Missouri Valley Week 5 FCS Football Game Breakdowns


Week 5 Missouri Valley Game Breakdowns


The battle of the Dakotas rules the fifth week of the MVFC season, which is the first weekend most teams are in conference play. Also of note is a strong game involving the Northern Iowa football team as McNeese State comes to town for another big showdown. A lot of eyes will be on the league this week! Here is a look at the schedule:

Illinois State at Missouri State, Saturday, 2:00 pm

Illinois State knows this year’s Missouri State team is 0-4. Illinois State remembers last season, when it was ranked highly in the nation but lost by a touchdown to Missouri State in a huge upset. Illinois State holds a 17-15-1 edge in the series, including a 38-13 victory in 2011 when the Redbirds visited Springfield. Look out for RB Collin Keoshian, who can be deadly in short-yardage situations for Illinois State. Missouri State’s main weapon will be WR Dorian Buford, who is 62 yards away from 1,000 for his career.

Projected Score: Illinois State 32, Missouri State 20


#1 North Dakota State at #2 South Dakota State, Saturday, 3:00 pm

This is easily the big game of the week in the MVFC, if not one of the biggest FCS games in the entire nation. It is the 101st meeting of these two schools, commonly referred to as the Dakota Marker game. Last year South Dakota State won the regular season meeting 20-17 but North Dakota State came back and blasted its opponent 28-3 in the FCS playoffs. It is also the 101st meeting of two ranked league opponents. The higher-ranked team is 57-43 in the first 100 games, and that bodes well for North Dakota State.

Projected Score: North Dakota State 44, South Dakota State 37


South Dakota at Western Illinois, Saturday, 4:00 pm

After not meeting since the 1977 season, these teams are in their second year of the current series. Western Illinois won last year’s meeting 24-17. If it can force turnovers right away then Western Illinois is a force to be reckoned with in this game. The team could win if running back J.C. Baker goes over 100 rushing yards, as that is a decent barometer. South Dakota QB Josh Vander Maten had 263 total yards last week, and the team will be hard pressed to play a strong offense if Vander Maten struggles.

Projected Score: Western Illinois 31, South Dakota 14


#21 McNeese State at #5 Northern Iowa, Saturday, 5:00 pm

Although the teams have met 10 times previously, this is the first meeting between the two schools since 1999, when Northern Iowa won 41-17. Kicker Tyler Sievertsen hit four field goals last week, the longest from 31 yards, as the Panthers won 26-7 over Northern Colorado. Northern Iowa will begin the MVFC season next week, but until then the Panthers should go 4-0 by feasting on another non-conference opponent.

Projected Score: Northern Iowa 40, McNeese State 17


#18 Youngstown State at Southern Illinois, Saturday, 7:00 pm

If history holds strong, then Youngstown State could win this contest. After all, it scored a 35-23 victory over the Salukis in the last meeting between the schools in Carbondale. When the game was in Youngstown last year, Southern Illinois erased a 14-3 deficit with three special teams touchdowns in the second half on the way to a 38-21 victory. Youngstown State QB Kurt Hess threw for 292 yards in his team’s recent win over Duquesne, but SIU RB Malcolm Agnew (127 yards against SE Missouri State) could be the equalizer.

Projected Score: Youngstown State 28, Southern Illinois 20


Indiana State at Tennessee Tech, Saturday, 7:00 pm

The Sycamores have never faced Tennessee Tech before, but against Ohio Valley Conference teams Indiana State has a pretty bad batting average. The Sycamores have whiffed in 10 previous meetings against OVC opponents since 2004. Look for tail back Shakir Bell to play a huge role in the game as he is only 429 yards away from becoming ISU’s all-time leading rusher. He won’t get it here, but Bell should get a huge chunk of change. Yup, this is the game where Indiana State breaks the futility streak.

Projected Score: Indiana State 30, Tennessee Tech 10


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns