Some news and notes in advance of South Dakota State visiting Missouri State on Saturday. I’ll be live from Springfield starting at noon:
Two starters on the offensive line are considered questionable today: redshirt freshman Mike Shoff and senior Alex Parker. Shoff was hurt during practice last week and didn’t even travel to Western Illinois. Parker got dinged at Macomb.
Cornerback Jimmie Forsythe also could be limited as he was last week.
SDSU is one of two Valley teams that MSU coach Terry Allen hasn’t beaten. He’s 0-5 vs. the Jacks. He’s 0-7 vs. the Panthers.
The Bears have more former players in the NFL this season (3) than the Jacks (1 - Colts K Adam Vinatieri). They are: Eagles TE Clay Harbor, Cowboys OL David Arkin and Bucs OL Randy Richards (practice squad).
The Bears are averaging 9,206 fans for home games this season. But that number has gotten smaller each week since the opener.
The second Gridiron Power Index of the season was released this week. The Missouri Valley Football Conference continues to hold the top spot as all 10 teams are in the top 60 - that’s basically the top half of the FCS. However, there is a pretty clear line between two groups. SDSU is the last of the first group at No. 17 with the next closest being Illinois State at No. 47.
The problem for the Jacks is they’re fifth in the league behind No. 1 North Dakota State, No. 4 Northern Iowa, No. 9 Youngstown State and No. 15 Southern Illinois. Of course, that will play itself out as SDSU has upcoming games against the Panthers and Penguins. The Jacks best win so far is over No. 18 Southeastern Louisiana.
MSU is eighth in the Valley at No. 54 overall.
In the latest example of how they’ll benefit from having an indoor practice facility, the Jacks on Tuesday were forced to workout on the cement floor of the Swiftel Center. That’s noteworthy because Tuesday is generally the most important and productive practice day of a game week.
SDSU will fly to Springfield today after driving there on prior trips. The reason for the change? Driving to Macomb and Springfield in consecutive weeks was likely to have a negative impact on performance.
Surprisingly, this is the first flight of the season for the Jacks - their latest first flight since moving to the FCS in 2004. The previous latest first flight was in 2008 - Week 5. In 2004 and 2006, SDSU had four flights in its first seven games.
On Saturday, MSU is expected to announce the results of a campus election that would raise student fees in order to improve athletic facilities. The football stadium would get about $10 million in improvements.
For as solid as the Bears are defensively, they don’t post many sacks and are only plus-1 in turnover margin. And for as average as they can be on offense, receivers Julian Burton and Dorian Buford are very good, especially in open spaces. Jacks CB Je Ryan Butler thinks that MSU has the most athletic group of receivers SDSU has faced since North Dakota in Week 2.
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.