POCATELLO, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) The Bengals can laugh about their 31-0 loss to Utah because they know it is not a true indicator of their identity as an FCS team.
Their first test comes this week as the Bengals face fellow FCS school Northern Iowa as part of the Big Sky/Missouri Valley Challenge. It will mark the first meeting between the two schools since 1992.
Head coach Rob Phenicie said, "these are the teams we should be playing. We should be playing this game. And it's good to be playing these I-AA games. Way better than a lot of the other things, so good competition. A well coached team. They are going to play hard. Great atmosphere. Great fans. And we're looking forward to it."
The Bengals say they learned a lot from playing Utah, but for them, it's about to get real.
Offensive lineman Dakota Wilson said, "this is really where our season starts is this game. This has playoff implications for us. It's a game where we are finally evenly matched, because our first two games, don't really matter as much now."
"We love this competition. This is what we've been working for. This is really going to prove what we want to prove. We want to be in the playoffs and this is our first chance to really show it," defensive back Anthony Ricks added.
The Bengals now 1-1, will take the trip to Cedar Falls, Iowa for their match-up against the Panthers on Saturday.
Kick-off slated for 3 p.m.