North Dakota State will not play outdoors until the middle of October and it will be under the lights in Macomb, Illinois. Western Illinois is the sixth game on the 2018 schedule for NDSU, and the second straight road game. Western Illinois is going thru another transition at head coach, first it was Bob Nielson, he left in early 2016 for South Dakota, then Charlie Fisher left earlier this year for Arizona State, so Jared Elliot takes over as the main man for the Leathernecks.
I’m of the opinion that Western was one of the toughest opponents for NDSU last season. The Leathernecks led that game 9-7 at halftime, now the Bison pulled away to win 24-12, but that was a hardfought win. Traveling to Macomb is no walk in the park for NDSU, and this will mark the second straight time that the Bison game at Western will be a night game. In 2016, NDSU scored 21 first half points and then had to hang on to beat the Leathernecks 21-13. Western has challenged itself in the non-conference this season, they’ll play both of the Montana schools along with an FBS game at Illinois.
Western Illinois Leathernecks
- Missouri Valley Football Conference, 8-4 record in 2017
- Two playoff appearances since 2014, lost in first round last season
- NDSU leads all-time series, 7-2