Ferris State narrowly escaped a loss to Findlay on opening night of the 2019 DII football season. The victory gave the Bulldogs eight straight at home, moving them into a third-place tie for the current longest home winning streaks in DII football.
WEEK 2: Scores, stats for the top 25
Southern Arkansas opened 2019 on the road, but picked up its 17th consecutive home victory in Week 2 of the 2019 season, narrowly escaping Oklahoma Baptist 30-28. Though it’s the best mark of current DII football programs, it is still a few seasons shy of Indiana (Pa)’s record-setting run.
IUP racked up 31-consecutive home wins beginning on Nov. 22, 1986, against West Chester as hosts of the PSAC Championship game. It lasted a DII record six more seasons until Oct. 17, 1992. The Hawks nearly kept the streak alive, losing 35-33 to Towson on Halloween two weeks later. Eerily enough, Towson also happened to be the team that IUP lost to the week prior to the start of the historic win-streak.
Here's a look at the DII football teams chasing IUP's record entering the 2019 season.
Southern Arkansas is off and running in the 2019 season as the closest to making history, now winners of 17 in a row at Wilkins Stadium. The last time the Muleriders lost at home was a wild one. They dropped 42 points that Sept. 19, 2015 day, but Harding scored 70. The Muleriders have not lost at home since. Their streak will be put to the test early in 2019 when Harding — a program that has made three-straight DII tournament appearances — returns to Magnolia, Arkansas on Sept. 21. The Muleriders have five home games on their 2019 slate.
Colorado State-Pueblo trails the Muleriders by one game, winners of 15 in a row at home. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. There is little reason to think it would be easy for visiting opponents to win at a home venue called The ThunderBowl.
The ThunderWolves last loss at home was a 26-10 defeat on Sept. 10, 2016, to West Texas A&M. They won the final five of that 2016 season at home and have consecutive 5-0 seasons in Pueblo. Their streak is certainly one to watch. CSU-Pueblo opens its home schedule in Week 3, hosting expected top 25 rival Colorado School of Mines on Sept. 21 before 2017 national champion Texas A&M-Commerce comes to town one week later. If the ThunderWolves survive that, they can survive anyone.
Notre Dame (OH) pulled ahead into third place, winning its 2019 opening game. Both Tarleton State — with a 56-3 winner over Doane — and the reigning champion Valdosta State Blazers — starting their home slate in dominating fashion with a 48-21 victory over Ohio Dominican — tied the Falcons in Week 2. Ferris State and Lenoir-Rhyne are right behind after opening weekend wins in 2019 to get to eight, but both hit the road in Week 2.
The Texans host both Texas A&M-Commerce and MSU Texas — two teams projected to be in the top 25 — in Stephenville, Texas this season, so continuing the streak will be well earned. For Notre Dame (OH), it hosts Fairmont State in Week 3, the second home game of the season. Fairmont State, a 9-2 team a year ago, was a perfect 6-0 on the road in 2018. Fairmont State saw that streak come to an end in an opening night upset by Charleston (WV) on the road.
Then there is Valdosta State. The Blazers also have the longest overall current winning streak in DII football, now at 17 straight games with those nine in a row at home, plus seven in a row on the road, and of course, that one thrilling win at McKinney, Texas for the DII football championship. In a loaded Gulf South Conference that seems to send three or four teams to the tournament every season, every one of those winning streaks will be on the line.
Football is Back! First practice of fall camp underway for the ‘Dawgs on new turf surface at Top Taggart Field! pic.twitter.com/4v9tc0t4Ff— Ferris St. Football (@FerrisFootball) August 12, 2019
What about the road warriors of DII football? Minnesota State, who has won 26-straight conference games, sits atop the pack with 14 consecutive road wins after seeing its eight-game home winning streak snapped in the semifinals to Ferris State in 2018. Speaking of the Bulldogs, they picked up their 12th-straight road victory in Week 2 using a big second half to down Central Washington 62-28. Minnesota Duluth tied Ferris State with a road win of its own in Week 2. Kutztown went on the road in Week 2 as well, picking up an impressive victory at California (Pa) and bumping them to 10 road wins in a row, rounding out the four DII teams with double-digit streaks.
- Minnesota State — 14
- Ferris State — 12
- Minnesota Duluth 12
- Kutztown — 10