No. 10 NORTHERN IOWA (3-2, 1-0) at No. 1 NORTH DAKOTA STATE (5-0, 1-0)
Kickoff — 1 p.m.
TV — ESPN+
Series record — Tied, 26-26
Last year — North Dakota State won, 56-31
Outlook — Northern Iowa faces a ranked team for the third consecutive week, but this time against the premier FCS team in the country. The Panthers are 1-1 over the previous two games. North Dakota State enters with a 26-game winning streak. The Bison have won eight of the last nine meetings in the series. Both teams are ranked in the top 15 in FCS in total defense. Northern Iowa is coming off a 21-14 win over Youngstown State in which the Panthers limited the Penguins to 55 rushing yards and recorded six sacks.
LUTHER (0-5, 0-3 A-R-C) AT LORAS (1-3, 0-2 A-R-C)
Kickoff — 1 p.m. at the Rock Bowl
Radio — None
Last week — The Duhawks were on a bye; the Norse lost to Central, 45-14, in Decorah, Iowa
Last year — Loras beat Luther, 35-28, in Decorah
Outlook — The Duhawks come off their bye facing another team that’s still searching for its first American Rivers Conference win. Statistically, the Norse rank at the bottom of the conference in scoring (18.2 points per game) and points allowed (46 per game). Not a lot has gone right in Decorah, with Luther’s closest loss coming in Week 1, 38-26, against Whittier. That should spell opportunity for Loras but the Duhawks haven’t gotten much done on their side of the field either. Loras is rated seventh in the A-R-C in both scoring offense and defense and offensive production has been lacking thus far. That said, this should be a major chance for the Duhawks to work out whatever kinks may linger from their week off. Up next is a date with rival Dubuque at Chalmers Field and Loras will surely hope to be humming by then.
DUBUQUE (2-3, 1-2 A-R-C) AT NO. 23 CENTRAL (4-0, 2-0 A-R-C)
Kickoff — 1 p.m. in Pella, Iowa
Radio — WVRE-FM 101.1
Last week — The Spartans beat Coe, 20-14, at Chalmers Field; the Dutch beat Luther, 45-14, in Decorah, Iowa
Last year — Central beat Dubuque, 35-13, at Chalmers Field
Outlook — The Spartans finally got back to their winning ways with a nice bounce back win against Coe. Up next is UD’s second ranked opponent in three weeks, however, and the Spartans’ third ranked foe of the season. The Dutch outscore opponents by nearly 27 points per game, and are firmly in the hunt for the American Rivers Conference crown with fellow unbeaten No. 11 Wartburg. Dubuque’s conference title hopes aren’t completely dashed, but if the Spartans hope to regain any ground in the standings, this is a must-win for UD. On paper the schedule gets considerably easier after this week for Dubuque with games against Loras, Luther, Buena Vista and Nebraska Wesleyan — which have a combined 1-9 record in league play.
NO. 19 UW-PLATTEVILLE (4-0, 1-0) AT NO. 3 UW-WHITEWATER (4-0, 1-0)
Kickoff — 2 p.m. in Whitewater, Wis.
Radio — WPVL-FM 107.1
Last week — The Pioneers beat then No. 20-ranked UW-La Crosse, 38-20; Whitewater held off UW-Eau Claire, 24-14
Last year — Whitewater cruised to a 49-21 victory at Pioneer Stadium
Outlook — It’s just another ranked showdown in the WIAC as the annual matchup between the Pioneers and Warhawks has been named the George Chryst Memorial Bowl since 1993. The contest honors the late UW-Platteville head coach, George Chryst, who died suddenly in 1992 after leading the Pioneers to a 79-60-2 record and the 1980 conference championship. Following the game, the traveling Miner’s Axe trophy (dedicated in 1995) is awarded by Chryst’s widow, Patty, to the winning team along with offensive and defensive players of the game selected by the assembled media. This will be the 112th meeting between the two teams and the 27th George Chryst Memorial Bowl game. The Pioneers are leading the WIAC in scoring and pass offense while averaging 415 yards per game, including 301 yards per contest through the air. Junior Colin Schuetz leads the WIAC in passing and has completed 85 of 140 (60.7%) attempts for 1,175 yards and 13 touchdowns in four games. On defense, senior defensive back Tyler Reinhardt leads the Pioneers with 31 tackles, four tackles for a loss of 18 yards, three pass break-ups, one sack and two interceptions with one returned for a touchdown. Overall, the Platteville defense leads the WIAC with 16 turnovers, while Whitewater follows next behind with 11 turnovers. The Warhawks lead the WIAC in scoring defense and are averaging 28.5 points per game on offense to their opponents’ 12.8 points per contest with 45 points scored off of turnovers. The Pioneers haven’t beaten the Warhawks since 2004.