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Herald Missouri Valley Football Conference power poll Sept. 26, 2022

Four weeks down, and we're starting to build a more complete resume for the Missouri Valley Football Conference members.

TOmmysack.jpg
UND quarterback Tommy Schuster is sacked during a Missouri Valley Football Conference game against Southern Illinois on Sept. 24, 2022.
Laura Schweigert / UND Athletics
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GRAND FORKS — With much of the non-conference schedule behind league members, Missouri Valley Football Conference play is starting to shake out the contenders and pretenders.

Let's take a look at how everyone did.

1. North Dakota State: The Bison took South Dakota's best shot and shook it off. Did they show vulnerabilities in the first half? Or did they just turn it on in classic style when they needed in the second half? Of note, tight end Noah Gindorff and wide receiver Phoenix Sproles sat out with injuries.

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2. South Dakota State: The Jacks passed the big test by going on the road and beating red hot Missouri State. Mark Gronowski threw for 319 yards and four touchdowns.

3. Missouri State: Missouri State wasn't quite ready to crack the Big 2. The Jacks' defense is legit and picked off Jason Shelley twice.

4. Southern Illinois: If you weren't buying stock in Southern Illinois beating Northwestern, the Salukis gave you reason with a trouncing of UND in Carbondale. Nic Baker was in control, torching the UND secondary with the Cox wide receivers.

5. South Dakota: The Yotes gave the Bison a game for a half and ran for a little success but couldn't stop Hunter Luepke.

6. North Dakota: Not only did UND look sluggish in Carbondale on its third road game in four contests but the Fighting Hawks' win over Northern Arizona lost some luster when Idaho went to Flagstaff and controlled things pretty easy.

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7. Northern Iowa: The Panthers stopped the bleeding with a get-well game against Western Illinois. UNI's Woo Governor, who had a pick against UND, returned two interceptions for touchdowns.

8. Youngstown State: It's taking forever to learn about Youngstown, which was on a bye this week. We probably won't learn much next week in Fargo, either. We'll probably only learn what YSU has when it hosts UND in two weeks.

9. Illinois State: Like Youngstown, we have no body of work to judge Illinois State, which is also coming off a bye. Illinois State hosts Southern Illinois this week, which should tell much more about where it can possibly elevate in this mix.

10. Indiana State: Indiana State had a bye this week, too. The Sycamores travel to Northern Iowa this weekend to try to build some love in this ranking.

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11. Western Illinois: The Necks' Clay Bruno threw three picks and was sacked four times against Northern Iowa as WIU dropped to 0-4.

Related Topics: UND FOOTBALLUND SPORTS
Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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