Forum staff reports, Published September 19 2009
Bison football game day: Around the leagueIt’s the Missouri Valley Football Conference kickoff today when Indiana State plays at South Dakota State. It’s not expected to be indicative of the rest of the league season.
The Sycamores are 0-3 with a team that doesn’t have much power.
“We haven’t attacked anybody,” said head coach Trent Miles. “We’re just trying to get better at the game of football. So far, we’re bringing a knife to the gun fight.”
They better have plenty of knives against the Jackrabbits, who had one of their most convincing opening games of the season in a long time with a 44-6 thrashing of Georgia Southern. The Jackrabbits moved up to No. 21 in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision coaches poll.
It’s the same program that has struggled in recent years to get out of the blocks with losses to the likes of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
“Our best opener in my 10 years as the football coach,” said SDSU head coach John Stiegelmeier. “When you play somebody like Georgia Southern, it’s an opportunity to make a national statement.”
SDSU had a balanced attack with 193 yards rushing and 185 passing.
In other league games:
Youngstown State at Northeastern U
The Penguins have won their last three matchups with teams from the Colonial Athletic Association and today is expected to be no different against the Huskies, coached by former North Dakota State head coach Rocky Hager.
It’s an important game from a conference vs. conference perspective and could have implications for at-large playoff selections.
“We have a football conference here we need to take care of,” said YSU head coach Jon Heacock. “It’s not just about us. We are representing our conference.”
Youngstown has allowed 612 yards after two games, a big improvement from the 1,001 allowed in the first two games last year.
Austin Peay at Illinois State
Austin Peay is considered a better team than last year, when it was soundly beaten by the Bison.
“They’re making progress down there,” said ISU head coach Brock Spack.
Matt Brown, the first freshman to start at quarterback for ISU since 1999, threw for 312 yards last week in a 45-17 loss at Illinois.
Murray at Missouri State
The Bears attempted just 16 passes last week in a 24-14 win over Tennessee-Martin. Missouri State has another Ohio Valley Conference team in Murray State.
The Bears are 0-5 all-time against the Racers.
St. Francis at Northern Iowa
The Panthers came close to a couple schools records last week in a 66-7 thrashing of South Dakota. The 712 total yards was 14 shy of the mark and the 30 first downs were three away from the record.
A lot more yardage could come today against Saint Francis University (Pa.).
Southwest Baptist at S. Illinois
The Salukis are expected to get a tune-up today in preparation of their conference opener next week against NDSU. Southern Illinois is coming off a bye after a 31-28 loss at Marshall.
Southwest, a Division II school, is 0-3.
“Right away our players see that and think it will be walk-in-the-park-type game,” said SIU head coach Dale Lennon. “I think it has the potential to be anything but.”
Stephen F. Austin at Western Illinois
It’s been an interesting two games for Stephen F. Austin, which almost beat SMU in the season opener before blasting NAIA Texas College 92-0 last week.
“It’s rare you play somebody that just won 92-0,” said WIU head coach Don Patterson. “The game that got my attention was SMU. They could have won that game.”