South Dakota State will host another marquee matchup on Saturday at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium in Brookings.

In fact, it's a top 15 battle now will North Dakota ranked as the #11 team in the country in the latest FCS poll.

The Fighting Hawks are off to an impressive start, and at 2-1 have picked up wins over both Drake and Northern Arizona. The only loss this season for North Dakota came in Boise against the FBS level Boise State Broncos.

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Here are the complete FCS rankings ahead of a big weekend for the MVFC:

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In addition to the big game in Brookings, the rival USD Coyotes will have their hands full on the road, as they travel to take on 2nd-ranked NDSU in Fargo Saturday.

In total, there are 5 MVFC teams in the rankings this week, including 2 additional teams in the receiving votes category (Illinois State, Northern Iowa).


Know Your South Dakota College and University Mascots

The college football experience is an ultimate high for football fans and it takes several other teams to make that happen week after week during the season.
Just think about what goes into gameday? First and foremost, the players and coaching staff who put in hours and hours of practice and training to play in front of their fans. Then there's field prep, game officials, live broadcasts, concessions, and on-the-field entertainment. Yep, entertainment.

Second to the game, who do you watch? The cheerleaders? The band at halftime? What about the mascot? That's a job not many people can do.
I asked Sioux Falls native and former Cagey mascot for the Sioux Falls Canaries and Little Red & Herbie for the Nebraska Huskers Nate Welch about being a mascot:

  • What does it take to be a mascot?
  • "Losing a bet or filling an opportunity!" Welch says, "An internal energized desire to love life. After meeting great performers who are introverts out of costume, they become the center of attention when they take the stage. And also feeding off the performance of others."
  • Why does the mascot never talk?
  • "Know your role and shut your mouth. You are there to entertain. Tell the story with your actions and not your voice."
  • Advice to someone putting on that costume for the first time?
  • "Remember you are now in a costume. Have fun. Otherwise, you're just a dork in tights. If the fur ain't flying you ain't trying."

Nate Welch has moved on from his days as a mascot to Executive Director of the Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce and Development Company in Vermillion, South Dakota.

So, can you name the mascots at our South Dakota Colleges and Universities? Check out the gallery below:

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