Northern Iowa at Iowa State, Saturday at 2 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
Line: No line, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Iowa State leads 24-6-3.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The Cyclones are a mystery in the wake of the state gambling investigation that has led to criminal charges against five projected starters, including quarterback Hunter Dekkers, and left their eligibility in jeopardy. Even if everyone were available, expectations were low for the Cyclones. Coach Matt Campbell's charge is to mitigate the damage. Northern Iowa is known for playing the Cyclones close, and this is a big opportunity to steal a win.
Iowa State offensive line vs. Northern Iowa defensive line. Campbell hired away Ryan Clanton from UNI to coach an offensive line that struggled last season and is under more pressure than usual with so many moving pieces among the skilled positions. Khristian Boyd is an NFL prospect on a Panthers defensive line that brought back lots of experience.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Northern Iowa: Theo Day passed for 3,121 yards and 26 touchdowns and made All-Missouri Valley Conference first team in one of the best seasons by a UNI quarterback.
Iowa State: T.J. Tampa, Pro Football Focus' top returning Big 12 cornerback, will get a good opening test with Day on the other side and having three of the top four 2022 receivers back.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Cyclones have won three straight against the Panthers, with the last two meetings being decided by a total of nine points. ... UNI is ranked No. 20 in the FCS preseason coaches' poll. ... ISU's defense has held 15 straight opponents under 400 yards, the second-longest streak in the nation. ... Cyclones have won 14 straight when leading at half and are 35-5 when up at half under Campbell. ... UNI's Woo Governor is one of the top returning defensive backs in the FCS after intercepting four passes and breaking up seven last season.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll