October 1st, 2021 11:00am
Turman State 38
The Bulldogs remained perfect on the year by going on the road to defeat #13 Tiffin despite trailing for most of the contest. Truman was able to score 14 points over the last three and a half minutes of game time and take their first lead of the contest with only 26 seconds remaining. The Bulldog defense was uncharacteristically generous for most of the first half, surrendering 28 points, but managed to buckle down to their normal stingy selves in the third quarter. The Dragons notched their last score of the contest just after halftime, but only managed 27 yards of total offense for the remainder of the game. After a touchdown reception by Dante Ruffin from Nolan Hair late in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs trailed by five points. Truman was able to recover the ensuing onsides kick and execute a nine play 50-yard drive punctuated by a three-yard game winning plunge by Cody Schrader. The Dragons suffered their first loss of the season despite outstanding efforts from quarterback Nick Watson (367 yds, 4TDs) and wide receiver Jalen Thomas (12 rec, 190 yds, 2 TDs). The Bulldog offense continued to run through Cody Schrader as he carried the ball 32 times for 169 yards and two scores.
The Lions were able to keep the momentum they found in the run game from last week, and address issues on the defensive side of the ball in their road win over Findlay. What was expected to be a shootout between two offensive minded squads turned into a defensive struggle for the first 30 minutes. The Oilers were only able to manage a field goal in the first half, while the Lions were held scoreless. Lindenwood’s best chance in the first half came on their first drive when they went 14 plays for 74 yards and were eventually stopped short of the endzone on a fourth and goal. The Lion’s second half adjustment saw them get into a rhythm both in the air and on the ground. Lindenwood scored touchdowns on their first four possessions of the second half. A big part of the LU adjustment was play of freshman Robert Giamo who gained 105 yards and one touchdown on 15 rushing attempts. Brister had another solid day leading the Lion offense with 303 total yards and three touchdowns. The Lindenwood offensive line had their best game of the season as they consistently opened running lanes and held the UF defense to only one sack.
William Jewell 21
Kentucky Wesleyan 41
William Jewell had to feel good about how their game against KWU started as they picked off Chris Arambide’s pass on the first play from scrimmage. Unfortunately, the Cardinals struggled offensively for most of the day as they ended with only one yard for the game. Jewell was able to find some breaks in the third quarter with a 73-yard connection from Bart Harris to Ishmail Mitchel. They managed to recover an ensuing onsides kick and put together another scoring drive with Harris this time finding Jesse Thomas for the score. The Panther offense was just too much to handle for the Cards as Chris Arambide ended the day with 362 passing yards and four touchdowns. Brett Harris was able to put up 300 yards passing but was inconsistent and failed to protect the ball throwing three interceptions.
Ohio Dominican 19
Both the ODU and UIndy defenses came to play as they held each opposing offense in check for most of the game. Trailing late in the 4th quarter, the Greyhounds were able to stage a 21 play 99-yard drive to tie the game. Despite the heroics, ODU was set to kick a 39-yard game winning field goal with zero time remaining, however Trevon Hall was able to get a hand on the ball and force extra time. During the first OT period, UIndy missed a golden opportunity to win the game as Derrick Alonzo fumbled at the one-yard line. In the second OT, ODU was able to score a FG in their possession, meaning the Greyhounds would have to find a way to put points on the board to avoid the loss. On fourth and one, Coach Chris Keevers bet on his OL and Toriano Clinton to continue the drive, however the ODU defense was up to the task and stopped Clinton for no gain, securing the win for the Panthers.
Ashland was able to take advantage of a vulnerable Quincy defense in route to a dominating effort. On the day, AU managed to score touchdowns on 9 of 11 drives and rack up 718 yards of total offense. Bright spots for the Hawks could be found in the individual performances of Tionne Harris (282 total yards, three TDs), Eugene Witherspoon (95 rec yds, one TD), and Byron Puryear (six tckl, two sacks).
Lost in the focus on the struggles of the Bearcat offense and issues with penalties has been the admirable performance of the McKendree defense. For the second game in a row, they were able to hold their opponents to only 10 points. McKendree held Walsh to only 242 total yards, including 34 rushing yards and a 1.4 ypc average. They were also able to sack Walsh quarterbacks five times. The Bearcats were able to hold a 15-minute advantage in time of possession, assisted by Jace Franklin IV’s 94 rushing yards. Perhaps most important, was that McKendree was able to limit mistakes, only committing six penalties for 49 yards on the game.
Missouri S&T 31
This game had the makings of a route with the Miners boasting a 17-point lead halfway through the second quarter. The Chargers managed to keep pace on the back of a 31-point second half and took the lead for good early in the fourth quarter. A pivotal play in the game was an S&T blocked punt that set up Hillsdale at the Miner 12-yard line. Despite having plenty of time remaining in the game, the Miners were only able to manage 12 offensive yards in the fourth quarter.
Southwest Baptist 28
Lake Erie 20
Southwest Baptist was able to notch their first win of the year while delivering Lake Erie their first loss on the back of a 280-yard, three touchdown performance by Cooper Callis. Callis distributed the ball well, hooking up with four different receivers for touchdowns. Four different Bearcat receivers ended the game with 50 or more receiving yards. The normally porous SBU defense stepped up in the second half, holding the Storm scoreless. Coleton Smith led the way with 19 total tackles.
*Game of the Week*
Lindenwood at #22 Truman State
If you asked me to predict this game two weeks ago, I would’ve leaned towards a convincing win for the Bulldogs. However, the Lion’s last two outings suggest that their early season performances weren’t indicative of the true makeup of this team. Playing a top 25 team and one of the best FCS teams in the nation after not playing a game in almost two years would be tough for any D2 team. The Lions have looked more like what we expected over their past two games and are trending in the right direction improving in multiple areas each game.
Meanwhile, Truman came out of the gates swinging and hasn’t slowed down. Their stingy defense and elite running game have them undefeated heading into week five. Like LU, the Bulldogs also seem to be trending up as they’re coming off one of the most impressive wins in program history, defeating #13 Tiffin on their own field.
The Bulldog defense will undoubtedly be the best D2 defense that LU has faced since their opening game. The Lions have made small adjustments since then by utilizing Brister more in the run game and getting freshman Robert Giamo more touches. However, LU will likely need to find a way through the air against the conferences top ranked rush defense. While the passing game has been effective, it’s not really carried the Lions in a game yet this year.
Cody Schrader and the Bulldogs offensive line might be licking their chops heading into this game seeing that Lindenwood ranks last in rush defense in the GLVC. While they have faced off against several above average running attacks, Truman State’s running game ranks among the best in the country.
Overall, I think Truman is in fact much better than most GLVC fans predicted in the preseason, however the jury is still out a bit on Lindenwood, but I think they are coming together at the right time. I don’t see this being more than a one score game regardless of who wins, but I’m giving the edge to the Lions as they continue to ride momentum.
Truman State 24
Indianapolis at Southwest Baptist
UIndy will be looking to get back on track after two straight losses. The Greyhound defense has been consistently solid all season and should do a decent job against the SBU offensive attack despite Cooper Callis leading the conference in both passing yards and touchdown passes. UIndy is still looking for consistency on the offensive side of the ball with aspects of their attack struggling at various times during the season. Despite an admirable defensive SBU effort in the second half of their last game, the Greyhounds should be able to find a rhythm against the Bearcats.
Southwest Baptist 24
William Jewell at McKendree
Considering the offensive struggles of the Cardinals, I expect that McKendree’s defense should be able to do enough to keep them in the game. I think that the Bearcats remain on the straight and narrow in terms of discipline. If they can manage that, they should be able to pull out the win.
William Jewell 19
Missouri S&T at Quincy
This is a matchup of the two top offenses in the conference, so I expect a high scoring affair, as both teams also rank among the bottom of the conference defensively. Tionne Harris has proved to be one of the best QBs in the conference throwing for 844 yards and nine touchdowns. Meanwhile Miner quarterbacks have combined for over 1100 yards passing and 14 touchdowns. Ultimately, I think the more consistent running game of S&T should allow them to control the game better and keep the Hawk’s offense off the field late in the game.
Missouri S&T 49
Now that we have a few weeks under our belt, I can bring back my Influence Performance Ratings. The IPR is a calculation that demonstrates a team’s ability to influence the opposing unit’s performance compared to how they normally perform. For example, if a team is averaging 35 points and 450 yards of total offense per game, and they play a game against a team that holds them to 20 points and 350 yards, that defensive unit would score a positive IPR for that game.
For the GLVC IPR I did not include non-D2 opponents, because they can skew the numbers in such and extreme way. Since those games aren’t against a level of competition that any GLVC team will be seeing for the rest of the season, it helps keep the data more meaningful.
As expected, Truman leads the pack. Also, most of the conference teams have a negative IPR, which is what you would expect for a conference with a sub .500 record against D2 competition.
This is most certainly an offensive minded conference, and it shows in these ratings. Truman’s running game is elite and can carry them offensively.
UIndy tops the IPR largely due to their performance against Tiffin. Despite losing that game, the Greyhoud defense held the Dragon offense far below their season averages.