Missouri Valley Football Conference Week 6 Review

NDSU QB Trey Lance leads the Bison to a 37-3 win at Illinois State (Courtesy of NDSU Athletics)

The Missouri Valley Football Conference got into conference play with all 10 teams playing their first game within the league. Two teams went into their conference openers and only one came out unscathed. North Dakota State went to beat Illinois State on the road easily, while Youngstown State traveled to Northern Iowa and left with its first loss.

UNI knocked Youngstown State from the ranks of the unbeaten with its 21-14 win, while North Dakota State beat Illinois State 37-3 in Normal to extend its current winning streak to 26-straight games — tied for second-longest win streak (James Madison in 2016-2017 in FCS history only to NDSU’s 33 game streak in 2012-2014.

The win for NDSU was the most impressive of the day as Illinois State came ranked in many polls in the Top 10 in the country. The Bison young squad looked like the more experienced team and showed why it is still the team to beat not only in the MVFC but all of FCS.

North Dakota State scored on its first four possessions and cruised to a 37-3 victory over Illinois State. RB Ty Brooks rushed for 106 yards including a 53-yard touchdown on NDSU’s second possession, and QB Trey Lance went 12 of 15 passing for 189 yards and three touchdowns.

The UNI defense held Youngstown State to just 55 yards rushing and sacked quarterback Nathan Mays six times while the Panther offense built a 21-7 lead en route to a 21-14 win. Youngstown State’s offense averaged nearly 300 yards a game rushing entering Saturday’s matchup against UNI, but the Panthers made it clear early that it was going to be tough sledding for the Penguins. UNI held YSU to just 32 yards rushing in the first half on 17 carries.

South Dakota State QB J’Bore Gibbs threw a pair of touchdown passes to WR Jaxon Janke to break open the game in the fourth quarter and the Jackrabbits beat Southern Illinois 28-10. SIU lead the game 10-9 at halftime but SDSU scored three second-half touchdowns and the Jackrabbit defense pitched a shutout over the final 30 minute on Hobo Day in Brookings.

QB Austin Simmons and RB Kai Henry combined to run for 239 yards and four scores and South Dakota’s defense shut down Indiana State in a 38-0 Dakota Days win inside the DakotaDome. Simmons ran nine times for a career-high 138 yards with touchdown runs of 4, 37 and 44 yards. He also completed 15 of 25 passes for 210 yards and a score. Henry chipped in with 14 carries for 101 yards. Included in his tally was a nifty 42-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter that extended USD’s lead to 14-0.

In the most completive day in what was the two winless teams in the league coming into the opening conference games, Missouri State QB Peyton Huslig matched career-highs with 28 completions and four passing touchdowns, while WR Kendall Stewart produced two go-ahead scores to help lead Missouri State to a 37-31 triple overtime win over Western Illinois.Stewart’s 22-yard jet sweep in the third overtime saw the senior tiptoe down the left sideline and into the endzone for what proved to be the game-winning score. Missouri State’s ensuing two-point try failed, but the Bears defense held strong.

See below for video highlights of each of the Week 6 MVFC games, as well as a detailed recap of each game in the hyperlink in the score.

North Dakota State 37, Illinois State 3 (Normal, Ill.)

UNI 21, Youngstown State 14 (Cedar Falls, Iowa)

South Dakota State 28, Southern Illinois 10 (Brookings, S.D.)

South Dakota 38, Indiana State 0 (Vermillion, S.D.)

Missouri State 37, Western Illinois 31 (3OT) Macomb, Ill.