The Missouri Valley Football Conference is the toughest in FCS football and it truly is a gauntlet to go through where every team plays their own version of power football and strong defense. It’s no different this year as the conference swings open its doors to 12 teams looking at a conference title and a deep playoff run.
South Dakota 24, #2 North Dakota State 19
This was the shocker of the weekend as South Dakota out NDSU’d NDSU getting ahead early and managing the clock to perfection to pull off a massive upset of the Bison at the Fargodome on homecoming. The Coyotes had NDSU down by as much as 18 points at the beginning of the 2nd half and kept NDSU on their toes the whole game defensively. This game will definitely put USD in the top 25 and give the voters a reason to drop NDSU out of the top 10.
Northern Iowa 44, Youngstown State 41
Northern Iowa is a team that always starts slow and finishes fast, they got out to a 1-2 start but are picking up steam in a hurry as they were able to get just enough offense to beat the upstart Youngstown State Penguins at the UNI-Dome. UNI quarterback Theo Day threw for 337 yards, passed for four scores, and rushed for another. The Penguins are in the final stages of a long rebuilding process and took the Panthers to the wire they gave the rest of the conference a message that they should not be taken lightly.
#1 South Dakota State 42, North Dakota 21
The clear-cut number-one team in FCS football showed why as they throttled a UND team that looked like they could pose a threat to the Jackrabbits. South Dakota State ran a very balanced offense as quarterback Mark Gronowski passed for just 167 yards and one touchdown pass Jaxon Janke. Isaiah Davis picked up his QB by rushing for 132 yards and three touchdowns. Thanks to the Bison losing to USD, the only things that can stop SDSU are injuries and themselves.
#10 Southern Illinois 33, Missouri State 20
The Salukis of Southern Illinois are no joke as they improved to 4-0 as they beat Missouri State by 13. SIU quarterback Nic Baker threw for 285 yards and a touchdown. Running back Ro Elliott ran for 102 yards and two scores. Once again thanks to NDSU losing, SIU will more than likely jump up 6th or 7th in the rankings.
Murray State 30, Indiana State 28
Conference newcomer Murray State won their first conference game by doing just enough to beat a bad Indiana State who has the worst offense in D-1 football. Murray State is going to be facing some difficult competition down the stretch in conference but this is a great start for a team in a brand new conference.