Missouri Valley Week 8 FCS Football Game Breakdowns


Week 8 Missouri Valley Game Breakdowns


Who would have guessed a powerhouse program like Northern Iowa would be tied for last place in the Missouri Valley Conference… and did I predict Northern Iowa would win that Southern Illinois game by 30 points? Wow. Maybe Joe Scalzo from the Youngstown Vindicator can beat me after all! (Just kidding, Joe… Hey, I know sometimes these scores can be way off, but the fun part is realizing that other sports reporters read my work. At least someone is paying attention, right?) Let’s take a look at the five games on tap this week:


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

It isn’t exactly a border war as Terre Haute and Bloomington are about two hours apart, but it is still a battle for bragging rights across the state lines. Both teams are struggling somewhat this season as Illinois State is at 2-4 and Indiana State is at 1-5 overall. Illinois State leads the overall series 33-29-2 and the Redbirds have won 13 of the last 15 games. Back-to-back 100-yard games by Marshaun Coprich have guided Illinois State the past two weeks, and the Redbirds should get another strong performance this week.

Projected Score: Illinois State 28, Indiana State 17


#10 South Dakota State at Missouri State, Saturday, 2:00 pm

I’m not going to come out and say this is a lock game for South Dakota State, but here’s some compelling evidence. The series began in 2008 and South Dakota State has won all five games. However, the last time this game was in Springfield (2011) South Dakota State barely escaped with a 43-36 overtime victory. Keep an eye out for CB Winston Wright, who intercepted two passes that led to his team scoring in a 38-14 win over Western Illinois.

Projected Score: South Dakota State 31, Missouri State 20


#1 North Dakota State at Southern Illinois, Saturday, 3:00 pm

Don’t worry, North Dakota State fans. The Bison saw Southern Illinois upset Northern Iowa last week and they will be on upset alert themselves. This game is the MVFC’s marquee matchup and it could be a dandy, thanks to last year’s 23-17 win by North Dakota State in Fargo. Although the score was close, NDSU outgained the Salukis 386-177. Southern Illinois was held to 11 yards rushing on the ground. If the Bison comes anywhere close to that performance the Salukis could be in trouble.

Projected Score: North Dakota State 30, Southern Illinois 24


Western Illinois at #15 Youngstown State, Saturday, 3:00 pm

Youngstown State has won eight of the last nine meetings against Western Illinois, and that has resulted in an overall 17-12 lead in the all-time series. Last year, Youngstown State scored 21 unanswered points to break out to a 31-7 victory at Macomb. This game is in Youngstown, and the Penguins have a lot at stake. Not only do they share a tie atop the MVFC at 3-0, Youngstown State is off to a 6-1 start. This game should not be a challenge for the Penguins.

Projected Score: Youngstown State 34, Western Illinois 13


South Dakota at #11 Northern Iowa, Saturday, 5:00 pm

Do you think Northern Iowa is a little upset right about now? Back-to-back losses against North Dakota State and Southern Illinois have taken Northern Iowa out of the MVFC title hunt. The Panthers have to win out in order to maintain hopes of an FCS playoff bid, and it starts here with a win over South Dakota. Northern Iowa holds a 25-17-1 lead in the overall series. The last time South Dakota defeated Northern Iowa was 1981, and UNI is 4-0 against South Dakota under current coach Mark Farley. Northern Iowa should bust the losing streak this week.

Projected Score: Northern Iowa 34, South Dakota 17


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns