Redbird Football at #3 N. Iowa

Total Red

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The Redbirds will not be favored in the next couple of games. I thought the team would be 1-2 after 3 games so there are two upset opportunities available to make that happen, but N. Iowa is highly ranked and they seldom lose two in a row at home. Calling it a challenge is an understatement.

They were some definite positives from the opener. The 'Birds shut down one of the top RB's in the conference. Kai Henry had 16 carries for 35 yards - 2.2 average. Other than the inability to keep containment on QB Camp, I thought the defense played very well. The 15 yard - TD run where Camp ran about 25 yards still doesn't sit well - some poor pursuit on that one. Offensively the bright spot was the showcasing of the deep ball. That should give UNI something to think about and it should help open up the run. If they don't respect the deep pass then complete 3 more passes over 50 yards just like last Saturday. The N. Iowa scouting report on Bryce Jefferson probably says that he is dangerous with the long ball and he can run for yardage, but just keep making him throw, with some throws under pressure, and it won't be long before he makes a mistake. Obviously mistakes (turnovers) are key (duh). If we can match UNI on turnovers or win that battle the Redbirds will be in position to win. Tighter tucks on runs, smarter passes, Redbird Victory.
 

Redbird15

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The Redbirds will not be favored in the next couple of games. I thought the team would be 1-2 after 3 games so there are two upset opportunities available to make that happen, but N. Iowa is highly ranked and they seldom lose two in a row at home. Calling it a challenge is an understatement.

They were some definite positives from the opener. The 'Birds shut down one of the top RB's in the conference. Kai Henry had 16 carries for 35 yards - 2.2 average. Other than the inability to keep containment on QB Camp, I thought the defense played very well. The 15 yard - TD run where Camp ran about 25 yards still doesn't sit well - some poor pursuit on that one. Offensively the bright spot was the showcasing of the deep ball. That should give UNI something to think about and it should help open up the run. If they don't respect the deep pass then complete 3 more passes over 50 yards just like last Saturday. The N. Iowa scouting report on Bryce Jefferson probably says that he is dangerous with the long ball and he can run for yardage, but just keep making him throw, with some throws under pressure, and it won't be long before he makes a mistake. Obviously mistakes (turnovers) are key (duh). If we can match UNI on turnovers or win that battle the Redbirds will be in position to win. Tighter tucks on runs, smarter passes, Redbird Victory.
Think the run game will be the key and Jefferson dual threat to running the ball. Listening to Spack on Redbirds site... stated that UNI has better defensive backs than SD and they play more for deep ball . So if running games opens up hopefully that will draw them up more closer... Which in turn maybe we can get a couple of deep balls if WR can get separation against a DB or 2. Sounds also like UNI DL is pretty good also. Either that means we got to have a good run game or short pass game got to be on point ! Jefferson has a warrior mindset so I think he will bounce back stronger..... Would love to see more play action/QB rollout giving bryce the ability to utilize more of his skills the choice to run or pass. Sounds like edgar will be a on/off situation with his comeback also.
 

Total Red

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I know we're all excited about the WR transfer we're getting from UND but we have a more immediate issue with a 6'4 210 WR at UNI. Isaiah Weston had 1053 receiving yards in 2019 (1053 more than Micah Jones) along with 10 TD receptions. Weston would be a tough matchup. Safety is one of the few positions on defense I'm concerned about. We lost 2019 starters Luther Kirk and Christian Uphoff. Now we have Clayton Isbell and Iverson Brown. I don't see a dropoff in talent but Isbell and Brown are less experienced. Weston is not the only receiving threat for UNI. Quan Hampton has been the lead dog for '21 with 12 catches for 139 yards in the first two games. WR may be their strongest position. We'll need steady pressure on UNI QB Will McElvain.
 

JHBird

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Good matchup for Isbell. He's 6-2, 220. Let's see what he can do this week. Last year Brock talked him up as being a Pro Prospect, because of his size and athletic ability. He was very noticeable when he was in the lineup --- like who's that linebacker they got out there playing safety???
 

fourthandshort

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The weather report for the Saturday game at N. Iowa looks favorable. The temp will be rather steady around 68 degrees with wind gusts up to 1 mph.
Go 'Birds

You may it sound like southern California in early March ....

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fourthandshort

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Good matchup for Isbell. He's 6-2, 220. Let's see what he can do this week. Last year Brock talked him up as being a Pro Prospect, because of his size and athletic ability. He was very noticeable when he was in the lineup --- like who's that linebacker they got out there playing safety???
I don't imagine Isbell is going to become cover DB for this game. Charles Woods should probably get primary duties. He limped off field last week, but I think it was just leg cramps. But a few well delivered hits from Isbell on Weston over the middle or in help coverage deep would really help matters.
 

fourthandshort

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Im having troiuble getting my game face and state of mind going this spring .. my internal football calendar/clock is just so out of whack.

Anyways .. so statistically, UNI is not overwhelming having lost to SDSU 24-20 and beaten YSU 21-0. They don't rank particularly high in anything statistically .. not even on defense. But you can bet they are once again similar to us ... very tough on defense, and suspect on offense.

Should be a very good game .. not sure why theyre ranked #3, but who knows about anything this spring and the MVFC will be all over the place with NDSU really struggling.

I can see Jefferson settling down some, but UNI usually keeps other offenses in check. Thing is, Jefferson is as "true" a dual threat as there is. And they will know this from how he played last week. I can also see our defense looking very stout today .. DBs are still the biggest question mark, but I dont think UNI passes a lot .. just have to watch Weston over the top.

Interesting thing on offense, we lead the league in total yards per game at about 475 or so .. I know, one game does not make an "average". But my point is ... think about fact that we turned it over 6 times on our end of the field, most times on our first series .. twice on our 1st play. Now we have no idea how solid USD defense is or isn't yet. But say we only had 3 TOs going into that last game tying drive ... it likely would not even have been a close game at that point with 3 less TOs. And we likely would have had another 100+ yards or so the way things were going pushing us closer to 600 total yards our first game post Robinson ... again, who knows if USD defense is worth a dime or not.

Bit I know you can put all the woulda shoulda couldas into a big bucket ... and when I'm/you're all done, that damn bucket is still empty.

Gotta pick my Redbirds in a good match up game like this. And I dont see how UNI is #3 right now. Redbirds win 24-17 type game. Jefferson will pass for 200+ yards, and run for 100+ yards ... excluding negative sack yards. He knows Spack doesn't want him throwing picks, so he will tuck it even more. And I tend to think he will be protecting that ball a whole lot more when he is getting hit in pocket or on the run.

I am still on this Bryce Jefferson train .. the dude can play, just let him develop and make a "few" mistakes along the way. By next fall, this could be a very dynamic offense.
 
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Redbird15

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Crazy MVFC SIU is losing to to Youngstown 12-7 in 2nd quarter.... So MVFC is the any given Saturday.... GO REDBIRDS !
 

JHBird

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Def playing well; I figured we'd struggle on offense against this defense;
 

Loyl2u

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Throwing into the flat in the shadow of your own goal line didn’t work for UNI any better than the Birds last weekend. No way the risk Vs. Reward makes sense.
 
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