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The Illinois State Redbirds and Northern Iowa Panthers will take on the FCS College Football Showdown at the UNI Dome on Week 4 Saturday. < The Illinois State Redbirds have played one game against South Dakota so far this season and were competitive in that game, but they were still defeated by seven points. The two teams were tied at halftime, but the state of Illinois only managed to score three points in the second half, resulting in defeat. A major problem in Illinois State's first game was quarterback Bryce Jefferson's play. Jefferson threw a touchdown for 280 yards, but he threw for four interceptions, and those intercept issues may not be a problem for the future. In this game, Jefferson has to take better care of the ball and make sure he doesn't pass it on to Northern Iowa. On the ground, the state of Illinois was led by Pha'leak Brown, who finished the game 17 times for 86 yards.
On the other side of this matchup are the Northern Iowa Panthers, who have played two games so far this year with a 1: 1 record. After losing the first game of the season to South Dakota State, they rebounded greatly against Youngstown State. The defense was strong this last game and gave up zero points. Under center Northern Iowa is led by Will McElvain and while he’s not as dynamic as some of the other quarterbacks, he’s doing enough to keep this team in the games. In the last game, he completed 15 of his 30 passes for 183 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception. The Panthers defense was good at generating sales and that could be key in this game to getting early on and putting pressure on the state of Illinois.
Northern Iowa is the better team and their defense will be suspended against the State of Illinois. With the Redbirds’ lack of points, they won’t stand a chance of keeping up, and Northern Iowa will get away with a win and covering the spread.
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