Top Division II Matchups
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Who: Missouri Western Griffons at No. 8 Washburn Ichabods 
When: Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. ET (Watch Live on NCAA.com)

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Who: No. 11 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs at No. 24 Bemidji State Beavers
When: Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. ET

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Who: Findlay Oilers at Grand Valley State Lakers
When: Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. ET

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Who: No. 16 Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas at Midwestern State Mustangs
When: Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. ET

Watch Them Now
Whitehill
FHSU

40 Alex Whitehill
Fort Hays State
6-3 | 220 | Senior | LB

Key Notes: Fort Hays State linebacker Alex Whitehill led the nation in tackles coming into last weekend's game against Southwest Baptist. Needless to say after a career-high 20 tackles, Whitehill still paces Division II in that category. The senior has 54 total tackles in three games, including 2.0 tackles for loss and half a sack. Whitehill will need to keep up his 18.0 tackles per game average if the Tigers hope to knock off new-No. 1 Northwest Missouri State this Saturday on the road in Maryville, Mo.

Other Players to Watch this Week: Mitchell Gale, Abilene Christian (Jr., QB); Travis Rearick, Mercyhurst (Sr., QB); Travis Daniels, UNC Pembroke (Sr., RB); Tim Green, Lincoln (Pa.) (Jr., DL); Trevor Kennedy, Mercyhurst (Sr., WR); Arthur Hobbs, Nebraska-Kearney (Sr., DB).

Keep Your Eyes on This

• The Division II Game of the Week series continues on Thursday: No. 8 Washburn plays host to Missouri Western State in an MIAA showdown. The Ichabods jumped into the top 10 this week following a 3-0 start and a win against Missouri Southern last Thursday. The Griffons have won the past two in the series after Washburn won three consecutive from 2006 to 2008. Washburn is looking for its first 4-0 start since 1986.

• Grand Valley State lost its second consecutive game for the first time since 2004 last weekend with a one-point loss to Indianapolis. Is it time to panic in Grand Rapids? Probably not. The two losses were by a combined four points. But the Lakers did drop out of the AFCA Coaches' Poll for the first time since the final poll of the 2000 season. That ends a streak of 138 consecutive appearances, which was the longest active streak in Division II.

• Defending national champion Minnesota-Duluth saw its 17-game winning streakend -- the second longest of any school in the nation -- with a 7-0 loss to Wayne State (Neb.) last Saturday. The Bulldogs are now ranked No. 11 in the latest coaches' poll. It's the first time UMD hasn't held the No. 1 spot since Nov. 8, 2010. UMD will look to bounce back at No. 24 Bemidji State, hoping to avenge its first NSIC loss in school history.

• Texas A&M-Kingsville is another team looking to bounce back this weekend following a tough loss. That's the theme this week across Division II after 10 ranked teams fell a week ago. The Javelinas fell 11 spots in the rankings and will play their first game as a non-top 10 team this week at Midwestern State. They will have their hands full, playing a Mustangs team that improved to 2-0 for the sixth consecutive year with a 63-14 thrashing of Texas A&M-Commerce last Saturday in the Lone Star Football Festival at Cowboys Stadium.