[1 | title match, non-conference rematch slated for saturday]
All eight GLVC football teams will be back in action Saturday, however two of them will be squaring off against one another in a non-conference battle. The defending GLVC co-Champions Southwest Baptist (4-4, 3-3 GLVC) and Truman State (3-6, 3-3) will once again kick off in Kirksville, just weeks after SBU scored a 21-17 victory over the Bulldogs in the NCAA Division II Showcase game on Oct. 7. Due to scheduling constraints, which involved the closure of Saint Joseph’s College in May, Southwest Baptist was left looking to fill a void in its schedule and the return trip to Kirksville for a non-conference tilt was arranged. In league play this weekend, Missouri S&T (6-3, 4-1) heads to fifth-ranked Indianapolis (9-0, 6-0) hoping to knock off the Greyhounds and stay in contention for the GLVC title, something UIndy clinched a share of last week. Elsewhere, McKendree (6-3, 4-1) hopes to keep its GLVC title hopes alive with a home game against Quincy (3-6, 1-4), while William Jewell (1-8, 1-5) heads to Lincoln (1-7, 0-5). All GLVC home games are available for free on GLVCSN.com, the GLVCSN iOS and Android mobile apps, and GLVCSN OTT apps on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Android TV.
[2 | fourth no more]
At the start of the 2017 GLVC football season, the eight league coaches predicted Indianapolis would finish fourth in the league this year, right where they finished after a disappointing 2016 campaign. The Greyhounds went 6-5 last season and 5-3 in league play, ending the year by rallying for victories in their final four games. With a 42-3 victory at William Jewell last week, UIndy clinched at least a share of the GLVC title and has now won the conference crown in five of the six seasons since the league began sponsoring football in 2012. Perhaps more impressively, the Greyhounds have broken a pair of long-standing program records by starting the season with nine straight wins and upping its overall winning streak to 13. The Greyhounds’ previous best start to a season came in 1953 when the team won all eight of its games to complete the program’s one and only undefeated season. Also, the 1954 club won its first four games to set the previous mark of longest winning streak at 12.
[3 | unbeaten uindy returns to top five]
Fresh off securing its fifth GLVC title in six seasons, the UIndy football team (9-0, 6-0 GLVC) moved up to No. 5 in this week’s AFCA Division II Coaches Poll, released Monday. The Greyhounds matched their highest-ever position in the weekly rankings, first set earlier this season. UIndy’s upward swing comes on the heels of a big shake-up at the top of the poll, as two-time defending-national-champ Northwest Missouri State endured its first loss since 2014 after dropping a 20-10 decision at rival Pittsburg State over the weekend. The result makes UIndy’s current 13-game winning streak the longest such streak in Division II. Meanwhile, the new Division II No. 1 is Minnesota State, who moved up from No. 3, leapfrogging second-ranked Shepherd in the process. The Hounds return home for their final two regular-season contests, starting with a matchup with Missouri S&T Saturday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. ET.
[4 | s&t, sbu earn weekly awards]
Missouri S&T senior quarterback Tyler Swart and sophomore defensive end Tershawn Wharton, along with Southwest Baptist senior return specialist Kendrick Payne, were named the GLVC Players of the Week in football, it was announced by the league office Monday. Swart was tabbed Offensive Player of the Week after throwing 20-for-40 for 352 yards and three touchdowns, including 225 yards in the second half to rally the Miners to a 41-38 win past Southwest Baptist. In that same game, Wharton was named Defensive Player of the Week following his with eight tackles, including five solo, with four tackles for loss, three sacks, and a forced fumble. Special Teams Player of the Week honors went to Payne, who averaged 48.3 yards per kickoff return, with three returns for 145 yards, including an 83-yard kickoff return for a touchdown during the first quarter in the loss to S&T.
[5 | hounds remain second in regional rankings]
The undefeated UIndy football team held steady at No. 2 in the freshly-released Super Region Three rankings. Though previous-No.-1 Northwest Missouri State endured its first loss of the year Saturday, the Greyhounds were leapfrogged by another unbeaten team from the MIAA, Fort Hays State. The top seven teams from the country’s four regions will earn berths in the NCAA Division II Playoffs. The No. 1 seed in each region will earn a bye, with seeds 2-4 will hosting 5-7 in first-round action Nov. 18. The bracket plays out on consecutive Saturdays until a champion is crowned Dec. 16. UIndy is looking to earn its fourth-ever trip to the Division II playoffs. The Hounds qualified in 2012, ’13 and ’15, earning the program’s only postseason victory in 2012. UIndy also qualified for the postseason as a Division III institution in 1975. Last season, the GLVC was represented in the playoffs by Conference co-champion Southwest Baptist.
[6 | glvc teams, standouts among ncaa leaders]
A handful of GLVC teams and standouts are found among the NCAA Division II top 10 in select statistical categories. Among the team notables, McKendree is first overall with six defensive touchdowns, Lincoln is second in blocked punts (4) and third in the country with seven blocked kicks, and Truman is second with just two lost fumbles. UIndy is first in passing efficiency (194.20), third in completion percentage (.713), and fourth in sacks allowed per game (0.56). Southwest Baptist is fourth in defensive touchdowns (5) and ninth in tackles for loss per game (9.1), Missouri S&T is eighth in sacks (3.56) and rushing defense (82.0). Individually, UIndy’s Jake Purichia is first in passing efficiency (193.9), fifth in completion percentage (.711), and seventh in yards per completion (15.00), and Truman’s Bryan Edwards is second in fumbles recovered (4). Missouri S&T’s Tyler Swart is fifth in passing yards (2,661), Deshawn Jones is fourth in rushing yards (1,277) and fifth in rushing yards per game (141.9), while Tershawn Wharton is fourth in forced fumbles per game (0.440) and ranks tied for first with 1.07 sacks per game and fourth with Truman’s Sam Reeves. Wharton also ranks sixth in the country in tackles for loss (2.0). In solo tackles per game, Quincy’s Cody Leonard (6.6). SBU’s Cory Hanger is currently first in the country with 2.1 passes defended. UIndy’s Daveon Bell is sixth in punt return average (18.0).