Northern Illinois has to make the trip to Laramie in a dangerous opener, while the Cowboys need to change things around under Craig Bohl with a big first week. Check out the Northern Illinois vs. Wyoming fearless prediction and game preview.
Northern Illinois vs. Wyoming Game Preview
Date: Friday, September 2nd
Game Time: 10:30 pm
Venue: War Memorial Stadium, Laramie, WY
Network: CBS Sports Network
Why Northern Illinois Will Win
Does Wyoming have the D line to hold up under the pressure of the pounding Northern Illinois offensive front? Nope.
The Cowboys weren’t exactly a brick wall last year, and now it has to start the season hoping the new ends can hold their own. The tackles are experienced and the linebackers are going to be okay, but NIU is built to destroy mediocre defensive fronts. Cranking out a huge day against the Cowboys in Laramie, and keeping control of the clock throughout, shouldn’t be a problem.
The decent run defense should be far better this season, and it’ll need to be against Brian Hill and the dangerous UW ground game. Stop Hill, and you stop the Cowboys. All the focus can be on getting into the backfield.
Why Wyoming Will Win
Last year Wyoming suffered the indignity of losing at home to Eastern Michigan. It was a historic gaffe, considering EMU never wins games on the road against FBS teams, but beating Northern Illinois this year would more than make up for it.
Wyoming has to hold its own on the first two downs to have any sort of a shot. The secondary should be the strength of the defense by far, and it’ll win its share of battles as long as the line isn’t getting gashed for five yards a pop against the dangerous NIU rushing attack.
Offensively, it’s one thing to prepare for what the Cowboys will do with their ground game, but it’s another to actually stop Hill once he gets rolling. This year, Wyoming has a good enough group of receivers to make the passing game more than just an accessory when everyone loads up to stop the rushing star.
What’s Going To Happen?
Oh, so THAT’S what Northern Illinois looks like with a healthy quarterback.
The defense will have its problems against Hill, but the return of QB Drew Hare will balance out Joel Bouagnon – who’ll have a huge day of his own on the ground – on the way to a strong win against one Mountain West team. A few weeks later, the big boy – San Diego State – is coming to DeKalb.
Northern Illinois vs. Wyoming Prediction
Final Score: Northern Illinois 40, Wyoming 23
Line: Northern Illinois -10, o/u: 55.5
ATS Confidence: 5: Lock of the Century – 1: Move Along … 2
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 2.5