Week 9 Around the Valley
Week 8 was a beautiful day of Missouri Valley Football. North Dakota got powerbombed by UNI, SDSU got challenged on the road and Youngstown won on a walk-off! The rest of Saturday’s slate went as expected with Missouri State edging out Murray State late. Week 9 is highlighted by the biggest matchup of the season when SDSU travels to South Dakota in a top 5 clash. LET'S GET INTO IT
23 Northern Iowa (4-3) @ Illinois State (4-3)
12 pm, Hancock Stadium
Northern Iowa had a MASSIVE statement win over North Dakota last week. They welcomed the fighting hawks with an Iowa ass whoopin, winning 27-0. The defense held UND to 15 rushing yards. Drake May threw for 2 touchdowns to complement a heavy dose of Amauri Pesek-Hickson (180 yards, 1 td). Illinois State lost a heartbreaker in Youngstown (41-38) but their offense was firing on all cylinders. Annexstad threw for 5 touchdowns, 3 of which ended in the hands of Danny Sobkowics (11 rec, 170 yards). The Redbirds also churned out 203 yards on the ground.
Prediction: I can’t see Illinois State lighting up the scoreboard against this UNI defense, and vice versa. We are in for a dog fight in Bloomington. UNI wins a low scoring affair.
Indiana State (0-7) @ 13 North Dakota (4-3)
1 pm, Alerus Center
North Dakota was handed a humbling 27-0 loss in the UNI Dome last Saturday. Sitting at 4-3, it’s gut check time for the Fighting Hawks. They have a lot of football to play and I believe the UNI game will prove to be a fluke. Nonetheless, the offense failed to total 200 yards (187). Time to burn that tape and look forward to a more favorable matchup. Indiana State lost again last week, but played USD tough for 4 quarters. They were able to find some success on the ground and the defense played exceptionally well.
Prediction: North Dakota couldn’t ask for a better opponent coming off a disappointing loss. The Fighting Hawks are gonna beat the Sycamores up and down the field all afternoon.
Missouri State (3-4) @ 15 Youngstown State (4-3)
1 pm, Stambaugh Stadium
YOUNGSTOWN LOVES KICKERS!! Andrew Lastovka played hero ball last week when he sent the game winning kick down the middle with triple zeros on the clock. Tyshon King and Dra Rushton are the best 1-2 punch in the MVFC. They both surpassed the century mark Saturday to lead a rushing attack that piled up 267 yards. Davidson spread the ball to 9 different receivers on his way to a 4 touchdown day. Missouri State won a hardfought battle vs Murray 7 days ago (28-24). Jordan Pachot put the ball in the endzone 4 times and threw for just shy of 300 yards. The defense forced 2 turnovers and shattered any hopes of a late comeback from the Racers.
Prediction: Both offenses will put up some points, but YSU will break down the MSU defense on the ground and open up a big lead late. Penguins win by multiple scores.
1 SDSU (7-0) @ 5 South Dakota (6-1)
1 pm, Dakota Dome
GAME OF THE WEEK!!!! Not many things are better than seeing 2 powerhouses clash late in October. Add in the fact that these two teams and fan bases hate each other makes it that much sweeter. SDSU got challenged last week against SIU. The offense struggled to get going during the 17-10 victory, but what they lacked in the defense picked up. They forced 2 turnovers and led the Jackrabbits to 7-0. South Dakota also struggled to get in the endzone during their 17-3 victory over Indiana State. Regardless, the defense was nails, keeping the sycamores out of the endzone and the Coyotes moved on another win richer.
Prediction: Buckle up them chinstraps, a low Scoring, ass kicking, blood spitting battle is on the horizon. Valley rivalries bring a different sort of hatred and desire to dominate your enemy. This one is gonna come down to the very end, but Gronowski and company will emerge victorious. Jackrabbits hop on to 8-0.
Murray State (2-5) @ 14 NDSU (5-2)
2:30 pm, Fargo Dome
We all love to make jokes at the expense of the 2023 Bison football program but they’ve put together a nice string of wins since the North Dakota loss. They followed up a week 7 blowout with an even wider margin of victory last Saturday. The offense ran for an astonishing 425 yards on the ground while the defense held Western to under 200 total yards with 1 turnover. Murray State had the upper hand of a back and forth battle before ultimately failing to convert on 4th down in the 2 minute drill, losing 28-24.
Prediction: NDSU is loving the schedule makers right now. Third blowout in as many weeks for the Bison.
11 SIU (5-2) @ Western Illinois (0-7)
3 pm, Hanson Field
I took 2 things away from the Saluki’s performance against SDSU: 1. The defense is ELITE. The best one I’ve ever seen at SIU. 2. The offense is gonna find the endzone again. Relaxxxx. Tough to lose 17-10, but there’s a lot of football to be played. D’Ante’ Cox returned from a knee injury and made an immediate impact reeling in 7 balls for 88 yards and a touchdown. The defense gave SDSU everything they could handle and kept SIU in the game. Western Illinois added another number to the loss column in ugly fashion against NDSU. Burn that tape and look onto the next one.
Prediction: Western was always a place I hated playing. You have a mile walk from the locker room and the weather always plays a factor. Luckily, the Saluki’s are a superior team and will prove that. Offense finds the endzone a whole bunch and SIU dominates this one in Macomb.