South Dakota beat North Dakota State in Fargo, North Dakota, over the weekend for the first time since 2015 ... and during the Bison's homecoming weekend, no less. The Coyotes used a combination of stellar defense and big passing plays for the team's 27th win in series history.
The defense has really been the story so far, though. South Dakota State allows just 8.3 points per game vs. FCS opponents. Only North Dakota State and Missouri have reached double digits. With the way this defense is playing, combined with the efficient play of sophomore quarterback Aidan Bouman, the Coyotes are a team to keep an eye on the rest of the way in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
It is a long season and there are a lot of ball games left to be played, but these are the types of wins that get you into the playoffs at the end of the year.
|1. South Dakota State
|Running back Isaiah Davis looked like himself again vs. North Dakota. The senior tailback rushed for 132 yards -- his first 100-yard game of the season -- and three touchdowns.
|Freshman running back Anthony Woods was the star of the show against Eastern Washington. The Vandals needed every bit of his 183-yard, five-touchdown performance to knock off the Eagles 44-36.
|3. Montana State
|The Bobcats had an excellent game plan for Portland State, whose offense could have posed a lot of challenges. They maintained control throughout a 38-22 win.
|4. Sacramento State
|The Hornets nearly ended up on the wrong side of the scoreboard for the second straight week. They pulled one out late to avoid the upset bid from Northern Arizona, 31-30.
|5. North Dakota State
|The Bison gave up too many big passing plays against South Dakota and couldn't fully erase a 21-3 halftime deficit in a 24-19 loss.
|6. Incarnate Word
|The Cardinals open conference play against winless Southeastern Louisiana.
|7. William & Mary
|The offense needs more consistency from the passing game, a contributing factor in Elon's 14-6 upset over the Tribe.
|8. Southern Illinois
|SIU plays an entertaining brand of football. The Salukis have a tough matchup this weekend against Youngstown State.
|9. Holy Cross
|The Crusaders fell victim to turnovers against Harvard. A usually sharp and disciplined team played their worst game of the season. They're in need of a get-right game.
|The Paladins had an extra week to prepare for The Citadel and its triple option.
|The Blue Hens erased an 18-point deficit in a big win over New Hampshire. That type of win helps define a season.
|12. North Carolina Central
|Quarterback Davius Richard scored five touchdowns in a 49-48 victory over Campbell.
|13. Weber State
|The Wildcats bounced back against Northern Colorado, but now they have to retain that focus against a pesky Northern Arizona squad.
|14. Western Carolina
|The Catamounts face Chattanooga in a huge conference game that could decide who ultimately goes on to win the SoCon.
|15. Florida A&M
|Despite some public criticism of quarterback Jeremy Moussa, the Rattlers are enjoying a strong start. They are undefeated in SWAC play and 4-1 overall.
|Finding ways to win is the mark of a resilient team. We will see if that travels well for the Griz as they take on UC Davis.
|17. North Dakota
|Without offensive balance, the Fighting Hawks didn't have a fighting chance against South Dakota State. They will have to run the ball better this week against Western Illinois.
|18. UT Martin
|The Skyhawks play a physical Eastern Illinois team on the road in a big-time matchup in the Big South-OVC Association.
|19. Eastern Illinois
|Credit the Panthers for going on the road and beating Northwestern State, but this week's game against UT Martin will tell us more.
|The Mocs are on a four-game winning streak as they prepare for Western Carolina. More than anything, this is a huge test for the Mocs defense.
|21. Rhode Island
|The Rams already knocked off Bryant look to win state bragging rights this weekend vs. Brown.
|22. Central Arkansas
|Offensively speaking, the Bears can play any type of game on any given Saturday. That alone makes them dangerous the rest of the way.
|23. South Dakota
|How will the Coyotes handle success after upsetting North Dakota State? Can they avoid the letdown? All eyes will be on them this weekend against Murray State.
|The Crimson are the first Ivy League squad to make the Power Rankings after their stunning upset over Holy Cross.
|Elon is undefeated in conference play and on a three-game winning streak. A red-hot North Carolina Central will put that to the test.