South Dakota State Jackrabbits vs Northern Iowa Panthers prediction and game preview.
South Dakota State vs Northern Iowa Broadcast
Date: Friday, February 19
Game Time: 8:00 ET
Venue: UNI Dome, Cedar Falls, IA
South Dakota State (0-0) vs Northern Iowa (0-0) Game Preview
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Why South Dakota State Will Win
The defense should be there from the start.
The Jackrabbit D that was so amazing in 2019 doesn’t get back everyone, but has a terrific base to work around DE Reece Winkelman and LB Logan Backhaus for a strong defensive front that’s going to once again be among the best in the FCS against the run.
Considering how strange this will all be from the start, the idea will be to keep it simple, pound away, and rely on the defense. South Dakota State has its back in Pierre Strong, who ran for over 1,000 yards and eight scores two years ago and should be able control the game early on. However …
Why Northern Iowa Will Win
Welcome to the Northern Iowa defense.
The brick wall of a few years ago might not have the same talent, but it has hitting machine LB Bryce Flater, DT Jared Brinkman, and big-time corner Omar Brown to start. The run D should be almost as strong right out of the box – it’s not as simple as stop Strong, stop SDSU, but it’ll help – and the Panthers have playmakers on the other side.
If Will McElwain isn’t the best quarterback in the MVC, he’s close, and if Isaiah Weston isn’t the best receiver in the league, he’s really, really close. The running game isn’t going to be as good as South Dakota State’s, but there should be more explosion.
What’s Going To Happen
There will be some fun games in this spring session of the FCS, but this is the big one – at least early on.
Expect these two to be among the ten best teams in the country throughout 2021, and expect a good, tough defensive battle to go along with a whole lot of misfires on offense.
Will the home field advantage really matter? South Dakota State might be the slightly stronger team, but Northern Iowa will have just a wee bit more of a passing game and has PK Matthew Cook. He’ll hit a late field goal and three on the day.
South Dakota State vs Northern Iowa Prediction, Line
Northern Iowa 23, South Dakota State 21
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Line: South Dakota State -2.5, o/u: 42
Must See Rating: 4.5
5: Real football games in spring
1: Spring “games” that are just intrasquad scrimmages