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This Week in Missouri Valley Conference Football

Missouri Valley Football Conference
Missouri Valley Football Conference

All ten Missouri Valley Conference teams are in action this weekend, with a pair of big homecoming games locally, and a match-up between a pair of unbeaten, Top 5 teams on the schedule.

Here’s what to watch for:

Southern Illinois (2-3/0-1) at #7/#9 South Dakota State (3-2/0-1)

100 years of Hobo Day football will be celebrated in Brookings Saturday. The Jackrabbits have lost back-to-back games to Nebraska and North Dakota State, and need to re-discover a running game after being held to negative yardage on the ground against the Bison last week:

SDSU's John Stiegelmeier on NDSU loss, Southern Illinois Game

The Salukis were beaten by a point at home last week by #25 Youngstown State, ruining a big day from quarterback Kory Faulkner.

The Jacks won last season 16-12, scoring the game winning touchdown with :03 left:

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Missouri State (1-4/1-0) at South Dakota (1-3/0-1) – Saturday 2:00pm

It’s the 99th Dakota Day game for the Coyotes, and Joe Glenn’s team is still looking for its first Missouri Valley win after eight straight losses.

The game is the first at home for USD in more than a month.  The Coyotes lost at Western Illinois in Week 1:

USD's Joe Glenn on WIU loss and Missouri St. Game

The Bears upset #24 Illinois State at home last week, and beat USD last year with a 17 point rally, ending with a winning field goal on the last play of the game:

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#4 Northern Iowa (4-0/0-0) at #1 North Dakota State (4-0/1-0) Saturday 2:30pm

This is the FCS marquee game of the weekend.  Both teams are in the Top 5 and both are unbeaten with wins over FBS teams.  The Bison won at Kansas State, the Panthers at Iowa State.

One of the longest winning streaks in the nation will end Saturday in Fargo.  NDSU has won 13 in a row, UNI has won seven straight.

The Panthers had two receivers over 100-yards in a win against #9 McNeese State last Saturday:

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North Dakota State went to Cedar Falls and won 33-21 last season.  The Bison defense has posted back-to-back shutouts for the first time 1987.  NDSU has not allowed a touchdown in the last 10 quarters:

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#22 Youngstown State (4-1/1-0) at Indiana State (1-3/0-0) – Saturday 1:00pm CDT

Penguins quarterback Kurt Hess is the Missouri Valley Conference offensive player of the week after a four-touchdown game at Southern Illinois.  YSU has dominated the series against the Sycamores, winning 19 of the 22 meetings.

Strong safety Donald D’Alesio is the conference defensive player of the week after notching 15 tackles and forcing and recovering a fumble last weekend.

The Penguins held ISU’s star running back Shakir Bell to just 54 yards last year:

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This is the conference opener for the Sycamores, who lost 38-37 at Tennessee Tech last week.  Earlier in the season, ISU had a chance to win at Purdue, but fell 20-14 to the Boilermakers:

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Western Illinois (3-2/1-0) at Illinois State (1-3/0-1) – Saturday 2:00pm

The Leathernecks have yet to allow a touchdown in the first quarter this season.  Running back JC Baker has run for 100-yards in the last two games, including last weekend’s 24-10 win over South Dakota.

Western Illinois is +10 in turnovers after five games:

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The Redbirds are trying to rebound after a conference opening 37-10 loss at Missouri State.

Illinois State beat the Leathernecks 23-3 last season, outgaining WIU 373-137 in total offense:

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