The undefeated North Dakota State Bison (13-0) host the Illinois State Redbirds (10-4) in the FCS Playoffs quarterfinal at the Fargodome Saturday.
The game is scheduled to start at Noon ET and will be televised on ESPN. If you don’t have cable, you can watch a live stream of the game on your computer, phone, Roku, Fire TV Stick, or other streaming device via one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
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AT&T TV Now (formerly DirecTV Now) offers six different channel bundles. They range from 45 to 125 live TV channels, and they all include ESPN.
Once signed up for AT&T TV Now, you can watch a live stream of NDSU vs Illinois State on your computer via the AT&T TV Now website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, or other compatible streaming device via the AT&T TV app. You can also watch the game on the ESPN app if you sign in using your AT&T TV Now credentials.
If you can’t watch live, AT&T TV Now — no matter what channel package you choose — comes with included cloud DVR.
ESPN is one of 60-plus live TV channels included with Hulu With Live TV, which also comes with Hulu’s extensive on-demand library of TV shows and movies.
Once signed up for Hulu With Live TV, you can watch a live stream of NDSU vs Illinois State on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Echo Show, or other streaming device via the Hulu app. You can also watch the game on the ESPN app if you sign in using your Hulu credentials.
If you can’t watch live, Hulu With Live TV comes with 50 hours of cloud DVR space, as well as the option to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of space and the ability to fast-forward through commercials.
ESPN is one of 30-plus live TV channels included in Sling TV’s “Sling Orange” bundle.
Once signed up for Sling TV, you can watch a live stream of NDSU vs Illinois State on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, or other streaming device via the Sling TV app. You can also watch the game on the ESPN app if you sign in using your Sling TV credentials.
If you can’t watch live, cloud DVR is available as an add-on.
NDSU vs Illinois State Preview
North Dakota State have been particularly difficult to stop over the past few years, and this season has been no exception. Led by freshman quarterback Trey Lance, NDSU has the best offense in the Missouri Valley Conference, putting up 38.9 points per game. Lance has been excellent, throwing for 2,356 yards, 25 touchdowns and no interceptions on the season.
Lance and company will be facing an Illinois State defense that is second in the MVC, allowing 17.9 points a game. Led by defensive end Romeo McKnight, who has 12 sacks on the season, the Redbirds are allowing just 3.7 yards per carry, and they have a solid rush defense. They could get exposed in the passing game, however, as they are giving up over 170 yards receiving per game, which is 5th in the conference.
As for the Redbirds, they have won their first two playoff games on the road to get to this point, and they have done so with solid defense, and by relying on star running back James Robinson. Over the past two games, Robinson has 78 carries for 507 yards and three touchdowns, and he’ll be facing a Bison defense that is allowing 145.5 yards per game (3rd in the MVC) and a conference-low 11.5 points per game.
Illinois State will be mightily tested if and when they decide to throw the ball. NDSU have the best pass defense in the conference, and Redbirds freshman quarterback Bryce Jefferson has just 10 completions in the last two games for 127 yards and a touchdown. Jefferson’s inexperience could hurt the Redbirds in this game, and he’ll need to have a near-perfect performance in this one if Illinois State wants a chance.
This will be just the second time these two teams will meet in a playoff game. The first time they played each other in the playoffs was in 2014, and Carson Wentz was the quarterback for NDSU. The Bison won that game, 29-27. NDSU have won seven straight playoff games at home, and they have won their last eight against Illinois State.
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