NDSU (3-0) vs. Illinois State (2-2)
|Date & Time||Saturday October 1, 2016, 2:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: North Dakota State -14.5 -- Over/Under: 48.5
The Illinois State Redbirds and North Dakota State Bison clash Saturday afternoon at the Fargodome on ESPN3.
The Illinois State Redbirds could use a big road victory to get them a game above a .500 record. Jake Kolbe is completing 70.5 percent of his passes for 986 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions. Kolbe must do a better job of taking care of the football in this game. Anthony Warrum and Spencer Schnell have combined for 596 receiving yards and three touchdowns while Christian Gibbs has 20 receptions. The Illinois State Redbirds ground game is averaging 161.2 yards per contest, and George Moreira leads the way with 240 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, Illinois State is allowing 19.5 points and 278.8 yards per game. Alejandro Rivera leads the Redbirds with 32 tackles, B.J. Bello has four sacks and Alec Kocour has one interception.
The North Dakota State Bison look to build on their impressive 3-0 start to the season. Easton Stick is completing 62.5 percent of his passes for 575 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. Stick has done a great job of managing the game so far this season. Darrius Shepherd and RJ Urzendowski have combined for 287 receiving yards and three touchdowns while Lance Dunn has five receptions. The North Dakota State Bison ground game is averaging 249.7 yards per contest, and Dunn leads the way with 239 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, North Dakota State is allowing 27.3 points and 350 yards per game. Nick DeLuca leads the Bison with 26 tackles, Brad Ambrosius has three sacks and Robbie Grimsley has one interception.
North Dakota State is going to get a lot of the money here because it's the popular name and doesn't lose often, especially at home. However, Illinois State is no slouch and usually plays very tight games even when it falls short. Remember the game between these two in Jan of last year that was decided by two points. Illinois State is sharp defensively and makes big plays offensively. Also, while NDSU is still winning games even with the changes to the roster, it's a team that's not exactly blowing the doors off like we're used to seeing.
I'll take my free touchdowns.