Illinois State Redbirds vs Northern Iowa Panthers prediction and FCS spring football game preview.
Illinois State vs Northern Iowa Broadcast
Date: Saturday, March 6
Game Time: 5:00 ET
Venue: UNI Dome, Cedar Fallas, IA
Illinois State (0-1) vs Northern Iowa (1-1) Game Preview
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Why Illinois State Will Win
Chalk it up to a first game in February for a team that could use a little bit of seasoning and work.
Illinois State was up 17-0 on South Dakota, and then it all fell apart as the Coyotes went on a 27-0 run before the Redbirds finally got back on the board in the fourth with a field goal, but it wasn’t enough in a 27-20 ISU loss.
Seven turnovers had a little bit to do with the meltdown. That’s almost certainly not going to happen again.
The Illinois State offense worked – Bryce Jefferson threw for 280 yards to go along with his four picks – and the defense was fantastic. Northern Iowa might be strong, but it’s not cranking up the offense yet, so just avoid turning it over and and over and over again, and the pieces are there to win.
Why Northern Iowa Will Win
The UNI defense has been fantastic.
The offensive side has struggle to get going – Dom Williams scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to put away Youngstown State 21-0 – but other than a late problem in the loss to South Dakota State, the D has been a rock.
It’s holding up well against the run, the pass rush has been strong, and the three takeaways haven’t hurt.
What’s Going To Happen
It’s a huge game in what suddenly looks like an open Missouri Valley race now that North Dakota State has lost its mojo. Both defenses will be strong, but UNI’s offense will be just a wee bit steadier.
Illinois State has more pop and explosion, but the Panther D will come up with enough stops – and the team will own the time of possession battle enough – to get out with a tight win.
Illinois State vs Northern Iowa Prediction, Line
Northern Iowa 23, Illinois State 20
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Line: Northern Iowa -8, o/u: 37
Must See Rating: 3
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