South Dakota State and North Dakota meet up for their Week 2 matchup of the FCS season. South Dakota State picked up a 24-20 victory over Northern Iowa in their first game of the year. While it wasn’t pretty, they got the job done.
Now they take a trip to battle it out with a North Dakota team that forced five takeaways in their 44-21 win over Southern Illinois. Which team will improve to 2-0 and which one will be handed their first loss? Let’s take a closer look at the online betting odds.
South Dakota State vs North Dakota
Date: Saturday, February 27th, 2020 – 1 p.m. ET
Location: Alerus Center, Grand Forks, ND
FCS Odds: South Dakota State -8
South Dakota State
Even though he isn’t a superstar quarterback by any stretch, Mark Gronowski stepped up when he needed to for this team. He was able to lead the team down the field for a game-winning drive last week to clinch the win. He seemed like a true leader and remained calm and cool under immense pressure. He threw for 194 yards and two touchdowns without an interception in the win, and while the stats aren’t great, the ending was positive.
Overall, it wasn’t their offense that got the attention after their win, it was their defense. They completely stifled the opposing teams rushing attack throughout the entire game, allowing only 28 yards on 25 attempts and came up with huge plays on crucial third downs. If this defense is able to do what they did in their last game, then they need only average offensive play in order to get them to victory. That is easier than it sounds though, against an incredibly tough North Dakota front seven.
North Dakota looked absolutely dominant on defense in their last game too, so this sets up as a defensive showdown. Slowing down the rushing attack and creating huge momentum shifting plays is what keyed their win. They allowed just 90 yards on 35 carries against Southern Illinois.
Any time your defense is able to generate five takeaways in a single game, they are going to put the team in a good position to win. If they can continue to fly all over the field and continue to suffocate ground games, they can easily get another win here. They will still have to produce on the offensive end as well though, and they did a pretty good job of that in their last contest.
Their offensive line was able to create a few big rushing plays throughout the game, giving their quarterback Tommy Schuster a lot of extra time in the passing game. Schuster only threw for 118 yards but scored three touchdowns while they rushed the ball 39 times and picked up 229 yards and two touchdowns.
North Dakota has all the pieces to get another win here. The key will be to avoid bad turnovers. With two good defenses on the field, under might be the play.
South Dakota State vs North Dakota Prediction:
North Dakota 17, South Dakota State 14
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