· After another weekend of conference matchups, the Missouri Valley Conference is still dominating the FCS National Polls. Five teams are ranked in the top20: North Dakota State (1), South Dakota State (3), Illinois State (10), Northern Iowa(15) and Youngstown State (18).
South Dakota State 38 vs. Youngstown State 28
· SDSU put on a clinic in the second half once again, scoring 35 points after a horrible start to the game. It did not take the lead until a fourth quarter 81-yard touchdown throw by quarterback J’Bore Gibbs, who took home both the MVC Offensive Player and Newcomer of the Week award for his outstanding play. Gibbs put the offense on his back late in the game, going for 210 yards through the air, 75 yards rushing and three touchdowns, all in the second half. The Jackrabbits are now 5-1 on the season (2-0 in the MVC) and will play Indiana State this weekend in another conference matchup.
Indiana State 20 vs. Western Illinois 10
· Indiana State’s linebacker Clayton Glasco won the MVC Defensive Player of the Week award, making plays all over the field Oct. 12 against WIU. Glasco had 10 total tackles, three tackles-for-loss and two sacks in the game. What was most impressive about this stingy defense was holding the Leathernecks to just 1-for-15 on third down. Indiana State scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to conclude a spectacular homecoming victory. They will host SDSU this weekend in a must-win contest.
North Dakota State 46 vs. University of Northern Iowa 14
· NDSU added another second-half comeback to its season, putting up four unanswered touchdowns this past weekend. The Bisons are now 6-0 on the season, snatching their 27th consecutive victory for the university. A blizzard did not stop fans from packing the stadium to root for the Bisons, with a crowd of over 18,000 in attendance for the undefeated team. NDSU will play the Missouri State Bears Oct. 19.
· Two Bison took home MVC awards last weekend. Center Karson Schoening took home the Offensive Lineman of the Week honors, who had a gameplay grade of 94% with zero missed assignments in the team's victory. Schoening is the glue that holds this offense together, helping the team lead the national rankings in tackles-for-loss allowed, while also ranking top five in FCS rushing offense (288.0), third-down conversions (.544) and scoring offense (41.2). Punter Garret Wegner also got the nod for MVC Special Teams Player of the Week after averaging 50.7 yards on three punts, with a season-long 60-yard punt in the Bison victory against UNI. He also had two kickoffs for touchbacks, leading the MVC in net kickoff yardage (40.8). The Bison are still the team to beat in the MVC heading into this weekend.
Key MVC games to watch this weekend:
South Dakota State (3) @ Indiana State
Illinois State (10) @ Western Illinois
Youngstown State (18) @ Southern Illinois
Missouri State @ North Dakota State (1)
South Dakota @ UNI (15)
· Loyola has been on a roll as of late, winning its fourth straight game in back-to-back victories over Valparaiso and University of Illinois Chicago. The Ramblers were led by Aidan Megally, who won his second MVC Offensive Player of the Week award this season. Megally recorded two goals in the game, with six points overall last week. He also recorded a key game-winning goal in the Ramblers’ win over Northwestern. Loyola moves to 8-3-1 on the season and looks to add to its winning streak against Bradley Wednesday night.
· The unbeaten Missouri State Bears are on an absolute tear as they continue to sit atop the league standings with 15 points. They extended their winning streak to 11 with victories over both Bradley and Drake. The Bears were led by MVC Defensive Player of the Week Greg Stratton, who is the sixth consecutive player to win an MVC award on the team. Stratton and the rest of the defense recorded their fourth straight shutout, outscoring opponents 27-4 this year. The Bears have put the conference on notice as their attack ranks seventh in the nation, leading the MVC in scoring offense. They also have allowed the third-fewest goals in Division I and are only one of two teams to rank top 10 nationally in both goals per game and goals allowed per game. The Bears are still No. 14 in the United Soccer Coaches poll.
· The Bears finished in fourth place in the final round at the F&M Bank/Austin Peay Intercollegiate.MVC Men’s Golf Player of the Week Max Kreikemeier is a freshman who has already shown time and time again that he is one of the best golfers in the MVC. He recorded a 72-66-73 (-5) at the tournament, which resulted in a fifth-place tie. Kreikemeier now has an imposing two top 10 and two top 25 finishes this season. The team’s next tournament will be at the Little Rock/First Tee Classic this weekend.
MVC Players in the NFL Update
· Former Redbird Davontae Harris got the first start of his NFL career last Sunday for the Denver Broncos, and it could not have gone any better for the second-year standout. Harris took the field every defensive play against the Tennessee Titans, with an opportunity to show the world why he belongs in the NFL. Harris grabbed the brass ring and ran with it, looking like he belonged out there from the get-go. Harris continued to show off his speed and agility, winning matchups deep downfield and preventing several big plays. You can just tell by the way he moves in the backfield that he has the potential to be a solid cornerback in this league. While he did let up a few plays throughout the game and got called for pass interference, Harris did not let up the “big” play, had a key open-field tackle that prevented a potential touchdown and played within coach Vic Fangio’s system. After a great start for the ISU alumnus, Harris will have the toughest test of his career against 2018 MVP Patrick Mahomes II and the Kansas City Chiefs Oct. 17 on Thursday Night Football.
MVC Players in the MLB Playoffs Update
· Former Redbird Paul DeJong and the St. Louis Cardinals have been eliminated from playoff contention after getting swept by the Washington Nationals in the NLCS. DeJong made ISU proud though, as a key contributor to the team’s unpredictable playoff run. The young shortstop ended the playoffs with seven hits, three runs and two RBIs, solid numbers for the first MLB postseason of his career. DeJong looks to be an integral part of the Cardinals’ future, with expectations at their highest after a disappointing end to their playoff run.