Week 3 Missouri Valley FCS Football Game Breakdowns

Week 3 Missouri Valley Football Conference Game Breakdowns

This Missouri Valley Football Conference had another strong performance in week two; they finished with eight wins and only two losses. Both losses came from FBS teams. However, two of those eight wins were also against FBS competition as North Dakota State and Illinois State won convincingly last weekend against Colorado State and Eastern Michigan, respectively. This week the Valley will face two more FBS opponents; Northern Iowa will play Iowa and Western Illinois will play Iowa State. North Dakota State and South Dakota are on BYE weeks this weekend.


#19 Illinois State vs. Eastern Illinois, Saturday 2:00

Illinois State controlled the ball against Eastern Michigan last Saturday. I fully expected Illinois State to come out of Ypsilanti with a victory and they did. After going up 10-0 in the first quarter, Illinois State let down a bit and Eastern Michigan was on top at halftime 14-10. The entire second half was dominated by the Redbirds and Illinois State garnered 21 straight points to win convincingly 31-14. This week Illinois State will play a solid FCS opponent in Eastern Illinois. Eastern Illinois beat conference-mate Southern Illinois in week one and absolutely destroyed the Salukis. Illinois State will not let Eastern Illinois pass all over them like Southern Illinois did. I expect Illinois State to control the ball like they did against Eastern Michigan and come out with the victory. Look for Redbird RB, Darrelynn Dunn, to eclipse the 100-yard mark for the third straight week.

Projected Score: Illinois State 42, Eastern Illinois 24


#24 Indiana State vs. Drake, Saturday 2:05

Indiana State played solid as expected against sub-D1 opponent Quincy. The Sycamores shut out the Hawks on their way to a 44-0 win in Terre Haute. Shakir Bell ran for only 69 yards, albeit in limited action. What was eye opening to me was the consistent play of their new signal-caller Mike Perish. Perish was 10 of 16 for 165 yards and two touchdowns against Quincy and is certainly a quality replacement for former quarterback Ronnie Fouch. This week Indiana State will take on Drake from the Pioneer League. Although Drake is a non-scholarship team, they are very talented and extremely well coached. Drake went 9-2 last year and gave top-ten Montana State a scare last week. I expect Indiana State to run the ball effectively and have this game controlled by the third quarter. However, don’t be surprised if the game is closer than the score I predicted.

Projected Score: Indiana State 41, Drake 7


South Dakota State vs. UC Davis, Saturday 3:00

The Jackrabbits played very well last week against Southeastern Louisiana of the Southland Conference. This week they will face former Great West Conference-mate UC Davis. South Dakota State looks to have their run game solidified, even with two starting offensive lineman out due to injury, as running back Zach Zenner rushed for 278 yards and a touchdown last weekend. With the sudden success running the ball, the Jackrabbits have been able to give injured quarterback Austin Sumner a lighter pass load. I expect the Jackrabbits to again be a run-first, pass-second team this week. In the end I predict South Dakota State will run away with a win in their home opener in Brookings.

Projected Score: South Dakota State 34, UC Davis 21


#9 Northern Iowa @ Iowa, Saturday 3:30

There are four clear power teams in the Missouri Valley Football Conference so far this season, and Northern Iowa is one of them. After taking Wisconsin to the brink in their first game of the season, Northern Iowa came home to Cedar Falls and destroyed Central State 59-0. Freshman quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen threw three touchdowns and was near perfect in limited action. Honestly, Northern Iowa has a really good chance of beating Iowa this week. I watched the Iowa-Iowa State game and wasn’t very impressed with the Hawkeyes. If Kollmorgen can light up the scoreboard for the Panthers again on Saturday, Northern Iowa might just pull off the upset. However, I’m skeptical about the run game and they will need some of it to keep the Hawkeyes honest on defense.

Projected Score: Iowa 24, Northern Iowa 23


#11 Youngstown State vs. Albany, Saturday 4:00

Youngstown State demolished non-scholarship team Valparaiso last weekend 59-0. This game was very similar to the Northern Iowa-Central State game. Kurt Hess was barely in the game but still threw two touchdowns. The Penguin 2nd stringers got plenty of game time last Saturday. This weekend we should see a similar result. However, Albany is a strong team from the Northeast Conference, a conference who grants teams to hand out 34 maximum scholarships compared to the FCS limit of 63. I expect Albany to score some points late in the game, but Youngstown State should have this game won by halftime.

Projected Score: Youngstown State 52, Albany 17


Southern Illinois vs. Southeast Missouri State, Saturday 7:00

The Salukis played much better against Miami (OH) than they did against Eastern Illinois. They are taking those first steps toward a solid performance; however, they have a long ways to go if they want to compete this year in the Missouri Valley. This weekend they will face Southeast Missouri State from the Ohio Valley Conference. Southeast Missouri State is 1-1 with a win over sub-D1 opponent, Mars Hill, and a close loss to FBS Central Michigan. I believe that Southern Illinois has more talent than Southeast Missouri State; however, the Salukis do not look like a team that plays well together. I expect a close game, but I feel that the Salukis will come away disappointed for a third straight week.

Projected Score: Southeast Missouri State 35, Southern Illinois 31


Western Illinois @ Iowa State

Western Illinois is finally playing some worthy competition this week when they travel to Ames to face Big Twelve opponent, Iowa State. This game could get very ugly for the Leathernecks. The past two weeks Western Illinois has struggled against very weak competition and Iowa State looks like a fairly good team this year. WIU running backs Caulton Ray and Nikko Watson are tremendous athletes; however, more players will need to step up if Western Illinois is going to challenge Iowa State this week.

Projected Score: Iowa State 52, Western Illinois 0


Missouri State vs. Murray State

This game will likely be one of the more interesting games of the week. Missouri State will finally get to play some comparable competition. The past two weeks the Bears have played as well as anyone could have asked for against ranked FBS competition. We will see what how they perform against a 0-2 Murray State team that is hungry for a win after losses to Florida State and Central Arkansas. I think that quarterback Ashton Glaser will provide a wonderful performance for the crowd in Springfield this weekend and the Missouri State Bears show that they are for real this week.

Projected Score: Missouri State 28, Murray State 17


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns