The North Dakota State Bison (5-1) will take on the Northern Iowa Panthers (3-3) in a big Missouri Valley Football Conference showdown Saturday.
Note: Heavy may earn an affiliate commission if you sign up via a link on this page
The game (5 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on TV anywhere, but anyone in the US can watch North Dakota State vs Northern Iowa football live on ESPN+ right here:
Watch on ESPN+
ESPN+ will have coverage of all Missouri Valley, OVC, Southern and Southland football games this spring, as well as live college basketball, UFC, international soccer, tennis, dozens of other live sports, every 30-for-30 documentary, and additional original content (both video and written) all for $5.99 per month.
Or, if you also want Disney+ and Hulu, you can get all three for $13.99 per month, which works out to over 30 percent savings:
Get the ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu Bundle
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch North Dakota State vs Northern Iowa live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet.
You can also watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
North Dakota State vs Northern Iowa Preview
After its lone loss on the season to Southern Illinois, North Dakota State has won three in a row, including a dominant 34-13 drubbing of North Dakota on March 20. Bison quarterback Zeb Noland had his typical shaky performance, going 5-13 for 127 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, but also per usual, the ground game was on point.
The Bison lead the MVFC with 218.8 yards rushing per game, and their depth in the running backs room has been a big reason why. Hunter Luepke ran for 190 yards on 28 carries, racking up three scores in the process — in his first appearance of the season — while Dominic Gonnella chipped in 12 carries for 83 yards in a solid supporting role.
NDSU saw its game against South Dakota State postponed last week after the team had a few positive COVID-19 cases, and now, Matt Entz and company are looking to get back in the rhythm of playing again after the additional break.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re as healthy as we can and eliminate any hot spots or issues that could come back and nip us later in the week,” Entz said. “We’re trying to be as proactive and honest with our team as we can…We could have another positive test. I get the guys for four hours a day, 20 hours a week. What they do in the other hours of the week – you hope to educate them so they make the right decisions when they’re not around you.”
On the other side, Northern Iowa last played two weeks ago, when it handed Western Illinois a 34-20 loss. Quarterback Justin Fomby went 15-23 for 218 yards and a touchdown, while running backs Tyler Hoosman and Dom Williams combined for 153 yards on 26 carries, with Hoosman scoring twice in the victory.
The Panthers played without starting quarterback Will McElvain, who was out adhering to COVID-19 protocols. McElvain should be back under center against NDSU, per head coach Mark Farley.
“In this conversation, I’d say Will is the quarterback unless something shows up that I’m not aware of or something rears its head that’s something we’ve got to be conscious of,” Farley said, adding: “I would project that Will would be the starter.”
The Panthers haven’t won back-to-back games all season, and they’ll be facing a daunting task against a powerhouse like North Dakota State. Still, that big break for the Bison could come back to bite them, particularly if the Panthers come out swinging hard for four quarters.
NDSU has won six straight against Northern Iowa and leads the all-time series, 27-26.