Skip to main content

Be afraid? Gophers' Kill compares Eastern Illinois to North Dakota State

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

When North Dakota State strolls into TCF Bank Stadium, Gophers fans get a little nervous.

NDSU isn't on Minnesota's football schedule this fall, but a team that Jerry Kill says is comparable to the three-time defending FCS champs is – Eastern Illinois.

The Panthers, a 12-2 team a year ago, meets the Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium Aug. 28. They have some question marks at quarterback but otherwise bring back the core of a team that nearly played NDSU in last year's national championship game.

“I know our kids understand it,” Kill said Tuesday, according to the Star Tribune. “Of course, you can go back to North Dakota State – you better understand it. North Dakota State beat [Kansas] State last year. So a lot of people don’t understand that in I-AA, they have a lot of good players. Just look at the NFL.”

NDSU has sent a bunch of players to the NFL in recent years. The list below, supplied by ESPN.com, doesn't include Brock Jensen, the man who quarterbacked the Bison to three straight national championships. Jensen has been waived twice this summer by the Miami Dolphins, according to the Fargo Forum.

Eastern Illinois has a question mark at the quarterback position because last year's starter, Jimmy Garoppolo, is now Tom Brady's backup in New England. Towson, the team that lost to NDSU in the title game after beating Eastern Illinois in the quarterfinals, was led by running back Terrance West, who has a chance to get ample playing time with the Cleveland Browns.

The Panthers are ranked No. 16 in the Sports Network Top 25 preseason poll, according to the Panthers' website.

The Gophers are 2-1 against FCS opponents under Kill. Here's a reminder of their loss to NDSU in 2011.

Next Up

2 (3)

Focus is on family fitness at this year’s Twin Cities Marathon

Don’t miss out on the running, racing and all the fun things to do for the whole family

Screen Shot 2022-08-18 at 2.29.47 PM

Family's tributes to mother killed by partner in St. Paul murder-suicide

The 30-year-old was killed by her partner, who then killed himself.

FatalEaganCrashSceneAug18

Eagan man killed after crashing into traffic signal

The 30-year-old crashed into a traffic light early Wednesday morning.

Melvin Carter

What's in Mayor Melvin Carter's budget proposal?

Here's what the St. Paul mayor is putting his focus on for the upcoming year.

WCCO building

Digital, streaming employees at WCCO-TV vote to unionize

The 15 employees will join on-air talent and producers as members of the SAG-AFTRA union.

unnamed-3

Police arrest man suspected of sexual assault, weapons threat in Eagan

The investigation prompted a SWAT response in an Eagan neighborhood on Tuesday.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for the week ending Tuesday, August 16

The latest reporting period averaged just under 1,300 new cases per day.

USATSI_12923669

Jason and Carly Zucker sell Edina home for $4.18M

The property was bought in 2020, months after Jason Zucker was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Legacy Lot Random (1 of 6)

Gallery: Luxury living is par for the course here

Cragun’s Golf Resort Communities Offer Stunning Views Along with Resort-Style Living

Related