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[2023] ISU Opponent Watch: Week 5

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Sponsored by MS Paint

 

About Last Week: 

Image result for its done lotr

 

After losing to Eastern Washington twice last year, the Redbirds extinguished their demons by winning convincingly 31-17, outscoring the Eagles 24-3 in the first 3 quarters. It’s over, Redbird Nation. Sammy Connor can’t hurt you anymore.

 

THE ROAD AHEAD

:ps:PORTLAND STATE (0-3)

Last Week: Lost at Florida A&M 23-17

RECAP: Ok, so it looks like Portland State is in serious trouble in not qualifying for the playoffs. I still think Montana is worse, but this game against the two lowest rated teams showed that FAMU is slightly more competent than the Vikings. PSU has a lot of issues with the main one being they don’t have a coach (a common issue amongst FCS schools but PSU can’t rely on talent alone to win them games.) Until that happens, the Vikings are on 0-12 watch. There is a good chance their week 10 matchup with Montana will become the most infamous game in CFBHC history.

This team is as frightening as: SpongeBob dressed as Leif Erikson. Fear Level: 1.5

Image result for spongebob leif erikson

Yinga, Hinga, Durgen!

ISU should worry about: Playing in Portland. Oregon weed is the cheapest in the country because supply is much higher (heh) than demand. Stay safe out there.

ISU can sleep soundly about: If this team is only slightly better than Montana, as long as things don’t get too weird the Redbirds should win easily.

When they play ISU: After these messages and a word from our sponsor.

Next game: Bye

[AFTER THE JUMP: Analysis on teams that play better football than Portland]

 

:tulsa: TULSA (1-2)

Last Week: Beat Arkansas 31-13 (Week 3, had a bye Week 4)

RECAP: From an FCS perspective, it’s hard to get a read on how good Tulsa is. They’re 1-2, sure, but those two losses are against Top 5 teams in OU and Okie State. They looked bad in both games, but I doubt ISU would have fared any better. Now this week, they played SEC Arkansas, and they straight up dominated. 300 passing yards and only a single turnover, while holding Arkansas’ offense to 13 points. It’s safe to say that Tulsa is by no means a pushover. These Golden Hurricanes can ball, and even though ISU has been on a tear, they haven’t played anyone near as talented as Tulsa.

This team is as frightening as: Living in Normal, Illinois and being told a hurricane is heading your way. How do you even prepare for that? Fear Level: 10

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Uh-oh

ISU should worry about: While Tulsa doesn’t run often, it’s because their Quarterback is pretty good. Maybe not Sammy Connor good, but he definitely has a better O-Line and more options at receiver.

ISU can sleep soundly about: At least they didn’t look good against two of the best teams in the country?

When they play ISU: Too soon

Next game: vs. Cincinnati (+16.5)

 

:yale: YALE (0-3)

Last Week: Lost to Wake Forest 40-0

RECAP: A bad FCS team played an FBS team and got shut out. Moving on.

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This team is as frightening as: Hard to say. The schedule Gods dicked Yale pretty good by having them play both North Dakota schools and then having to go to Winston-Salem to get deaced by the Demon Deacons. We’ll know more about them after this week, but if ISU is on the same level as the Dakota schools then Yale is nothing to worry about. Fear Level: 3.

ISU should worry about: Yale seems to have a head coach, which is half the battle in the FCS. Now if he can get his roster in order and come up with a good game plan to utilize their strengths then maybe they can still sneak into the playoffs.

ISU can sleep soundly about: It should be midterms by the time Yale has to face the Redbirds. Hopefully they’ll just forfeit the game so that they can go study and we can continue being good at sportsball.

When they play ISU: Midterms

Next game: @ South Dakota State (-11)

 

:unh: NEW HAMPSHIRE (1-2)

Last week: Lost @ South Dakota State 24-20 (Week 3, had bye Week 4)

RECAP: The Wildcats are definitely improved from last year. But when you go 1-11, it’s really hard to get worse. Coach Sam has this team working their tails off, but they are still just a bit behind the rest of the pack. SDSU is about the same level as UNH, and maybe if it was a home game the Cats could have won this game. But…

Image result for thats not how this works

The fact is New Hampshire lost, but they almost didn’t lose, which is better than where they were last year. This team should have no problem making the playoffs (mostly because 12 teams out of 16 spots get qualified, but I digress.) They’re not the pushover they once were.

This team is as frightening as: Arm wrestling your 10-year-old cousin. You think you can take him, but he’s grown a lot since last Thanksgiving and now you’re not so sure. Fear Level: 4

ISU should worry about: Sam is a seasoned vet who will come up with the best gameplan to give his team the best chance to win. We’ve seen weirder upsets in the past.

ISU can sleep soundly about: New Hampshire has struggled mightily on offense moving the ball, especially through the air. Seeing as how this defense just did really well against Sammy Connor and Felix Luck, nothing should scare them.

When they play ISU: It’ll be ISU's first home game in 6 weeks. Expect the home crowd to be loud and proud.

Next game: vs. Boise State (N/A) (Yes, somehow New Hampshire convinced the Bluefield Broncos to travel across the country to beat up an FCS team. Should be an exciting game to attend)

 

:harvard: HARVARD (2-1)

Last week: Beat Northern Iowa 17-14

Recap: The Crimson may be legit? After 4 weeks that question is still left unanswered, but it’s clear that their win over ARMY! was no fluke. This team baaaaaarely lost to the defending FCS champs, beat an FBS team, and this week were able to escape again with a win over UNI. To be honest, I expected more from the Crimson, but they still won, and now all of a sudden we have to wonder if this team might be good enough to get a first-round bye in the playoffs.

This team is as frightening as: Trying to have a conversation with a lawyer about landmark legal cases when you only kind of remember Brown V. Board of Education from high school. Fear level: 7

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Oh God, I feel their judgmental eyes stare through my soul.

ISU should worry about: Lucas Beckwith continues to impress, and Cameron Whaley will almost surely break all the career rushing records before he graduates, as I have said almost every time I’ve had to write about Harvard.

ISU can sleep soundly about: UNI is not good this year, and ARMY! seems to be the bottom of the FCS barrel. While it’s no fluke the Crimson won, maybe, maybe we are putting too much stock in their 2 wins so far and their very close loss to the BiZon.

When they play ISU: We’ll definitely know if Harvard is any good.

Next game: @ North Dakota (+3)

 

:jmu: JAMES MADISON (1-2)

Last week: Lost vs. UC Davis 28-16

RECAP: Felix Luck, for the 3rd week in a row, passes for 333 yards (ok he had 334 against ISU, but come on, semantics) and this time it was more than enough to beat the Dukes, who were in the Championship game last year. Through 3 games, JMU has serious issues on the offensive side of the ball. They’re moving the ball fine, having a balanced attack of 200 passing yards and just under 100 rushing yards each game, they just can’t finish drives. It happened again against UC Davis. The Aggies scored 7 points in all 4 quarters, while JMU had to settle for 30, 37, and 26-yard field goals, respectively. By the 4th quarter JMU was behind 21-9 when they should have at least been tied at 21. 8 penalties also killed the team’s momentum a lot. This team does not look like the scrappy underdogs that somehow were able to win with great defense and a steady offense. Now they just look scrappy.

This team is as frightening as: A sleeping Pit Bull. It looks cute now but try to wake it and you may get bit pretty bad. It’s best to just move along and not disturb the beast. Fear level: 6.

ISU should worry about: This defense held an FBS Akron team to 16 points and even forced a takeaway. It’s possible they just looked bad because Felix Luck tends to do that to defenses.

ISU can sleep soundly about: Devon Wardwell outplayed Luck when they met a couple weeks ago, which is bad news for JMU’s secondary.

When they play ISU: Hopefully they’re still sleeping.

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AWWWWWWWWWW

Next game: vs. Eastern Washington (-4.5)

 

:famu: FLORIDA A&M (1-2)

Last week: Beat Portland State 23-17

RECAP: Sometimes the blind mouse finds the cheese, and sometimes the blind mouse gets pushed into the cheese by a somehow more blind mouse that has no idea where it's going or what its purpose is. 

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Three blind mice, if you want to include Montana, and I do

There still isn't a lot to like about the Rattlers, but at least they won't go 0-12.

This team is as frightening as: Waking up and thinking your blind for like a half-second before you turn on the light and realize you're not. Fear level: 2

ISU should worry about: Not getting to visit Florida in late October during the small window where the weather is really really nice.

ISU can sleep soundly about: Being more talented at almost every position.

When they play ISU: Somebody better make sure they don't get lost on the way.

Next game: @ Montana (oh dear God)

 

:delaware: DELAWARE (2-1)

Last week: Won @ North Dakota 31-20 (Week 3, had a bye Week 4)

RECAP: Barack Holmes. 

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Literally just a picture of Barack Holmes

This team is as frightening as: Barack Homes being disappointed in you. Fear level: 7

ISU should worry about:...Barack Holmes, if it isn't obvious.

ISU can sleep soundly about: ISU has allowed 72 rushing yards. Total. In 3 games played. (Against 2 pass happy teams and Montana but come oooooooon)

When they play ISU: Holmes will already be a 1,000 yard rusher, or at least he'll break that against ISU.

Next game: @ Northern Iowa (-8.5, which, if I were you, I would bet a lot of money on Delaware)

 

:ysu: YOUNGSTOWN STATE (1-2)

Last week: Beat Montana 31-16

RECAP: Beat Montana.

This team is as frightening as: Being forced to live in Ohio. Fear level: 5.5

ISU should worry about: Road games are always tough, and if ISU is looking ahead to the playoffs this team can sneak up on them and blindside them with a victory.

ISU can sleep soundly about: I don't think this team will be surprised by anybody.

When they play ISU: Not for a loooooooooooong time

Next game: Bye

 

OBJECTS IN THE REARVIEW

:montana: MONTANA (0-16)

Last week: They lost

RECAP: Better luck next week!
Next game: Florida A&M

 

:ucd: UC DAVIS (2-1)

Last week: Won @ James Madison 28-16

RECAP: As stated before, Felix Luck threw for 333 passing yards again, and since he technically threw for 334 against the Redbirds (we're still reviewing the tape to see if he gained a yard accidentally) he has a crisp 1,000 yards this season. The defense looks good, too. These guys will surely be competing for a top playoff spot this season.

Next game: Bye

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