards and 2 TDs
- NDSU – had the ball for nearly 40 minutes of the game and Bison defense held RMU to 57 total yards
- NDSU – R-FR LB Jabril Cox had 8 tackles and a fumble recovery and received the MVFC Newcomer of the Week Award.
- RMU – Defense had 4 sacks on NDSU QBs
Unexpected…nope. Impressive (especially Lance Dunn)…yup. After rolling up 35 points in the first quarter, the Bison eased off the gas a bit, with 14 in the 2nd, and 7 in the 3rd. I generally pay pretty close attention to team’s rosters and I didn’t recognize the names of any of the Bison players who touched the ball in the second half other than the kicker. So..idk…second…maybe third string? Or were they playing intramural flag football dudes by then?
NDSU moves to 3-0 and gets another home game next week…against 1-3 Missouri State…for Homecoming.
RMU is even at 2-2 and heads down to take on newly-returned Eastern Tennessee State (2-2) next weekend.
My pick in Review:
I said: Bison by 43
It was: Bison by 53
Pretty hard to get the exact margin on games like this…you never really know exactly when the coach is going to ease up and if they’ll still pop off one or two extra scores or not. I think my pick is pretty solid on this.
#19 Western Illinois at FBS Coastal Carolina (Youth Day)
— FCS Football (@NCAA_FCS) September 24, 2017
- WIU – QB Sean McGuire hits 17 out of 19 passes (one just a throw-away due to WRs being covered) for 276 yards and 3 TDs, and had 1 receiving TD. He received both the CFPA FCS National Performer of the Week award and the MVFC Co-Offensive Player of the Week Award.
- WIU – RB Max Norris had 80 yards and 1 TD, and All-MVFC RB Steve McShane returns after an ankle injury early in game 1 to run for 32 yards and 1 TD and catch for 39 yards
- WIU – LB Brett Taylor had 8 tackles, 2 for loss and the defense as a whole had 10 tackles for loss (4 sacks), 3 interceptions (one was the last play of the game though…when the CCU QB was just throwing it out to nobody in particular). Taylor received the MVFC Defensive Player of the Week Award for his performance.
- WIU – Leathernecks defense held CCU scoreless past the first quarter and held them to their lowest rushing yardage and total offensive yardage performance of the season, and held CCU’s top RB (had averaged 112 ypg and 2 TDs per game) to 18 yards and 0 TDs
- WIU – PK Sam Crosa was 7/7 on XPs and hit a 23-yarder late in the game.
- CCU – WR Malcolm Williams had 79 receiving yards, and RB Alex James had the only TD for the Chanticleers
- CCU – PK Evan Rabon hit a 52-yard FG for the first score of the game
Well, as a Leatherneck fan, I obviously was hoping we’d win. I don’t think I ever even imagined a beatdown like this to be within the realm of possibility though. The game started off looking like it’d be a back-and-forth battle, but WIU came on strong in the 2nd quarter and went into halftime with an 11 point lead. They then opened up their usual 3rd quarter explosion (45% of our points have come in the 3rd quarter…someone is really good at halftime pep talks), and by the start of the 4th, it was pretty much over.
Western Illinois starts the season 3-0 with a FBS win for the second year in a row, despite what that stupid graphic on ESPN said about us starting 3-0 for the first time since 1935…it’s actually the first season we’ve started with 3 games on the road since 1935. Next weekend, WIU welcomes a very impressive USD Coyotes team that includes 8 coaches who were on WIU’s staff two years ago and another coach who played at Western in the ’80s and started his DI coaching career at Western in the early ’90s. So, to say that this one could be a bit personal is something of an understatement. Oh…and it’s WIU’s first home game…and it’s Homecoming…yup.
Coastal Carolina drops to 1-2 in their first season as an FBS team and heads to UL-Monroe for their first Sun Belt game next weekend.
My Pick in Review:
I said: Leathernecks by 1
It was: Leathernecks by 42
Well…I did get the pick right. I’m not going to count this one as a win for me though…Western won, but by an order of magnitude more than I thought they would. That doesn’t count.
Southern Illinois at FBS Memphis
What a battle. pic.twitter.com/gkvL8x7zHi
— Saluki Football (@SIU_Football) September 24, 2017
- SIU – QB Sam Straub threw for 290 yards and 4 TDs with 1 INT
- SIU – WR Connor Iwema caught 118 of those yards and 1 TD and WR Darrell James had 43 yards and 2 TDs
- MEM – QB Riley Ferguson, who threw for 398 yards and 6 TDs against #25 UCLA last week, was held to 288 yards and 2 TDs
- MEM – RB Tony Pollard had a 100-yard kickoff return for TD at the end of the 3rd quarter
A very strong start gave SIU a 7 point lead after 1 quarter and 3 point lead at halftime. Memphis was able to come back in the 3rd, but SIU stayed close, being down by only 3 points late in the 3rd quarter. Tony Pollard’s kickoff return for a TD immediately afterwards was the hammer that crushed any momentum that the Salukis were building at that point. A mistake-prone (and bad-call-prone) 4th quarter ended SIU’s hopes of getting the MVFC’s second FCS upset of the day (and 3rd of the season). Still, when one of the lower teams in the MVFC is down by only 1 score until 1:21 left in the game, against Memphis…that’s still an impressive performance.
Southern Illinois drops to 2-1 and heads home for Family Weekend, where they’ll host the 1-2 UNI Panthers.
Memphis is now 3-0 and was supposed to play Georgia State next weekend, but cancelled that game to play at Central Florida, as a make-up game for one that was cancelled due to hurricane.
My Pick in Review:
I said: Tigers by 28
It was: Tigers by 13
I think I’ll count this as a win. I was fully expecting SIU to be able to put up points on Memphis…they’ve got a good offense (last year, the 4th best passing offense in the FCS), but was particularly impressed with the ability of their defense to keep Memphis from completely running away with the game.
Overall a rather exciting week, despite a lot of teams being off. Next week though, all 10 MVFC teams will be in action…in all-MVFC games. The Meat Grinder is in full effect now and in two of the games, one top 15 team will win and another will lose.
I went 3-1 with my picks this week, 22-4 for previous weeks for a grand total of 25-5 at this point in the season.