When: 3 p.m. Sunday
Where: Ralston Arena
Scouting Omaha: Omaha raced out to a 27-0 lead and cruised to a 54-27 victory over winless Kansas a week ago in its home opener (and first game in Ralston Arena). Quarterback James McNear threw for five touchdowns — three to Beau Kildow and two more to Jusmon Rivers — and the Beef rushing game was paced by RJ Rollins’ 71 yards and a touchdown on six carries. Rollins also filled in for Omaha’s injured kicker and was 6 of 8 on extra points. McNear is the league-leader in total offense, averaging 190 yards per game, and is atop the statistics in three passing categories. The Beef defense got in on the fun, too, scoring a pair of second-quarter touchdowns on a fumble recovery in the end zone and an interception return. Through its first two games, Omaha has registered seven interceptions and three defensive touchdowns. Three Beef players (Ozzie Smith, Diezeas Calbert, Matt Hewitt) are tied for first in the Champions Professional Indoor Football League with two interceptions.
Scouting Sioux City: Sioux City is on the road for the third time in its first four games. The Bandits will be in Nebraska for the second straight weekend after beating Lincoln 42-20 nine days ago. Sioux City shut out the Haymakers in the second half, closing the game with 28 of the final 35 points. Quarterback Scott Jensen threw for just 83 yards in the win, but had a pair of touchdown throws, and the Bandit running game contributed 115 yards and four scores — all from different players. Sioux City’s 30 carries on the night are the same amount Omaha has tallied through two games, and its 10 rushing touchdowns are eight more than the Beef. After surrendering 56 points to Bloomington in their season opener, the Bandits have allowed 46 combined points in the two games since.
Plenty to prove: They’re two of the three remaining unbeaten teams, but neither Omaha nor Sioux City has gotten the kind of test yet this year that they’ll have Sunday afternoon. The old Indoor Football League rivals are ranked near the top of every defensive category, but neither has gotten pushed by any of the league’s better teams. All three of Sioux City’s wins have come against teams that went into the game with one win. The opponents in Omaha’s two victories are a combined 1-5. Starting with Sunday’s game, three of Omaha’s next four are against Sioux City and Wichita, former IFL teams that are undefeated entering this weekend.
— Nick Rubek