The win over Northern Illinois went better than expected, due almost entirely to the play of each team's QB's.
Both defenses ran the same scheme: stop the run, take their chances that the QB will make mistakes. Arnaud was sharp, and made some really tough throws. One of the INTs was a bad ball, the other a tip at the line. He has clearly improved over the summer, and was able to exploit NIU's secondary. Love seeing the TE involved in the passing game.
ISU was fortunate that NIU's QB was rushing everything, missing throws, and generally a bit out of whack. Not being named the starter until gametime will do that. The fact they made a solid rushing team one-dimensional is a positive sign.
A 9 play, 73 yard drive in the fourth to put the game out of reach was an effort previous Cyclone teams seemed to lack.
By my math, ISU has 6 Red Zone opportunities and came away with 2 TDs and 2 FGs. OK, but that needs to improve to meet the big goals for the year.
A big step up from previous years in both opponent and result.