Brady Davis continues to underwhelm
As a redshirt senior many expect Davis to be a veteran leader on the offense, but Davis has generally been unable to produce since taking over as starting quarterback.
After being named to the Missouri Valley Football Conference Newcomer team of the year in 2018. Last season Davis began to regress, and a second ACL tear is likely not helping matters.
In the Redbirds latest scrimmage, Davis threw for just 23 yards on 5-14 passing while adding an interception to a pick-six from last week's scrimmage. Davis never looked comfortable while facing constant pressure and took three sacks.
While it seems unlikely, Illinois State University should consider giving snaps to Bryce Jefferson. The sophomore showed flashes of talent during last season's playoff run. The younger quarterback leads ISU quarterbacks with 74 yards on an efficient 8-of-12 passing with no interceptions.
The defense will continue to be a catalyst
It is no secret that the Redbirds defense led them to the Football Chmpionship Subdivision Playoffs quarterfinals last season.
With ISU's top running back, James Robinson, graduated the Redbirds will be weaker on the offensive side of the ball. But the defense appears to be up to the challenge.
Led by nose tackle John Ridgeway and linebacker Zeke Vandenberg, the defense allowed just 141 total yards while racking up 94 yards in tackles for loss against their counterparts. The defense has also had an interception and a fumble through two scrimmage games.
The offensive line looks shaky
ISU's offensive line is led by All-American and NFL prospect Drew Himmelman, but despite this, I have reason to be concerned about the Redbirds offensive line unit.
ISU quarterbacks have seen a lot of pressure over two weeks. Already the defense has racked up 14 sacks while putting constant pressure on the quarterback.
Communication seems to be an issue early Redbird centers sent three wayward snaps this week resulting in Davis and Jefferson having to fall on the ball on three occasions.
A usually solid rush block from a season also underwhelmed. After having one of the strongest running games in the MVFC last year, ISU was able to notch 77 yards against their own defense.