Sunday, September 8, 2013

Miller's Power Rankings: Week #2

SDSU RB, Zach Zenner ran for 295 yards and scored four times
against North Dakota. Jackrabbits won 35-28.

#1 North Dakota State (2-0), 106.16(points)
North Dakota State rolled past Ferris State 56-10 in a game that was over by halftime. It was all Brock Jensen last night as he passed for 259 yards and two touchdowns--he also ran for a score. Sam Orjuri and John Crockett combined for 94 yards and three touchdowns on just 20 carries between the two running backs. Next week the Bison will have a bye week before resuming play against Delaware State. 

#2 Northern Iowa (2-0), 103.29
The Panthers welcomed in-state Pioneer League foe, Drake, into the UNI-Dome. As expected Northern Iowa rolled to a 45-14 win. Drake did not score until after halftime when the game was already out of reach. David Johnson continued to rack up yards on the ground after a huge performance last week at Iowa State; he had only 13 carries but took them 143 yards and found the endzone once (65 yarder). The Panthers will be on a bye week until they match up with Northern Colorado on September 21st. 
#3 Youngstown State (2-0), 63.93
Coming in at #3, Youngstown State rose a few spots from last weeks ranking. Although the Penguins did play a team from the Pioneer League they put up 718 total yards of offense. Kurt Hess performed much better than he did last week against Dayton; he threw for 282 yards, three touchdowns, and threw zero interceptions. All Hess's touchdown passes came in the first quarter. Youngstown State's rout of Morehead State also included two running backs who eclipsed the century mark--Jody Webb & Martin Ruiz. We'll know more about Youngstown State next week as they travel to East Lansing to take on Michigan State.

#4 South Dakota State (2-0), 59.02
Offensively, the Jackrabbits played as expected. However, defensively South Dakota State was torched through the air as North Dakota proved that their offense was as formidable as it has been advertised. Although the Rabbits gave up 437 yards through the air, they only allowed 21 yards rushing. Zach Zenner ran all over North Dakota; he ran for 295 yards and scored four touchdowns. Next week South Dakota State will host a much improved Southeastern Louisiana team.

#5 Illinois State (0-1), 58.30
Illinois State was on a bye week over the weekend. Next week the Redbirds will travel to Eastern Illinois to try and figure out Jimmy Garoppolo and the explosive Panther offense.

#6 Western Illinois (2-0), 47.36
Western Illinois exploded with some offensive firepower this week--although it was against Quincy. The Leathernecks find themselves in a similar position as they were in last year at this time; 2-0 against lesser foes. I do think, however, that this team has made alot of improvements. Quarterback Trenton Norvell passed for 278 yards and two touchdowns and running backs J.C. Baker & Nikko Watson combined for 199 yards and three touchdowns; this is what the Leathernecks needed--some balance. We will see if there success can be applied against more powerful opponents. 

#7 Southern Illinois (0-2), 43.09
Last week I watched part of the Southern Illinois--Illinois game and I have to say I was surprised to see how bad the defense played. This week affirmed the Saluki's defensive struggles. Southern Illinois allowed 622 total yards--440 through the air--as the Eastern Illinois Panthers edged past the Salukis by three points in a two-overtime thriller. Check this stat...Saluki quarterback Kory Faulkner was 28 of 50 for 294 and four touchdowns. Next week Southern Illinois should get an easy win as they take on the University of Charleston from Division II.

#8 Indiana State (0-2), 42.33
 Indiana State hung with the Purdue Boilermakers only losing by 6 points. The team was carried by Mike Perish as their run game was completely absent without star running back Shakir Bell. Perish performed admirably passing for 256 yards and two touchdowns. Play of the game? The Boilermaker's Akeem Hunt returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a TD. Special teams lost the game for the Sycamores. Indiana State has already dug themselves a hole in terms of playoff eligibility--the only remaining D-I non-conference game left on the schedule is Tennessee Tech. Next week they'll face the same Quincy team who just lost to Western Illinois.

#9 South Dakota (1-1), 35.78
The Coyotes were respectable against Kansas, however, they just didn't have the firepower on offense to truly challenge the Jayhawks. Quarterback Josh Vander Maten threw for only 67 yards. On a high note, Vander Maten also had 78 yards on the ground and scored a touchdown. USD did manage to run the ball well against he Jayhawks racking up a total of 219 yards on the ground. The Yotes will be on a bye week this week.

#10 Missouri State (0-2), 22.78
Missouri State managed to stay in the game for quite a while despite being completely over run by the Iowa offense. The Bears had only 197 yards of total offense and turned the ball over twice as the Hawkeyes beat Missouri State 28-14. Next week Missouri State will try to get that first win as they take on Murray State from the Ohio Valley Conference. 

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