Utah vs. Northern Illinois fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, September 8
Game Time: 7:30 ET
Venue: Huskie Stadium, DeKalb, IL
Utah (1-0) vs. Northern Illinois (0-1) Game Preview
One Reason Why Northern Illinois Will Win
The Huskie defense played better against Iowa than the 33-7 final score would indicate.
The offense struggled, and there was a meltdown late, but NIU kept the Hawkeye passing game from doing anything consistently well, and it stuffed the running attack for long stretches.
The pass rush wasn’t able to get going in Iowa City, but it’s there. Sutton Smith came up with a sack, and now it’s time to turn it loose to get to the Ute backfield before it can get going. The quicker tempo the Utes play with should play into what NIU wants to do defensively. Now the offense has to work, because …
One Reason Why Utah Will Win
It didn’t show up against Iowa.
The passing game wasn’t going to work for the Huskies, but the offensive line couldn’t do much of anything against a swarming Hawkeye defensive front that stuffed the running attack.
NIU only managed to come up with 211 yards and converted 3-of-12 third down chances – there are too many good parts to not be stronger. It’s not going to get much better against a Utah defense that looked great against Weber State – the Utes should hang around in the backfield for a second straight week.
The Ute O worked almost exactly like it’s supposed to in the 41-10 win over the Wildcats. QB Tyler Huntley was strong, Zack Moss and the running game rumbled, and now it’s all going to be much, much sharper than Iowa’s attack was.
What’s Going To Happen
Northern Illinois will play better at home – a lot better – but it won’t be enough.
The Huskies will get more out of the defensive front, and the running game will have a few good moments – there will be points this week.
However, Utah will once again be sharp at home, and the defensive line will be fantastic, but it’ll be a second straight balanced day from the offense that will get everyone fired up going into the Washington showdown.
It will take a big fourth quarter drive to put the game away, but the Utes will get there.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Utah 30, Northern Illinois 17
Line: Utah -10, o/u: 47.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 2.5
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