Several things jump out at me at first glance. NIU played a BYU-like start to the year with game @ Iowa, Utah and Fl State. All beat downs with single scores outside of 19 that they put on Fl State (37-19)
NIU is 4-0 in the Mac and will contend for the title.
I know this, that BYU would have had a tough game had we stuck with Tanner Mangum, just to easy to defense and NIU is a tough defensive team so it will be a great test for young Wilson to play.
Not sure why Vegas gives this a 30% chance for NIU. but I will bet that there will be change in the betting lines once news of Wilson’s dismantling of Hawaii hits the street. It is a bye week so hopefully we get Canada back and a few others that have been banged up.
NIU averages 300 ypg total…136 passing
BYU averages 330 ypg (With Wilson, BYU got 480 ypg, 280 on the ground)
BYU limited Hawaii to 63 yards, they were averaging 136 ypg.
NIU averages 160 ypg rushing
I can sum up the NIU game in a single name…Marcus Childers, QB. He has been their leading rusher, scoring in big games and lately. He is big, 222 lb at only 6’. He can pass and is a load to bring down once he puts his head down and runs. He will be a great tune up for Huntley of Utah.
So BYU will not be schemeing the pass as they did with pass happy Hawaii. I like that we play about 5 or 6 linebackers at times in the Hawaii game and that confused the heck out of Hawaii. They never knew when we would blitz, fill gaps on runs or just plain drop back in pass coverage. We will most likely sit back and stop the run and dare NIU to pass on us. They are let by a Soph. QB Marcus Childers, who is smart so NIU will try to get the run game going behind a very good bowling ball, 5’ 11, 225 lb, Harbison. a true rushing threat.
As I looked at their Ohio game, Childers, the QB, ran for 169 yds so he is very much a duel threat QB. BYU is very good at stopping running QBs so just contain the QB and maybe we don’t rush him much like BYU did to Tate in the Arizona game and dare him to beat us with his arm
On D, NIU is good, much better then Hawaii, They can put on a very good rush, as witnessed in the NIU-Utah game where Utah was lucky to beat them
I see this as a tough game but one BYU should win.