North Dakota State returns home in the middle of October for its fifth home game of the season to welcome Illinois State to the Fargodome. The Redbirds have re-tooled their team, namely the coaching staff as Brock Spack overhauled that group after ISU failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Illinois State is an interesting team, they are filled with talent, it’s now about putting that talent together. This was schizophrenic team in 2017, they got blasted by Northern Arizona and Southern Illinois, then beat South Dakota and Youngstown State and lost in overtime to South Dakota State.
I think this is a playoff team in 2018, the hard work for them will need to be done in the conference since they start the season with an NAIA team, which won’t count towards their D-1 win total. Beating their FBS opponent, Colorado State would go a long way towards another playoff appearance. This will be a fun and difficult game for the Bison as we near the end of the season.
Illinois State Redbirds
- Missouri Valley Football Conference, 6-5 record in 2017
- 2014 FCS finalist, 2015 FCS quarterfinalist
- NDSU leads series, 8-2