HAUTE, Ind. - After a Homecoming victory over Western
Illinois this past Saturday, the Indiana State football team moved up in both
national polls, with several members of the team earning national weekly
In the FCS Coaches Top 25 Poll, Indiana State jumped up five spots to No. 16 this week, their highest national ranking of the season to this point. ISU is slotted behind William & Mary at No. 15 and ahead of Towson at No. 17. Northern Iowa (No. 2) and North Dakota State (No. 5) both remained steady in their previous rankings, with Illinois State, South Dakota State, Southern Illinois and Youngstown State all receiving votes. Indiana State (five spots) and Towson (six spots) tallied the biggest jumps in rankings this week.
In The Sports Network / Fathead.com Top 25 poll, the Sycamores moved up four spots from last week, sitting at No. 17 this week. ISU sits behind Delaware, who fell from No. 9 and ahead on Richmond, who moved up from No. 20. Within the MVFC, Northern Iowa remains at No. 2 in the polls, earning 18 of the 157 first-place votes. North Dakota State moved up one spot to No. 3 this week, picking up nine first-place votes. Illinois State and Southern Illinois are both receiving votes in the poll to round of the MVFC.
The weekly postings of the College Football Performance Awards and The Sports Network National Awards both highlighted the weekend performance of junior defensive end Ben Obaseki, who earned National Defensive Player of the Week honors from both publications. Obaseki also earned National Defensive Lineman of the Week from CFPA, with senior tight end Alex Jones and sophomore running back Shakir Bell picking up awards as well.
Obaseki recorded 22 tackles, three sacks and five tackles for loss of Saturday, as the junior from Washington, Ind., fell just three tackles short of tying the school record for single-game stops. Obaseki's 22 tackles are also tied for the third most in the MVFC in a single game in the past 10 years, and is believed to be the most ever by a defensive lineman in a league game. Obaseki shared both awards with Marcus Hyde of William & Mary, who recorded five tackles for loss and six sacks against New Hampshire.
Jones was named National Tight End of the Week, coming off his 119 receiving yards and two touchdown catches against Western Illinois. Both of Jones' scoring catches came when the Leathernecks were within one score of tying or taking the lead over the Sycamores, as senior Ronnie Fouch hit Jones for an 80-yard reception in the first half before connecting on a 39-yard TD in the second half. The Centerville, Ind., product shared the award with Southern Illinois' MyCole Pruitt, who caught eight passes for 124 yards against Youngstown State.
Bell received Honorable Mention for National Running Back of the Week, after tallying 213 rushing yards with three touchdowns on 21 carries. The sophomore from Indianapolis, Ind., became the quickest Sycamore to reach 1,000 rushing yards for the season, using just seven games this season to push his total to 1,125 for the year. Vincent Allen had been the fastest to the milestone, using eight games during his freshman season in 1974. Jonathan Grimes of William & Mary was named the national winner, racking up 323 all-purpose yards (169 rushing, 126 receiving, 28 kickoff return) against New Hampshire.
In this week's national FCS statistics, Bell currently sits atop the nation with a 160.7 yards per game average. Cory McCaffrey of Portland State sits in second at 146.2 yards per contest. Junior Aaron Archie, senior Alex Sewall and junior Jacolby Washington are all ranked in the top 20 for tackles per game, with Archie in seventh (11.71 per game), Sewall in 14 th (11.14 per game) and Washington in 16th (10.86 per game).
The Sycamores hit the road for their next game, a nationally-televised game against the Redbirds of Illinois State this Saturday, Oct. 22. The battle of the ISUs of the MVFC takes place at 2:00 p.m. (ET) in Normal, Ill., and can be seen live on ESPN3.com.