Lamar at Northern Iowa 2018 FCS Playoff Game Breakdown

Lamar at Northern Iowa
Lamar qualifies for the playoffs for the first time and gets a road game against one of the FCS old guard. Still, the Cardinals are going to be excited for the opportunity. The offense, which produces 250 yards per game, is led by four players, two quarterbacks and two running backs. Ironically, all four have between 474 and 518 yards on the season. So everyone taking a turn behind the line is capable. With that balance comes an elite level red zone offense. It might seem like an over-hyped stat, but it’s essential to get points when they’re there. The defense is average, but defensive lineman Daniel Crosley is a troublemaker, having recorded eight sacks this season.
Northern Iowa enters the playoffs with the worst record in the field, the only team with five losses. Don’t get that twisted though, as the Panthers played the toughest schedule in FCS in 2018. The offense is balanced but inconsistent. If quarterback Eli Dunne is having a good game, they’re very tough to beat. A running back by committee employs mostly smallish backs who play bigger than they are. The best receiving option changes from game to game, but usually Briley Moore, a tight end, is consistently good. The defense has its ebbs and flows also. Rickey Neal and a host of other defensive ends get after the quarterback and Duncan Ferch man’s the linebacking corps.
This game is a real showcase of the new versus the old. How will Lamar adapt to playing in a dome? If Lamar stays as hot as they have been, beating four six-win teams in their last six games, they could steal a road game here. If Northern Iowa needs a big kick to win, Austin Errthum has made 15 field goals. Early momentum is probably the key in the game.
Prediction: Northern Iowa 23, Lamar 13