CEDAR FALLS — Northern Iowa travels to Terre Haute, Ind., for its Missouri Valley Soccer Convention street opener Saturday night time at Indiana State.
UNI is 30-5 all-time towards the Sycamores, 13-4 at Memorial Stadium and gained the final matchup, 20-14, on the UNI-Dome in 2022.
Picked tenth within the MVFC’s preseason ballot, Indiana State (0-4, 0-1) is coming off a 30-28 loss at Murray State in its MVFC opener. In its three non-conference video games towards Jap Illinois, Indiana and Ball State, the Sycamores have been outscored 113-14.
Regardless of its struggles, Indiana State appeared to get a lift from the return of quarterback Cade Chambers towards the Racers final week. Chambers — the 2022 MVFC freshman of the 12 months — accomplished 15 of 27 passes for 159 yards, one landing and one interception in his return from damage.
Listed here are three keys to victory for the Panthers.
1. Well timed protection
UNI’s protection has allowed 30.5 factors per sport to date this season.
For sure there have been breakdowns, an absence of move rush and never the quantity of takeaways Coach Mark Farley expects.
Look shut sufficient and incremental enchancment is occurring. There’s additionally one thing to be stated for the Panthers protection clamping down when it needed to the previous two video games. Two fourth-quarter stops towards Youngstown State final week set the desk for a comeback win.
Saturday’s sport towards Indiana State presents UNI its greatest alternative on paper, to date, to take a giant step ahead defensively. At a minimal the Panthers protection should proceed to show that it could actually get stops once they’re wanted most.
2. Playable play-action
All-America quarterback Theo Day is averaging simply over 300 yards passing per sport this season, whereas the Panthers run sport is averaging 97.5 yards per sport.
UNI’s floor sport has ranged from poor to good by means of 4 video games, which in all probability lands it an outline of “enough” general.
Given Day’s capability, the Panthers don’t have to change into a juggernaut on the bottom to be a terrific workforce, however they may want their run sport to be ok to make defenses truthfully defend the play-action move.
Safety points have largely been cleaned up the previous two video games. Subsequent on the record for UNI’s offense is making progress with its run sport to maintain the play-action move playable.
3. Move the take a look at
Whether or not it is what must be cleaned up on offense, protection or particular groups, this week’s sport towards a struggling Indiana State workforce is one the Panthers shouldn’t have a lot bother with.
Together with a convincing win, UNI must display it continues to scrub up the errors that persist in its three phases. Particularly with a visit to top-ranked South Dakota State on the schedule subsequent week.
watch UNI at Indiana State (Oct. 7, 2023)
Kickoff time: 6 p.m. (CT)
Stay stream: ESPN+
Prediction: UNI 41 Indiana State 17