This again? Yes, this again.
These are facts about Iowa and Illinois State’s football teams, and they are fun. If you dispute that, I must warn you I have the support of the National Football League Players Association and.
1. Iowa is 12-0 against FCS opponents.
2. Illinois State is 0-8 against Big Ten teams and has been outscored 381-80 in those games.
3. The Redbirds have won one of their last two games (vs. Eastern Michigan in 2012) against FBS teams. They have also won one of their last 20 games against FBS teams.
4. Illinois State outscored opponents in the first quarter last season by a total of 133-37.
5. One hundred years ago, Iowa opened its season with a 33-0 win over Cornell College in Iowa City. Illinois State lost 7-0 to Millikin in Decatur, Ill.
6. Illinois State offensive coordinator Kurt Beathard is the uncle of Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard. Kurt once played for the Washington Commandos of the Arena Football League.
7. Redbirds offensive line coach Dan Clark is the brother of former Iowa tight end Dallas Clark. Dan was an Iowa graduate assistant coach from 2007 to 2009.
8. Illinois State’s average home crowd last season was 9,185. Iowa’s was 67,512. One number will go up this year and one will go down.
9. Iowa has gone 56 straight games without a missed or blocked PAT kick, the longest such streak in the nation.
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10. Iowa has two receivers on its two-deep depth chart named Smith, senior Tevaun Smith and freshman Jerminic Smith. Last year, the Baltimore Ravens’ two top receivers were Steve Smith and Torrey Smith. Torrey is now with the San Francisco 49ers.
11. Illinois State starting punter Reece Attard is from Australia. So are the No. 1 punters at Ohio State (Cameron Johnston), Penn State (Daniel Pasquariello), and possibly Michigan (Blake O’Neill, a graduate transfer from Weber State).
12. Erin Brown is the director of football operations at Illinois State. When she was hired a year ago, she was believed to be just one of five women who held the role in the 250 or so Division I football programs in the U.S.
13. Illinois State is located in Normal, the home of the minor league baseball’s Normal CornBelters. The Cornbelters are the Frontier League’s West Division champions. Naturally, they play in the Corn Crib. Ozzie Guillen was their substitute manager Wednesday night when they defeated the Evansville Otters.
14. Normal sounds like it ought to be a normal place. For somewhere completely different, I recommend Uncertain, Texas.