MVFC – Week 9 in Review

MVFC LogoAnother week of winnowing down the potential playoff teams as a preseason conference favorite got effectively eliminated from contention.

Let’s take a look at conference standings, where teams are in relation to being set up for a playoff spot or if they’re already out of the picture. I’ll list the team, then overall record, conference record, and then each team’s remaining 3 games of the regular season.

School Overall Conference Remaining 5 Games
North Dakota State 8-0 5-0 @SDSU, USD, @ILSU
South Dakota 7-1 4-1 @UNI, @NDSU, SDSU
Illinois State 6-2 4-1 WIU, @SDSU, NDSU
South Dakota State 6-2 3-2 NDSU, ILSU, @USD
Northern Iowa 4-4 3-2 USD, @MSU, INSU
Western Illinois 5-3 2-3 @ILSU, @INSU, SIU
Southern Illinois 4-4 2-3 MSU, YSU, @WIU
Youngstown State 3-5 1-4 @INSU, @SIU, MSU
Missouri State 2-6 1-4 @SIU, UNI, @YSU
Indiana State 0-8 0-5 YSU, WIU, @UNI

For reference, in recent history, I believe only one 8-DI-win MVFC team has been excluded from the playoffs (YSU in 2013, who went 8-4 in a 12-game season, but was tied with 3 other MVFC teams at 5-3 in the conference). In general, 7 DI wins will get MVFC teams at-large spots in the playoffs, and 6 DI wins is possible if the situation is right and the team gets a bit of help from other “bubble teams”. It’s happened twice so far, WIU in ’15, and ILSU in ’16, but it’s by no means a forgone conclusion.

NDSU and USD have reached 7 wins (NDSU has 8), which means that barring some complete collapse to finish the season, both teams are in the playoffs. Honestly, NDSU could probably lose all three of their remaining games and still be in, although without a seed.

ILSU and SDSU are sitting at 6-2 and need one more win to be likely in the playoffs. I think ILSU has a slightly easier route to get there, playing WIU in Normal next weekend. ILSU’s other two opponents and all of SDSU’s remaining 3 opponents are in the top half of the conference.

WIU is 5-3 currently and need to pick up at least 2 of their remaining three to get in. They should be able to take the last two games of the season, although the next one (ILSU) will be tough.

UNI and SIU are 4-4 overall and both probably need to win out to be in safely. They could do it, but it won’t be easy. Not sure if either will be able to get there. UNI has a tough game against USD coming up and SIU just lost their QB for the season, so the rest of their games will be difficult.

YSU…last year’s national championship runner-up is 3-5 and the best they can hope for now is barely a winning record at 6-5. Considering how the rest of the FCS landscape looks, I don’t see a 6-5 team making it into the playoffs this year, so I think they’re pretty much out.

MSU is 2-6 and the best they can get to now is 5-6; INSU is 0-8 and can only get to 3-8. Both teams are out of playoff consideration.

#14T South Dakota State at #8 Western Illinois

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
SDSU 10 14 21 7 52
WIU 10 7 0 7 24

Quick Hits:

  • SDSU – QB Taryn Christion threw for 423 yards and 6 TDs and ran for 37 yards and a TD, earning him the MVFC Offensive Player of the Week Award
  • SDSU – TE Dallas Goedert caught 8 passes for 113 yards and WR Jake Wieneke had 8 catches for 97 yards and 3 TDs
  • SDSU – LB Christian Rozeboom had 10 tackles, a fumble recovery, and an interception, and was awarded the MVFC Defesive Player of the Week Award
  • WIU – RB Steve McShane ran for 90 yards and 2 TDs and caught for 66 yards and another TD
  • WIU – LB Brett Taylor had 14 tackles and now has 425 career tackles, 3rd in WIU history, and leads the FCS with 118 total tackles
  • WIU – K Nathan Erickson hit his second FG of the season (on his second attempt), this time from 45 yards

Ugh…this one hurts (remember…Leatherneck fan here). SDSU decided that this was the day that they would kick things back into high gear with the offense they had last year. We just don’t match up well with really good passing teams right now. The first quarter started with SDSU getting a TD on the first drive, but went back and forth with SDSU taking a 24-17 lead into halftime. The 3rd quarter, however, was all Jackrabbits, with 3 TDs putting them ahead by 28 going into the 4th. WIU picked up a TD, but SDSU answered back with another one of their own to win by the same margin, 52-24.

South Dakota State moves to 6-2 overall, 3-2 in the MVFC and will head home to play 8-0 North Dakota State for the Dakota Marker Trophy next weekend.
Western Illinois drops to 5-3 overall and 2-3 in the MVFC and hopes to regroup against a tough 6-2 Illinois State team for the 100th meeting of the two programs.

My Pick in Review:

I said: Leathernecks by 6
It was: Jackrabbits by 28
I thought it’d be a high-scoring game…and I was right for one team…but not for both, and not for the pick.

#20 Illinois State at #23 Youngstown State

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
ILSU 14 7 7 7 35
YSU 0 0 0 0 0

Quick Hits:

  • ILSU – RB James Robinson had 117 yards and 3 TDs
  • ILSU – LB Tyree Horton picked up 1.5 sacks including one that created a fumble that was picked up and returned for a TD by D-Lineman Matt McCown. Horton also had 5 tackles and was a big part of a crew that shut out YSU for the first time since 2008
  • ILSU – RB Markel Smith recorded 124 yards rushing and 1 TD
  • YSU – RB Tevin McCaster ran for only 32 yards on 9 attempts
  • YSU – Penguin defense held the Redbirds to only 42 passing yards, their fewest since 2015
  • YSU – LB Armand Dellovade led the team with 11 tackles

Actually, nobody did much throwing in this game, with the two teams combining for a total of 105 yards, 14 completions, 1 INT and 0 TDs (SDSU’s Taryn Christion had more than that by halfway through the 2nd quarter by himself in their game). The Penguin nosedive continues with their 4th straight loss and “officially” (by my estimation) being eliminated from playoff contention. There’s not really much to discuss about this game…the Redbirds got 2 TDs in the 1st (one off a fumble recovery) then 7 points in each of the remaining quarters and completely shut down YSU’s offense. Game…set…match.

Illinois State heads back home with a 6-2 record and 4-1 in the conference and takes on 5-3 Western Illinois in what should be a good game for the 100th matchup of the two teams.
Youngstown State is now 3-5 overall and 1-4 in the MVFC and will tuck their tails (do penguins have tails?) between their legs and waddle off to Indiana State to find out how far they’ve really fallen this season taking on the winless Sycamores.

My Pick in Review:

I said: Redbirds by 8
It was: Redbirds by 35
Holy hell…I knew YSU’s offense wasn’t going to be good with the injuries, but I did not expect ILSU to put up 35 points on them. Not sure if I can count this towards my picks win total since it was way off. Eh…I’m the one scoring here…close enough.

Indiana State (0-7, 0-4 MVFC) at Missouri State (1-6, 0-4 MVFC)

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
INSU 0 6 14 0 20
MSU 17 21 14 7 59

Quick Hits:

  • MSU – QB Peyton Huslig threw for 211 yards and 2 TDs while running for 174 yards and 2 more TDs and earned the MVFC Newcomer of the Week Award
  • MSU – LB Angelo Garbutt had 16 tackles including 5 solo tackles
  • MSU – PK Zach Drake hit a 28-yard FG and was 8/8 on PATs and received the MVFC Special Teams Player of the Week Award
  • MSU – RG Marquis Prophete blocked for a MSU offense that put up 624 yards of total offense…the team’s highest single-game total in 10 years and he was awarded the MVFC O-Lineman of the Week Award

This one got out of hand pretty quickly with MSU putting up 17 points in the first quarter and shutting out the Sycamores. INSU was only able to manage one TD in the first half, but the Bears had no trouble scoring, holding a commanding 38-6 lead at halftime. Coming out of the break, Indiana State did get a couple more TDs, but each was responded to by the same from Missouri State within a few minutes of clock time. One more MSU TD in the 4th quarter was the cherry on top of a 59-20 victory for Missouri State

Missouri State picks up their first conference win moving to 2-6 overall (1-4 in the MVFC) and actually have a halfway-decent chance at another one when they head east to take on 4-4 Southern Illinois.
Indiana State falls to 0-7 overall, 0-5 in the MVFC and are seeing their hopes for a win this season quickly slip away. They’ll welcome 3-5 Youngstown State to their place next weekend, when they’ll commiserate about what their plans are for Saturday after Thanksgiving…and they’ll be playing some football too…maybe.

My Pick in Review:

I said: Bears by 7
It was: Bears by 39
Got the winner right, but I think I have to stop picking close games. Just blowouts from here on out.

#22 Northern Iowa at #2 North Dakota State

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
UNI 0 7 0 7 14
NDSU 0 7 10 13 30

Quick Hits:

  • UNI – WR Daurice Fountain had 43 yards and 2 TDs receiving
  • UNI – FS Elijah Campbell had 4 tackles, 2 pass breakups, and 2 interceptions (Stick’s 3rd and 4th INTs of the season)
  • UNI – LB Jared Farley led the team with 12 tackles including 1 sack and 2 pass breakups
  • NDSU – LB Nick DeLuca led the Bison with 7 tackles including 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and a QB hurry
  • NDSU – RG Austin Kuhnert had 6 knockdowns and did not allow a sack. He graded out at 100 percent assignment, 83 percent technique, and had zero penalties
  • NDSU – RB Bruce Anderson had 78 rushing yards an 1 TD on 26 attempts

The Panthers were the first to put points on the board early in the second quarter of the game, but it was nearly all Bison after that. The teams went into halftime tied at 7, then NDSU broke things open in the 3rd and early into the 4th with 3 more TDs and a FG before UNI would get any more points…a TD with just over 5 minutes to go in the game. The Bison defense held UNI to only 157 yards of total offense in the 30-14 win.

Northern Iowa falls to 4-4 overall, 3-2 in the MVFC and have another tough matchup, this time against 7-1 South Dakota, back at the UNI-Dome next Saturday.
North Dakota State stays perfect at 8-0 (5-0 in conference) and head down I-29 to take on 6-2 South Dakota State next weekend. Winner gets a big rock…or something.

My Pick in Review:

I said: Bison by 2
It was: Bison by 16
I kind thought UNI would stick a little closer to the Bison, but nope. The pick is right though…so that’s nice.

#32 Southern Illinois at #5 South Dakota

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
SIU 0 0 0 0 0
USD 14 7 7 14 42

Quick Hits:

  • SIU – QB Tanner Hearn threw for 231 yards, but also 4 INTs and was sacked 3 times after starting QB Sam Straub was injured early in the 2nd quarter
  • SIU – WR Darrell James caught 5 passes for 105 yards…the only non-QB offensive player to go over 100 yards in the game
  • SIU – S Ryan Neal led the team with 12 tackles
  • USD – QB Austin Simmons threw for 91 yards and 2 TDs filling in for starting QB Chris Streveler who was injured 3 1/2 minutes into the game
  • USD – S Andrew Gray had 6 tackles, 2 for loss (1 sack) and returned an INT 97 yards for a TD (a school record)
  • USD – CB Mark Collins Jr. had two tackles, one for loss, and 4 pass breakups in his first collegiate start

Two teams with very good QBs that account for a large percentages of their respective offense’s yards…how about we see how they do without those QBs. When both QBs go down and they’re playing each other, the difference is going to be on the lines and the defenses. Unfortunately for the Salukis, they don’t have a great defense. USD had a couple of TDs in the first quarter, one in the 2nd, the INT returned for a TD in the 3rd, and two more TDs in the 4th, for a final score of 42-0. Fortunately for the Coyotes, it sounds like their QB Chris Streveler, was feeling better later in the game, but they decided to let him sit out the rest of the game (they’ll really need him in the next few games). SIU wasn’t so lucky, with QB Sam Straub suffering what appears to be a season-ending (he’s a Junior, should be back next year) broken wrist/hand injury.

Southern Illinois falls to 4-4, 2-3 in-conference and welcomes 1-6 Missouri State to Carbondale next weekend.
South Dakota picks up win number 7, and likely solidifies their playoff spot and will take on 4-4 Northern Iowa next Saturday.

My Pick in Review:

I said: Coyotes by 21
It was: Coyotes by 42
If Straub had made it through the game, I think I would have been nearly dead-on with my pick, since I really doubt they’d be able to completely shut down SIU’s offense with him in control.

I was 37-13 in my picks this season going into this week. This week I went 4-1 in my picks which puts me at 41-14 for the season so far.

We are now down to 3 games left in the regular season. Check back later this week for my full preview of all of the Week 10 games in the MVFC…which looks to be something of a proximity/rivalry week in the conference, and because all my close picks seem to turn out to be blowouts I’ll be picking NDSU by 175 points in the Dakota Marker game, just FYI.

Written by 

Father, runner, drum corps alumnus. Former member of the Western Illinois Marching Leathernecks. Following Leatherneck football and I-AA/FCS football since 1996.

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