Eastern Illinois at Northern Iowa FCS Football 2015 Playoffs 1st Round Breakdown

Eastern Illinois at Northern Iowa FCS Football 2015 Playoffs 1st Round Breakdown


Eastern Illinois at Northern Iowa, Saturday, 5:00

Eastern Illinois and Northern Iowa are two of the hottest teams in the nation right now. After a 0-3 start, the Panthers have won seven of their last eight games, with the lone loss coming against top seeded Jacksonville State. Meanwhile, Northern Iowa has been on the playoff bubble since a 2-4 start to the 2015 campaign, but won their last five games.

This will be a battle of defenses as that is what has propelled both teams into the playoffs. Eastern Illinois has not allowed more than 28 points in a game since their overtime loss to Illinois State way back on September 19th. Until last week when the Panthers allowed Southern Illinois to score 28 points, they held their previous four opponents to a grand total of 27 points. For UNI, end Karter Schult, linebacker Brett McMakin and cornerback Deiondre’ Hall are the defensive stars who are bound to make some big plays. Eastern Illinois has their own talented trio in Dino Fanti, Seth McDonald and Jourdan Wickliffe.

This contest will could come down to who can manage to make a big play or two, whether that be on offense, defense or special teams. The offensive firepower favors Northern Iowa and dual-threat quarterback Aaron Bailey, who leads the Panthers in rushing with 1,029 yards and passing with 1,362 yards. Northern Iowa should be able to move the ball on the ground relatively effectively against EIU and that should be enough for the Panthers to advance past Eastern Illinois in the first round just like they did in 2001 and 1996.

Projected Score: Northern Iowa 27, Eastern Illinois 10


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