FCS Playoff Game Breakdown: Illinois State at North Dakota State

Illinois State at North Dakota State
There’s no doubt who the man is in Normal/Bloomington, Illinois - James Robinson. After a 297 yard output in the opening round, Robinson gashed Central Arkansas for 210 in the Round of 16. Again, very little was asked of freshman quarterback, Bryce Jefferson, who only threw 11 passes. You can’t forget the defense though, creating four turnovers, three of which were interceptions of UCA quarterback Breylin Smith. The Redbirds are maybe the most blue-collar team left in the playoffs.
North Dakota State actually trailed a couple of times in the first half against Nicholls. But by halftime, the Bison had taken the lead and never looked back. By the end of the third quarter, the game was in hand and put into cruise control. Trey Lance was awesome again, throwing two touchdowns with no interceptions and running for another. Seven different targets caught passes, none of them catching more than two. Five different players carried the ball for more than 30 yards. A total team effort. Only thing that went wrong? They missed two field goals and their last extra point.
These two played back on October 5, at Illinois State. That was an ugly game for the Redbirds, with North Dakota State winning 37-3. Robinson was good, but held out of the end zone. And this was when ISU still had starting quarterback Brady Davis. This game figures to be played the same way Illinois State has played their first two playoff games. Robinson will have to run for more than 200 again to have a chance. But the Bison look too balanced for a different outcome to be expected.
Prediction: North Dakota State 38, Illinois State 13