Southern Illinois Salukis vs North Dakota Fighting Hawks prediction and FCS spring football game preview.
Southern Illinois vs North Dakota Broadcast
Date: Saturday, February 20
Game Time: 1:00 ET
Venue: Alerus Center, Grand Forks, ND
Southern Illinois (0-0) vs North Dakota (0-0) Game Preview
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Why Southern Illinois Will Win
The Saluki rushing attack is going be a problem for the Fighting Hawks, and the pass rush is going to be a bigger issue.
Senior DE Antony Knighton is a pass rushing terror on one side, LB Makel Calhoun is an all-around playmaker on another, and whatever these two don’t get to in the backfield, S Qua Brown and the rest of the veteran D should be able to take care of.
2019 1,000-yard rusher DJ Davis might be gone, but the combination of Javon Williams and Romeir Elliott should be terrific against a North Dakota defensive front that’s okay, but struggled against the run a few years ago.
Why North Dakota Will Win
The Fighting Hawks might not have a ton of bulk on the defensive front, but the three in the 3-4 are active enough and tend to hold their own while the linebackers take care of the rest.
The pass rush comes from everywhere, there’s plenty of playmaking producing throughout the D – nine players came up with interceptions in 2019 – and on the other side, the offensive line has the bulk and the experience to do a decent job against what SIU brings from all sides.
What’s Going To Happen
The Southern Illinois experience and pass rush will come through, however, North Dakota owns the Alerus Center, going 6-0 at home back in 2019 and 1-5 away from it.
The Fighting Hawks will do plenty of things well this year – especially defensively – but SIU will be a bit better and a bit more explosive on both sided. It’ll be a steadier performance from the Salukis with a big day on the ground controlling the clock and the game.
Southern Illinois vs North Dakota Prediction, Line
Southern Illinois 31, North Dakota 24
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Line: Southern Illinois -3, o/u: 48.5
Must See Rating: 4
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