MSU Roundup: Mustangs up to #13 in AFCA

Midwestern State bumped ahead another spot to No. 13 in the latest American Football Coaches' Association Division II Poll released Monday afternoon.

The Mustangs (3-1) roughed up Incarnate Word 34-7, paced by junior running back Keidrick Jackson's 173-yard, two-touchdown performance Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.

MSU will be featured in NCAA Division II's lone Top 25 matchup Thursday night against No. 18 West Alabama in Livingston as part of the LSC/GSC First-and-10 Challenge. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.

MSU is one of 10 teams in the newly formed Super Region Four, which now includes the Lone Star Conference, Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC), Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC), to receive mention in the poll.

Colorado State-Pueblo leads the way after moving up a spot to No. 2 with a dominating 50-21 win over Fort Lewis (Colo.) last weekend while Ashland (Ohio) moved ahead four spots to No. 9 after crushing Lake Erie (Ohio) 68-21.

No. 15 Saginaw Valley State (Mich.), No. 19 Wayne State (Mich.) and No. 21 West Texas A&M round out the region's representatives in the poll while Hillsdale (Mich.), Michigan Tech, New Mexico Highlands and Indianapolis (Ind.) are receiving votes.

Midwestern State opened the season at No. 4 before falling 11 places to 15th with a season-opening loss at Tarleton State. The Mustangs have improved one place each week since.

MSU has received mention in 76 of the last 77 AFCA polls dating back to the 2006 season.

Saladino Takes Weekly Honors, Again

Midwestern State junior Greg Saladino was selected as the Lone Star Conference Special Teams Player of the Week for the second consecutive week for his outstanding play on Saturday against Incarnate Word.
The 5-10, 170 pound kicker/punter equaled the longest field goal by a Midwestern State kicker at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls when he split the uprights from 47 yards, the longest kick in the Lone Star Conference this season.  It was part of his 10 points in the Mustangs' 34-7 win over Incarnate Word.
The 47-yard field goal in the second quarter matched the longest by an MSU kicker at Memorial Stadium, Lee Scott's 47-yarder against Northeastern State on Sep. 12, 2009. Saladino's previous long at home was 43 yards against Texas A&M-Kingsville on Sep. 24, 2011.
Saladino also connected on a field goal from 30 yards out and was 4-of-4 in PATs for the game.  He improved to 7-of-7 in field goals and 16-of-16 in PATs this season.
The junior leads the LSC in kick scoring with 9.2 points per game, which is second in overall scoring in the conference.  He also punted three times with a 34.3 average, with two punts inside the 20 and none returned.
He's joined as a player of the week by West Texas A&M running back Khiry Robinson on the offensive side and Texas A&M-Commerce linebacker Danny Mason as the defensive player.
No. 13 Midwestern State is back in action on Thursday night when it meets No. 18 West Alabama in Livingston, Ala., as part of the Lone Star Conference-Gulf South Conference First and Ten Challenge.  Kickoff is set for 6:30 (Central Time) and will be televised as part of the GSC-TV Live package and available online through ESPN3.

Men's Tennis: Joyce Reaches ITA Semifinals

Midwestern State's Luke Joyce run in the ITA Small College South Central Regional came to an end in the men's singles semifinals.
Joyce, a senior from Johannesburg, South Africa, who upset the tournament's second seed in the round of 16, drew sixth seeded Nicolai Ferrigno of Cameron in the semis.
Joyce gave the sophomore from Denmark a strong match, but fell to Ferrigno 6-4, 6-4 to end MSU's run in the regional.
Ferrigno fell in the championship match to Abilene Christian's Hans Hach, the tourney's top seed, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 for his third straight regional championship.
The Midwestern State tennis teams will continue their fall individual action Oct. 5-6 at the Texas Lutheran Invitational in Seguin.