Missouri Valley Week 4 FCS Football Game Breakdowns

Week 4 MVC FCS Football Game Breakdowns


It is looking more and more like a matchup between South Dakota State and North Dakota State may be highly anticipated, as these teams are looking quite strong early in the 2013 season. Oh, and don’t forget about Northern Iowa either. It looks like this team is for real once again. There are nine games on the MVFC docket this week, and let’s take a look at the league schedule:


Southern Illinois vs. SE Missouri State, Saturday, 2:00

This game is a neutral-site contest with Busch Stadium serving as home base for what should be a spirited battle between two solid clubs. The series dates back to 1913, and the Salukis have won six of the last seven meetings. Southern Illinois’ 17th-ranked total offense (453.3 yards per game) is solid, but who starts at quarterback could be key. If QB Kory Faulkner’s shoulder prevents him from playing, freshman QB Ryan West, who threw a 22-yard touchdown on his second career attempt, will take snaps.

Projected Score: Southern Illinois 34, SE Missouri State 13


Duquesne at #18 Youngstown State, Saturday, 3:00

All right, so Youngstown State wasn’t capable of pulling off the upset against Michigan State. In fact, the Spartans offense finally woke up in a 55-17 drubbing. This is the first meeting ever between these two schools, as Duquesne comes from the Northeast Conference. The team has a win over Albany and a loss at Dayton. Look for Youngstown State to regain some of its lost luster against a team with a weaker schedule.

Projected Score: Youngstown State 34, Duquesne 13


Delaware State at #1 North Dakota State, Saturday, 3:30

The Delaware State gets another tough game this week after losing 49-7 to Towson last Saturday.  The Hornets were not able to get any kind of ground game going and were not able to stop the Tigers.  North Dakota State comes in at 2-0 after strong wins over Kansas State and Ferris State.   There will be an electric atmosphere as ESPN Game Day will be broadcasting from Fargo.  North Dakota State will be up to the challenge and have an easy time with Delaware State.

Projected Score: North Dakota State 42, Delaware State 10


#3 South Dakota State at Nebraska, Saturday, 3:30

It’s been a good season so far for South Dakota State, but beware… the Jackrabbits are 0-5 against FBS schools since they joined the MVFC in 2008. That includes a 17-3 loss at Nebraska in 2010, which does not bode well for the upcoming game. South Dakota State barely won the Beef Bowl 34-26 over Southeastern Louisiana, keyed in part by two interceptions from LB Dallas Brown. South Dakota State is plus-11 in turnovers, which could be big if Nebraska coughs up a few here and there.

Projected Score: Nebraska 38, South Dakota State 20


#7 Northern Iowa at Northern Colorado, Saturday, 4:30

Football fans in Colorado definitely need something to take their minds off the terrible rainstorms of the past week. Even if Northern Colorado isn’t favored in this game, it’s at least a chance to escape to the gridiron. This is the first time since 1926 these teams have met. Keep an eye on the first half of this game. Northern Iowa has outscored opponents 52-14 in that half this season, and if RB David Johnson and QB Sawyer Kollmorgen get red-hot this could be a long game. Northern Colorado’s defense could make this a bit more respectable.

Projected Score: Northern Iowa 38, Northern Colorado 10


Abilene Christian at Illinois State, Saturday, 7:00

With wins over Concordia College, McMurry and New Mexico Highlands, Abilene Christian is off to a 3-0 start as an FCS independent school. Abilene Christian joins the Southland Conference in 2014. Until then, it competes against whoever will face the program, and that brings Abilene to Bloomington-Normal to face an 0-2 Illinois State team struggling to find some identity. Eastern Illinois romped 57-24 last week, so Abilene Christian could very well be 4-0 after this contest is over.

Projected Score: Abilene Christian 42, Illinois State 27


#16 Central Arkansas at Missouri State, Saturday, 7:00

The all-time series is knotted at 3-3, but each team has claimed a win in recent memory. Central Arkansas won 16-14 in 2006, but Missouri State returned the favor with a 42-38 victory the following year. Central Arkansas, a member of the Southland Conference, could give Missouri State some fits, but it is worth noting the Bears only lost 41-38 to Murray State last week. Keep an eye on RB Vernon Scott, who ran 26 times for 201 yards against Murray State.

Projected Score: Central Arkansas 20, Missouri State 17 (OT)


South Dakota at #20 Northern Arizona, Saturday, 8:05

The first meeting between these two schools takes place in the high hills of Flagstaff, as the game serves as Northern Arizona’s home opener. The first down will be key for Northern Arizona, as opponents are converting less than 29 percent on first down. Zack Bauman is now the school’s all-time leading rusher and has a chance to move up the Big Sky’s list this weekend. Currently he is tied for second on the league’s all-time rushing chart (with Don Read). Both of these schools are 1-1, and Bauman’s running game and home advantage should tilt this game to Northern Arizona.

Projected Score: Northern Arizona 20, South Dakota 14


Western Illinois at UNLV, Saturday, 9:00

Western Illinois has back-to-back FBS games, having lost 29-12 at Minnesota last week in a game more known for Minnesota coach Jerry Kill’s sideline epileptic seizure. These teams have met twice before and split the series, but they have not seen each other since 1977. Western Illinois does have a shot in this game, especially if the Leathernecks can capture the offense it found against Hampton and Quincy.

Projected Score: Western Illinois 37, UNLV 30


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns