Week 4 Missouri Valley FCS Football Game Breakdowns

Week 4 Missouri Valley Football Conference Game Breakdowns

This weekend starts conference play for many teams in the Missouri Valley; another crucial time in the FCS regular season. Specifically, Youngstown State, Northern Iowa, Indiana State, and South Dakota State will have a chance early on to make a statement and put themselves in position to contend for the Missouri Valley crown. South Dakota and North Dakota State will resume their non-conference schedule after having an off week. The Missouri Valley Football Conference is such a tough conference top-to-bottom that escaping the conference schedule without a loss is almost impossible; North Dakota State couldn’t even do it last year on their way to a National Championship. Prepare for a tough road from here on out in the Missouri Valley.


Southern Illinois at Missouri State, Saturday, 2:00

Last week Southern Illinois proved that they are capable of winning some ball games and their defense especially proved that it shouldn’t be taken too lightly even though they haven’t played spectacular. The Salukis are coming off a nice 35-14 win against Southeast Missouri State and bring some much needed momentum into this matchup. On the other hand, Missouri State is coming off a close 28-23 loss to Murray State. The first two weeks Missouri State played well against FBS competition, but it looks more and more like Missouri State will struggle throughout the rest of the season. The key to this game will be solid defensive play. Both of these teams are susceptible to the pass, whoever can stop big plays and create turnovers will win this game. I think Southern Illinois has a slight edge in this game and wins by three.

Projected Score: Southern Illinois 31, Missouri State 28


South Dakota State at Indiana State, Saturday, 2:05

Last week Indiana State struggled in a non-conference match-up against non-scholarship Drake University. Drake is a very good team from the Pioneer League, but I expected Indiana State to score more points on the Bulldogs. At any rate, Indiana State still ran all over Drake as running back Shakir Bell went off for 349 yards and two touchdowns. South Dakota State had a similar story last weekend. The Jackrabbits played UC Davis from the Big Sky and scored only 12 points against a mediocre FCS opponent. However, the Jackrabbit defense was spectacular and didn’t allow the UC Davis offense any points. This is a very big game for these two programs; it will determine which team will sit, again, at the middle of the conference or contend for the title. This game will be determined on which defense can stop the run better; I think the Sycamores are better suited to win this game on Saturday.

Projected Score: Indiana State 28, South Dakota Sate 17


South Dakota at Northwestern, Saturday, 3:30

After a week off, the Coyotes will look to square off against Big Ten opponent Northwestern this weekend. I think that the Coyotes have a lot to prove this season and this game could be a statement game for them. I don’t expect the Coyotes to pull off this upset, but they’ve played well against FBS competition in the past. Look for the Coyotes to score on the Wildcats, but in the end Northwestern will come out comfortably on top.

Projected Score: Northwestern 45, South Dakota 20


#2 North Dakota State vs. Prairie View A&M, Saturday, 4:00

The Bison will be back at it this weekend as they take on the Panthers from Prairie View A&M in Fargo. After distractions on campus last week, the Bison will likely get the university back to normalcy as they win comfortably. Look for the Bison to control the ball on offense and score often. On defense, watch the Bison create turnovers and ignite the Fargodome crowd. This game should play out like a typical Bison football game.

Projected Score: North Dakota State 38, Prairie View A&M 10


#14 Illinois State at Western Illinois, Saturday, 4:00

Illinois State had an exciting double-overtime win last weekend over Eastern Illinois. Matt Brown was absolutely spectacular and single-handily willed the Redbirds to win. On the other hand, Western traveled to Ames, Iowa and got beat pretty soundly by Big-12 opponent Iowa State. Western currently sits at 2-1, while Illinois State sits at 3-0. Normally, I would hype this game as a big match-up early in the season; however, I’m not sold on this Leatherneck squad, they had ugly wins against Butler and Indianapolis. I expect Illinois State to control this game early and continue on their success. Western Illinois will need to play perfect on defense--and create lots of turnovers--in order to pull off this upset

Projected Score: Illinois State 45, Western Illinois 13


#8 Northern Iowa at #6 Youngstown State, Saturday, 7:00

This game is easily the biggest game of the week in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Northern Iowa is coming off of a tough loss to Iowa last weekend and absolutely needs this win to stay in the playoff hunt. Sawyer Kollmorgen threw his first interception last weekend and didn’t find the end zone once; he will need to move forward from that performance. Youngstown State struggled with a fine Albany opponent from the NEC conference last weekend and will look to get back on track this weekend. Penguin quarterback Kurt Hess had a down week, just like Kollmorgenl last week, and should get back to the basics against a potent Panther defense. This game could come down to the wire and will most likely come down to one big play. I predict Youngstown State will pull out this win at home.

Projected Score: Youngstown State 29, Northern Iowa 28


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns