Week 9 Missouri Valley FCS Football Game Breakdowns

Week 9 Missouri Valley Football Conference Breakdowns


South Dakota @ #18 Indiana State, Saturday, 2:00

The South Dakota Coyotes got absolutely mauled by North Dakota State this past weekend. Although it was not surprising that they got beat, a shutout, and by that magnitude, was. This Coyote team has multiple deficits, mainly on defense. This weekend the Coyotes will try to get their first Valley win against a very good Indiana State team. The Sycamores, the only team to beat North Dakota State this year, has found a rhythmic beat on defense and has played very well the past two games. That defensive success, coupled with an effective offense that has reinvented itself since the South Dakota State loss, has this Sycamore team on fire. I expect Indiana State to take care of business and send South Dakota home winless in the conference once more.

Projected Score: Indiana State 38, South Dakota 24


Western Illinois @ Missouri State, Saturday, 2:00

Missouri State is coming off two straight wins and will look to make it a third as they take on Western Illinois this weekend in Springfield. The Bears have suddenly found some defense and Kierra Harris has provided some key leadership to motivate his team to wins. Although Harris’ numbers have not been spectacular, you can definitely notice the level of confidence when he is on the field. Western Illinois has made similar changes, but with little success. Wil Lunt won the quarterback position from Josh Hudson going into the South Dakota game and Lunt delivered with a solid win. However, since that win Lunt hasn’t played as well and the Leathernecks have lost two straight. I’m taking the hot team, and the home team, in this game.

Projected Score: Missouri State 27, Western Illinois 21


#24 Youngstown State @ South Dakota State

Youngstown State has now lost three straight since that pounding they took at the Fargodome. This weekend the Penguins will travel back to the Dakotas to face South Dakota State on the Jackrabbit’s homecoming. South Dakota State is coming off their first FCS lost in over a year and is still trying to figure out how to move the ball through the air. Running back Zach Zenner is a very talented back but he cannot be expected to carry the team consistently. The Jackrabbit defense also had a tough time stopping Northern Iowa last weekend. Youngstown State will need to find their confidence and if they do so, they should be able to spoil the Jackrabbit’s homecoming. Look for Kurt Hess and Austin Sumner to find their groves, but in the end the best defense will win the game.

Projected Score: South Dakota State 45, Youngstown State 41


Southern Illinois @ #2 North Dakota State

Southern Illinois is a very, very hot team right now. They have now won five of their past six games and have found their identity on defense. They will be tested to the max this weekend as they travel to Fargo to take on the Bison who are fresh off of a solid beating of conference newcomer South Dakota. Southern Illinois has played well against the Bison in the past, and they certainly have the talent to make this a game. I think that this game will be close, but in the end the Bison will have the advantage.  

Projected Score: North Dakota State 35, Southern Illinois 14


#15 Illinois State @ Northern Iowa, Saturday, 5:00

This is make-it-or-break it time for Illinois State. Another loss could mean hanging on the edge of playoff elimination. The Redbirds might be one of the most inconsistent teams in the Missouri Valley. They have a fine offense and their defense has the ability to play very well at times. However, inconsistency will not cut it in this league. Northern Iowa on the other hand got their first D-I victory against a pretty solid South Dakota State team, and I don’t see the Panthers losing another game, especially at home. The Redbirds should fall to 6-3, and the Panthers will continue to play the role of spoiler—and very well.

Projected Score: Northern Iowa 31, Illinois State 24


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