Where Do We Stand Before MVFC?

MadBird

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I've been wanting to start a thread to "summarize" where folks think we are at the end of the non-conference schedule, but was waiting for the updated stats to show up on the ISU football page and they haven't shown up yet. So, I'll get back to that at some point, but I'd like to hear where you other geniuses think things stand at this point. There have been various comments on the game threads, but I'd like to hear your thoughts as we get to the conference.

Our depth is being tested. Again. Now at QB, and OL. Gonna lose another defensive mainstay if Simon is out for a while.

We haven't always gotten immediate or major contributions over the years from FBS transfers, and I guess we're still waiting on Hickox on the DL and Micah Jones at WR to step up. The Deming brothers seem to have helped, especially Braydon on the DL - he's worked his way into the rotation.

Running back - I would not have bet on Mueller as the leading rusher. Good for him. Am wondering if the situation fits the old saying about, if you've got 3 (or 4 or 5) RB's (or QB's or whatever) you don't have one. On the other hand, we have three pretty different skill sets to throw out there (4 if you count Kevin Brown), so maybe the team approach will work. The total lack of O at WMU makes a lot of our offensive stats seem unclear to me. Toss out Butler as not competitive, and WMU as better than we thought, and so you're left with what happened vs. EIU, which was pretty decent on the ground but not so decent in the air.

I think there was a lot of positive thinking on the board about our TE strength, but the stats pretty much show nada.

Seems like WMU had their way with our defense, all the way around, but seems to me Zeke, Simon, Deming, Reid, Wilhoit especially have come to play. D backs have been okay (would like to see the stats to confirm this).

So, think the idea of 6-5 or 5-6 still seems realistic for better or worse. We're 2-1. Gonna need to take down WIU on the road, INSU at home, and at least one of USD or UND on the road to get to five wins. Gotta win all of those to make it to six, or take down one of these: on the road SIU or at home NDSU, MSU, UNI at home. Tall order.

Thoughts?
 

Total Red

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I'd say we're strong on defense, not so much on offense, but 2-1 is a fairly good place to be headed into the conference schedule. I think we all agree with Woodland when he said that EIU (and Butler) are not the level of competition we will face in our conference. We can still win but we won't win games with two blocked kicks and an unforced fumble in our own territory. We were able to wear Eastern down and get most of the yardage on the ground. Nice win, but there won't be any more baby steps for Waring. He'll have to throw to open up the run and we'll have to score to keep up with SIU.
 

fourthandshort

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I went from thinking 6-5 was our upside, and 5-6 was more likely .. to thinking 5-6 is or upside, and 4-7 is more likely.

I'm not yet sold on this defense going into MVFC gauntlet. Partly on us, partly on MVFC looking like 2014-15 season in terms of dominance. We went 17-2 in OOC against FCS teams. The 2 losses were by WIU playing 2 very good Big Sky teams .. Montana (#4) and EWU (#6).

And other than our RB group, which I love, our offense is abunch of question marks. Any hopes I had for Jefferson are slipping now that his throwing arm is injured .. we will need him back IMO, but lets see what Waring can do in meant time. We could do well against any team with weak run defenses, but outside of that .. I'm not real optimistic.

We had a very easy OOC FCS slate with Butler and EIU ... now we go up against some seriously good teams. Luckily, the clear favorite is SDSU and we don't play them. But MVFC looks like a 6 bid league at this time based on how well we did in OOC, especially week 2 which included several impressive games against FBS teams. Arguably 7 could be in the picture come playoff bids time - won't get it, but it could be debatable ... and Ive been known to debate a little. Recall 2019 going into playoffs ... everyone said the MVFC had slipped a lot that regular season. So we got 4 bids, and all 4 made it to top 16, then 3 in top 8. Of those, our ISUr gave NDSU its toughest game of year, even with all the injuries. And UNI gave JMU one of it's toughest games of year. MVFC also did pretty well last spring, though slipped some for sure ... but frankly that just doesn't count. This fall looks like very strong year for MVFC.

So given where were at relative to conference strength ... 3-5 or 2-6 is how I see it, the latter being more likely. We need to view this year like 2013, get back to respectability by end of season, and build for 2022.

Hope I am dead wrong !!!
 
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Virginia Redbird

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I will stick by 5-6 for the season and we have two of those wins already. The running game looks like it will be okay. Mueller has been a pleasant surprise through three games. Sad to see Jefferson injured but we get the chance to see Waring and he gets some good game experience which can only help his development. Nothing really to take away from EIU with the Redbird passing game. With Waring thrust into the mix and probably limited practice reps in a game plan designed around Jefferson, I was not surprised at all to see a very conservative use of the Freshman. After a full week of practice with the first team and developing a game plan for his skill set, I expect to see a bit more of the passing attack against SIU. If they want to have a chance to beat the Salukis they need to have both a passing and running game. The defense is improving I think but EIU still had its way with the ball at times. A win against SIU would be a great way to end this three-game road trip and begin conference play. The Redbirds will have to play much better to beat the Salukis on the road though. Special teams still need some work. I can see teams coming after the Redbird kicking game after last week's game.
 
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