[October 21, 2013]NORMAL
-- Illinois State (3-4, 2-2 MVFC) scored more points in the first 25
minutes than it had in an entire game all season, as a 38-point first
half paved the way for a 55-14 victory over Indiana State (1-6, 0-3 MVFC)
Saturday afternoon at Hancock Stadium.
The Redbirds racked up a season-high 475 yards of total offense,
mounting a balanced attack that featured 260 yards on the ground and
215 through the air. Marshaun Coprich posted over 100 yards rushing
for the third consecutive game, totaling a career-high 137 yards on
18 carries. He also equaled his career high with three touchdowns,
giving him a team-leading seven on the season.
Illinois State was
equally efficient through the air, as Blake Winkler went 10-15 for
215 yards and two touchdowns. Anthony Warrum was on the receiving
end of three of those completions and totaled a Redbird
freshman-record 145 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, the Redbirds limited the Sycamores to only 174
yards, while also tallying seven sacks and forcing two turnovers.
Pat Meehan (11), Alex Donnelly (10) and Brandon Westphal (10) all
posted career highs in tackles, and all-American Colton Underwood
tallied two sacks in the victory, his second and third of the
After the Redbird defense forced the Sycamores to punt on the
first possession of the game, the Redbirds struck first with an
eight-play, 64-yard scoring drive that covered 3:50. On the second
play of the drive, Phil Dudley rushed for a career-long 40 yards
down to the Indiana State 21-yard line. Six plays later, Coprich
bowled from 1 yard out to give the Redbirds a 7-0 lead with 8:23
left in the first quarter.
The Redbird defense forced a three-and-out on Indiana State's
next possession to set up the second touchdown of the game. A
33-yard pass from Winkler to Warrum down the right sideline led to a
19-yard touchdown run for Dudley around the right side to make it
14-0 in favor of the Redbirds at the 5:28 mark of the first quarter.
On the second play of the Sycamores' next possession, Dontae
McCoy sacked Sycamore quarterback Robert Tonyan Jr., forcing a
fumble that was recovered by Underwood to set up the Redbird offense
at Indiana State's 12-yard line. On the first play of the drive,
Winkler found Cameron Meredith in the left corner of the end zone
for a 12-yard touchdown pass that extended Illinois State's lead to
21-0 with 4:38 left in the first quarter.
Following another three-and-out, the Redbirds added to their
advantage on a 25-yard field goal by Nick Aussieker with 52 seconds
left in the first quarter. The field goal was set up by a 62-yard
completion from Winkler to Warrum down the middle of the field, the
longest reception of the freshman's career.
Winkler and Warrum connected for a big play again on the
Redbirds' next possession, this time for a 50-yard touchdown,
which made it 31-0 Illinois State with 13:49 left in the second
quarter. The Redbird offense took a more methodical approach on
its next scoring drive, putting together a nine-play, 65-yard
drive that spanned 5:12. On a third-and-1 from the 4-yard line,
Coprich bounced a run to the outside, stiff-armed a defender and
sneaked inside the right pylon for his second touchdown of the
game and a 38-0 Illinois State lead with 5:27 left in the second
Illinois State kept its foot on the accelerator to begin the
second half, as Josh Burch returned the opening kickoff 100 yards
for a touchdown. Burch became the fifth player in program history to
return a kick 100 yards, putting the Redbirds up 45-0 with 14:45
left in the third quarter.
The Sycamores got on the board late in the third quarter, when
Tonyan rushed in from 5 yards out to cap a 10-play, 68-yard scoring
drive that made it 45-7. Illinois State responded on its next drive,
when Coprich ran up the right sideline for a career-long 72-yard
touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter, extending the
Redbirds' lead to 52-7.
On Indiana State's next drive, the Redbird defense put the
offense in good position yet again with its second fumble recovery.
David Perkins forced a fumble with a sack of Tonyan that was
recovered by Underwood on Indiana's 16. Aussieker drilled his second
field goal of the game, this one from 21 yards out, to make it 55-7
Redbirds with 10:22 left.
The Sycamores tacked on another touchdown with 7:58 left to round
out the scoring.
The Redbirds are home again next week for the second of a
three-game homestand, as they welcome South Dakota to Hancock
Stadium for a 1 p.m. kickoff.