Football has finally arrived for South Dakota State and Northern Iowa as they face off on Friday to kick off the Football Championship Subdivision season.
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The game (8 p.m. ET start time) will be televised locally on My UTV/CW/Panther SN, but if you don’t have those channels or you don’t live locally, anyone in the US can watch South Dakota State vs Northern Iowa football live on ESPN+ right here:
ESPN+ will have coverage of most Missouri Valley, OVC, Southern, Big South and other FCS football games this spring, as well as live college basketball, UFC, international soccer, Australian Open 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 $12.99 per month, which works out to about 31 percent savings:
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch South 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.
South Dakota State vs Northern Iowa Preview
There’s no easing into the season for South Dakota State and Northern Iowa. The two squads are both preseason top 10 FCS squads and will get a big measuring stick matchup after more than a year between seasons.
While many college football programs pushed ahead in the fall, FCS schools — previously known as Division I-AA — choose to move their seasons to the spring due to COVID-19 concerns.
“I can’t be more excited,” UNI defensive tackle Jared Brinkman told the Des Moines Register. “I told the guys (recently), I was in class — thinking about playing — and I about had a heart attack. I had to cool myself off a little bit. I was just getting amped up.”
Teams are preparing in a variety of ways for the games, including learning lessons from the fall. One thing UNI coach Mark Farley is doing is making sure his depth chart is established enough to deal with any issues COVID-19 might bring.
“That’s been an emphasis through all of fall camp,” Farley said, “making sure our depth chart and our personnel are structured in such a way that guys can play multiple positions and we can stay within our package of offense, defense or special teams. Whether something changes via injury or COVID, there’s going to be a lot of adjusting going on as this season progresses.
“We’re going to have to control their energy, because they want to play,” Farley added. “Then we’re going to have to adapt to the speed of the game as it unfolds, because we haven’t played in a while. Then we’re going to have to sustain and make adjustments on the sidelines that will factor in with how we finish.”
It’s the third time in four games overall that the Jackrabbits will have faced UNI, dating back to the 2019 season. The game is a rematch of a playoff matchup between the two squads last season in which Iowa upended the Jackrabbits 13-10 in a defensive battle. The Panthers were shutout by James Madison the following week.
STATS PERFORM FCS Poll
1 North Dakota State (1-0)
2 James Madison (0-0)
3 UNI (0-0)
4 Weber State (0-0)
5 South Dakota State (0-0)
6 Montana State (0-0)
7 Montana (0-0)
8 Villanova (0-0)
9 Illinois State (0-0)
10 Kennesaw State (0-0)
11 Central Arkansas (5-4)
12 Sacramento State (0-0)
13 Austin Peay (0-3)
14 Nicholls (0-0)
15 Furman (0-0)
16 Wofford (0-0)
17 Albany (0-0)
18 Eastern Washington (0-0)
19 North Carolina A&T (0-0)
20 New Hampshire (0-0)
21 Southeastern Louisiana (0-0)
22 Sam Houston (0-0)
23 Monmouth (0-0)
24 Southern Illinois (1-0)
25 Southeast Missouri State (0-1)