From Jeremiah Davis, sportswriter for the Cedar Rapids Gazette
Offense: The Northern Iowa offense is still very much an unknown, even after a week under its belt. Under new offensive coordinator Joe Davis and with a quarterback situation that is, if nothing else, uncertain, the production is still a concern. Illinois transfer and starting quarterback Aaron Bailey retained the job after starting against Iowa State, but his leash isn’t a long one. Bailey finished 11 of 19 for 114 yards and a touchdown. He had 22 carries for 85 yards. He only threw downfield a few times and none of those throws were on target. Overall, the offense lacked consistency and only put together one great drive against Iowa State. They’ll certainly get more comfortable with more game reps, but it remains to be seen when it brings results.
Defense: On paper, the UNI defense did an admirable job against a Big 12 defense last Saturday. In reality, it was a bit of a mixed bag. Iowa State only managed 310 total yards (233 passing, 77 rushing), but the Cyclones had short fields for most of the game – averaging a UNI 49 and 46-yard-line start in the second and third quarters. But even with that field position, the UNI defense held several times and forced the Cyclones into long field goals that were missed. They obviously face another strong test this week, but once again it’s strength vs. strength. The UNI secondary is the best unit on the defense, featuring preseason All-Americans Deiondre Hall and Tim Kilfoy. Makinton Dorleant also is a senior, and a three-year starter. That experience will be heavily relied upon.
Score: Eastern Washington 31, Northern Iowa 27