September 26th, 2019 12:00am
Week 4 Preview
After three weeks, we are starting to see separation between the contenders, the solid teams and the bad teams. As of right now, I believe Central Missouri is the MIAA best chance at a title contender. That being said, we have seen year after year, the Mules fall short of expectations. Is this the year Central Missouri gets over the hump and wins the MIAA and makes a deep playoff run? Only time will tell.
Washburn (1-2) at Central Missouri (3-0)
All-time: Central Missouri leads 27-19-2
Last year: Washburn 28-21
Two of the best quarterbacks in the MIAA will battle it out in Warrensburg on Saturday. Mitch Schurig can duel it out anyone in the MIAA, but his supporting cast is not spectacular. On the other hand, Brook Bolles leads the NCAA in total yards and is the best player in the MIAA. Pair Bolles with a dynamic running back like Koby Wilkerson is dangerous. Washburn might be able to keep up for a half, but Central Missouri will win this game comfortably.
My prediction: Central Missouri 45 Washburn 20
Massey: Central Missouri 38 Washburn 35
Central Oklahoma (2-1) at Northwest Missouri (3-0)
All-time: Northwest Missouri leads 8-3
Last year: Central Oklahoma 31-21
The last two times Central Oklahoma came to Maryville, the Bearcats have barely escaped with wins. The Bearcats won 23-16 in 2015 and 17-10 in 2017. The Bronchos upset the Bearcats last year in Edmond 31-21 in a game where the score was closer than game actual was. Central Oklahoma thoroughly dominated the Bearcats last year and led 28-3 going into the fourth quarter.
The Bearcats will be out for revenge this year and it’s Family Weekend. Northwest Missouri is honoring the late Scott Bostwick by wearing black jerseys and the red paw. It is an emotional weekend for the Bearcats. Tough weekend for Central Oklahoma to come into town and pull off an upset.
Central Oklahoma will be able to move the ball through the air against the Bearcats but I do not believe the Bronchos can stop the Bearcats offense. The only thing that can stop the Northwest Missouri offense in this one is play calling and inconsistent quarterback play.
My prediction: Northwest Missouri 45 Central Oklahoma 35
Massey: Northwest Missouri 34 Central Oklahoma 24
Missouri Western (1-2) at Northeastern State (0-3)
All-time: Missouri Western leads 9-0
Last year: Missouri Western won 66-16
Missouri Western finally gets a break in the schedule. The Griffons have already played Northwest Missouri, Fort Hays and Central Missouri. Missouri Western will be able to flex their muscles in this one and this should be a snoozer by the end of the first quarter. The Griffons offense is explosive enough to score early and often against the lowly Riverhawks.
My prediction: Missouri Western 63 Northeastern State 7
Massey: Missouri Western 47 Northeastern State 13
Emporia State (1-2) at Lincoln (0-3)
All-time: Emporia State leads 4-2
Last meeting: Emporia State won 52-14
The Hornets need a win pretty bad right now. Back to back losses to Pittsburg State and Nebraska-Kearney has put a damper on the Hornets season. Unfortunately for Emporia State, they have faced the best (Nebraska-Kearney) and third best (Pittsburg State) rushing attacks in the MIAA. Lincoln comes into the weekend with the fifth best rushing offense in the MIAA. While Lincoln will be able to move the ball on the ground against Emporia, the Blue Tigers passing attack has no juice and the Hornets pass defense is stingy. Lincoln averages 64 yards passing per game (last in the MIAA) and Emporia State allows 153 yards per game, which is the third best in the MIAA. The lack of a passing threat from Lincoln should allow the Hornets to focus on stopping the running game.
My prediction: Emporia State 38 Lincoln 17
Massey: Emporia State 42 Lincoln 14
Missouri Southern (1-2) at Fort Hays (1-2)
All-time: Fort Hays leads 16-13-1
Last year: Fort Hays won 55-20
Do you enjoy watching teams throw the football? Then this is the game for you. The Tigers and Lions are first and second in pass attempts on the season with 135 and 129 attempts respectively. Missouri Western is the next best at 106 attempts. Missouri Southern’s Jacob Park has elevated the Lions offense to a respectable level this season. The Lions are averaging 33 points per game through three games. The Lions even scored 34 points against Northwest Missouri despite Park throwing six interceptions.Chance Fuller has been more efficient this year, throwing eight touchdowns and one interception through three weeks. The Tigers still have more team talent, especially on defense and have the better coaching.
My prediction: Fort Hays 49 Missouri Southern 31
Massey: Fort Hays 38 Missouri Southern 14
Pittsburg State (3-0) at Nebraska-Kearney (2-1)
All-time: Pittsburg State leads 13-8
Last year: Pittsburg State 30-17
This is my favorite game of the week. This is a tough matchup for the Gorillas. Pittsburg State hangs their hat on being the more physical, better running team in each game. That will be difficult against a Nebraska-Kearney team that leads the MIAA with 300 yards rushing per game. The Lopers also allows just 105 yards per game on the ground on defense, second best in the MIAA.
The wildcard in this game is the Gorillas quarterback controversy. I believe Pittsburg State is more dynamic offensively with Mak Sexton at quarterback. Sexton can sling the ball and compliments the Gorillas running game nicely. When Brandon Mlekus is in the game, Pittsburg State runs the veer. That is great inside the red zone or when the Gorillas want to run out the clock, but it’s hard to run it for a whole game against good teams.
I think the Lopers take an early lead but Sexton leads a comeback for the Gorillas.
My prediction: Pittsburg State 31 Nebraska-Kearney 30
Massey: Pittsburg State 28 Nebraska-Kearney 21