Missouri Valley Week 3 FCS Football Game Breakdowns

Week 3 Missouri Valley Game Breakdowns

So far it has been a very successful first couple of weeks for five of the 10 teams in the Missouri Valley Conference. Five teams sport 2-0 records, and some teams have a chance to win their third game in a row and get off to spectacular starts. This week’s games are highlighted by a matchup of Illinois schools located less than two hours apart, as it will be the Normal-Charleston grudge match (Illinois State-Eastern Illinois). Here is a look at the week’s MVFC action:


Western Illinois at Minnesota, Saturday, 12:00

Minnesota coach Jerry Kill used to be head coach at Southern Illinois, a Missouri Valley Conference school, before he went to Minneapolis. This is the first time these two teams are meeting, and Western Illinois is shooting for its first 3-0 start since 2002. The Leathernecks defense averages 7.5 points per game, good for fifth best in the nation. Granted, wins over Hampton and Quincy have not been against impressive teams, and that could come back to haunt Western Illinois. I expect Minnesota to win, but this game could be close.

Projected Score: Minnesota 34, Western Illinois 27


#18 Youngstown State at Michigan State, Saturday, 1:00

I’m going to project an upset here for two reasons. First, Youngstown State was able to knock off Pitt last year and gain a big win against an FBS school. Second, although Michigan State is off to a 2-0 record the Spartans offense is one of the worst I have seen in years. It will get better, but Michigan State is ripe for an upset because sooner or later that offense will sputter and the defense won’t be there to bail it out. The Penguins racked up 718 yards total offense in a win over Morehead State, and even with half that yardage Youngstown State could challenge.

Projected Score: Youngstown State 28, Michigan State 20


Quincy at Indiana State, Saturday, 2:00

This series is a tale of two Sycamore football teams. Indiana State outscored Quincy 100-22 the first two games but lost the last matchup in overtime, 26-20, back in 2009. Indiana State limited Purdue to 284 yards total offense in a 20-14 loss to the Boilermakers, and QB Mike Perish threw for 256 yards in the loss. If the Indiana State team that barely lost to Purdue shows up this week, it should finally get over the hump and score a win.

Projected Score: Indiana State 34, Quincy 13


Charleston at Southern Illinois, Saturday, 3:00

Saluki fans should be able to party in Carbondale on Saturday night. Yes, Southern Illinois is off to an 0-2 start, but it lost by eight points to Illinois and three points to Eastern Illinois (in double overtime, no less). Charleston is a Division II school from the Mountain East Conference, and it lost its season opener 44-14 to Shaw University. Southern Illinois just scores too many points to give Charleston a chance to drop the Salukis to 0-3.

Projected Score: Southern Illinois 38, Charleston 7


Missouri State at Murray State, Saturday, 6:00

No doubt Missouri State fans remember this game. The Bears had 607 yards total offense and 436 rushing yards… and yet they still lost 72-59 to Murray State. That score should remind people of Murray State’s strong basketball team from a couple years ago, not the football squad! Starting QB Kierra Harris needs 104 yards passing to break the 1,500 mark for his career, and he should get it in this contest. Missouri State should get a win as well, albeit in a squeaker.

Projected Score: Missouri State 37, Murray State 34


SE Louisiana at #4 South Dakota State, Saturday, 7:00

You could say there is a lot at “steak” in this game, because it is the 47th annual Beef Bowl in Brookings, South Dakota. South Dakota State won last year’s game 31-14 in what was the only meeting between the two schools. RB Zach Zenner ran for 295 yards against North Dakota, matching his career best previously set in the 2012 playoffs against Eastern Illinois. South Dakota State should win this game with all the trimmings.

Projected Score: South Dakota State 37, SE Louisiana 10


#19 Illinois State at #13 Eastern Illinois, Saturday, 7:00

Fall college football in the Illinois heartland… what could possibly be better? This is the oldest FCS rivalry; these teams have played 101 times, and Illinois State holds a 52-40-9 edge in the series. Illinois State lost 51-28 to Ball State a week ago. Middle linebacker Pat Meehan anchors the Illinois State defense, which could come up huge in this contest. RB Collin Keoshian came up big against Ball State with a pair of touchdowns. The Mid-America Classic should result in another thriller.

Projected Score: Illinois State 30, Eastern Illinois 20


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns