No. 22 Redbirds Shut Down No. 9
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[October 06, 2014]
NORMAL - A season-high 10,919 fans
watched junior running back Marshaun Coprich rush for a career-high 174
yards and four touchdowns, as No. 22-ranked Illinois State (4-0, 1-0
MVFC) rolled to a 45-10 victory over No. 9 South Dakota State (3-2, 0-1
MVFC) on Homecoming Saturday at Hancock Stadium.
Coprich remained red-hot to begin the season, rushing for
100-plus yards for the fourth-consecutive game, to give him a
Missouri Valley Football Conference leading 10 rushing touchdowns.
Junior quarterback Tre Roberson threw for 168 yards and one
touchdown, and ran for 151 more, to help the top offense in the
league notch 499 total yards.
After both teams’ opening drives ended in punts, Illinois State’s
stifling defense came alive, forcing the Jackrabbits to turn the
ball over on their next three drives. The Redbirds scored a
touchdown after each turnover to jump out to a 21-0 lead. Junior
David Perkins got the ball rolling, forcing a fumble and then
recovering another one, both of which led to Coprich rushing
The next turnover came courtesy of an interception by sophomore
linebacker Oshay Dunmore, on a pass intended for SDSU senior wide
out Jason Schneider. Once again, Coprich capitalized for the
Redbirds on a fourth-and-goal situation, leaping over the
Jackrabbits’ defensive line and recording his third touchdown of the
day to make the score 21-0 at the end of the first quarter. The
Redbirds continued the scoring on their next drive with a 25-yard
field goal from senior kicker Nick Aussieker, aided by a 62-yard
Coprich run, extending the ISU lead to 24-0 early in the second
The Jackrabbits finally got on the board courtesy of a 15-play drive
that milked more than nine minutes off the clock. Senior SDSU kicker
Justin Syrovatka split the uprights from the Redbird five-yard line
to make the score 24-3. South Dakota State would not hold onto the
momentum for long, though, as Redbird senior Tevin Allen took the
ensuing kickoff from the 5-yard line and sprinted down the left
sideline nearly untouched for a 95-yard kick return touchdown to
extend the lead to 31-3. The Redbirds closed out the half with a
another touchdown, thanks to a 28-yard pass from Roberson to senior
wide receiver Cameron Meredith, giving the Redbirds a 38-3 lead
going into break.
[to top of second column]
Illinois State received the ball to begin the second half and picked
up right where it left off before halftime. Roberson found his
favorite target, senior wide out Lechein Neblett, on a 41-yard
connection to set up Coprich’s fourth touchdown of the day, a
five-yard scoring run that widened the lead to 45-3.
The only hiccups from the Redbirds came on a third-quarter
interception from Roberson and a Coprich fumble. The Jackrabbits
were able to convert one of the Redbird turnovers into points when
SDSU sophomore quarterback Zach Lujan hit redshirt freshman Jake
Wieneke for a 26-yard touchdown pass, making the score 45-10 in
favor of the Redbirds.
The win on Saturday marked the ninth consecutive home victory for
the Redbirds, the team’s longest such streak since a run from 1998
to 2000. The Redbirds will play their first away game of the season
next weekend when they travel to Terre Haute, Indiana, to take on
the nationally-ranked Sycamores of Indiana State at 2 p.m.
[Michael Williams, Illinois State
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