Illinois State Redbirds (0-0) at Missouri State Bears (0-0)
College Football: Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 2:00 pm (Robert W. Plaster Stadium)
The Line: Missouri St +5.5 -- Over/Under: 43 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Illinois State Redbirds and Missouri State Bears meet Saturday in week 2 FCS college football action at Robert W. Plaster Stadium.
The Illinois State Redbirds are coming off a 10-5 record that includes a 6-3 record on the road. The Illinois State Redbirds averaged 19.8 points and 300 yards while allowing 16 points and 304.1 yards. Bryce Jefferson should takeover at quarterback after 34 pass attempts last year in the backup role. Jefferson will replace Brady Davis. Illinois State lost a ton of production at running back, but the return of receiver Kacp Rutkiewicz is massive, as he led the team with 429 yards and one touchdown. However, the rest of the offense for Illinois State will feature a ton of new faces and could experience growing pains. Defensively, Zeke Vandenburgh returns after 51 tackles, Brandon Simon had three sacks and Charles Woods had four interceptions. The Illinois State Redbirds simply have a lot of production to replace on both sides of the ball.
The Missouri State Bears had a fall season that included three games, and they were on the losing side of every contest. Jaden Johnson is completing 49.4 percent of his passes for 383 yards, zero touchdowns and four interceptions. Johnson has to be far more accurate for Missouri State to have a successful season. Damoriea Vick and Kevon Latulas have combined for 187 receiving yards on 18 catches while Lorenzo Thomas has six receptions. The Missouri State Bears ground game is averaging 90.7 yards per contest, and Kevon Latulas leads the way with 142 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, Missouri State is allowing 36 points and 351 yards per game. Tylar Wiltz leads the Missouri State Bears with 31 tackles, Isaiah Sayles has 2.5 sacks and Jeremy Webb has two interceptions.
The Illinois State Redbirds are probably the more talented team, but they lost a lot of production from a year ago and it could take some time to adjust. The Missouri State Bears didn't look good in their three fall games, but they played Oklahoma and a really good Central Arkansas team. Also, there's value to at least having fall reps, as they're not coming in cold like Illinois State. Missouri State has an edge heading into this game with actual recent games under its belt.
Give me the points.