SETTING THE STAGE
The fifth season of the Trent Miles era continues on Saturday, Sept. 22, as the No. 22 Sycamores open Missouri Valley Football Conference play against South Dakota State. Saturday's game is set for a 2:05 p.m. (ET) kickoff at Memorial Stadium (12,794). The game will be broadcast live world-wide on Sycamore Vision with Brian Fritz (pbp) and Tom James (color) on the call. The game will also air live on WIBQ (98.5 FM), with Fritz and James calling the action for the Nelligan Sports Marketing Radio Network. Action can be heard live worldwide on GoSycamores.com.
GAMEDAY CENTRAL PRESENTED BY PEPSI/WHITE OUT THE JACKRABBITS
This edition of Indiana State Football Gameday Central is presented by Pepsi Refreshment Services. Pepsi will be on hand to give away 500 free white t-shirts to the first fans inside Memorial Stadium on Saturday. All fans are encouraged to wear white to the game in order to help White Out The Jackrabbits.
THE SOUTH DAKOTA STATE SERIES
Indiana State and South Dakota State are meeting for the fifth time on the gridiron and the all-time series is knotted at two wins each. The Sycamores have won each of the last two meetings, grabbing a 41-30 victory at home in 2010 and downing the Jackrabbits 38-28 on the road last season to capture the 2011 Beef Bowl title.
INDIANA STATE: Trent Miles (Indiana State ‘87)
- Overall: 15-33 (5th Season)
- at Indiana State: 15-33 (5th Season)
- vs. SDSU: 2-2
- vs. Missouri Valley Football Conference: 9-23
SDSU: John Stiegelmeier (SDSU, ‘79)
- Overall: 95-73 (16th Season)
- at SDSU: 95-73 (16th Season)
- vs. Indiana State: 2-2
- vs. Missouri Valley Football Conference: 22-11
- The Indiana State defense has allowed just one offensive touchdown to the opposition in its last nine quarters of action.
- Shakir Bell set the MVFC and ISU single-game rushing record with his 349 yard outburst against Drake on September 15. His 349 yards are also the eighth-best single-game rushing total in the history of FCS football and that total is the highest by anyone in all levels of college football through the first three weeks of the season.
- The Sycamores are opening up their 27th season of Missouri Valley Football Conference play on Saturday against South Dakota State and are 7-19 in conference lidlifters. ISU is 7-7 when opening up league play inside Memorial Stadium. Indiana State won its conference opener at home against Youngstown State in 2011 and have opened MVFC play with a victory in consecutive seasons since 1994 & 1995.
An Indiana State Win Over South Dakota State Would ...
• Give the Sycamores a 3-1 start to the season for the second consecutive season.
• Improve the Sycamores to 3-2 all-time against South Dakota State and give them three consecutive victories in the series.
• Improve the Sycamores to 8-19 all-time in MVFC openers, including an 8-7 mark when opening league play at home.
• Give the Sycamores consecutive league opening victories for just the second time in the history of the program and the first since 1994 & 1995.
The Indiana State Head Coach
Indiana State head coach Trent Miles (Indiana State, 1987) is 15-33 (.313) overall in his fifth season as a head coach, all with the Sycamores. He is 9-23 all-time in MVFC games, including a 6-10 mark at home and a 3-13 mark on the road. During his career, he is 11-13 in all home games, 4-20 on the road and 3-3 in games decided by three points or less. Miles is 2-2 all-time against South Dakota State, and is 1-1 against the Jackrabbits inside Memorial Stadium. With the Trees, Miles is 1-2 in overtime games, and 1-5 in shutouts. Saturday's game is Trent Miles' 49th as Indiana State head coach.
The South Dakota State Head Coach
South Dakota State is led by 16th-year head coach John Stiegelmeier, who is 95-73 at the Brookings, S.D., school. He is 2-2 all-time against Indiana State and is 1-1 versus the Sycamores at Memorial Stadium. Stiegelmeier owns a 22-11 record against the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
Scouting The Jackrabbits
South Dakota State finished 2-1 in the non-conference portion of their schedule as they dropped their season opener at Kansas by a 31-17 mark then picked up a 31-14 victory at Southeastern Louisiana and downed UC-Davis 12-8 in their home opener last week. SDSU is led by running back Zach Zenner who rushed for 197 yards and two touchdowns against UC Davis. Zenner has topped the 100-yard mark in all three games this season and leads the FCS ranks with a 219.3 rushing yards per game average.
A Little History
This marks the 108th season of football at Indiana State, dating back to 1896. The University did not field teams from 1899 to 1900, 1908 or from 1910 to 1919. ISU owns an all-time record of 353-475-22 and is competing for the 27th consecutive season as a member of the MVFC.
Indiana State's game against South Dakota State can be seen world wide on Sycamore Vision which is a pay-per-view web stream service provided by GoSycamores.com. Subscription information can be found at GoSycamores.com.
For MVFC Openers
Indiana State opens its 27th consecutive season as a member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference and owns a 7-19 record in conference lidlifters. When the MVFC opener is held at Memorial Stadium, the Sycamores are 7-7. ISU opened the 2009 MVFC schedule at South Dakota State, falling 41-0 to the Jackrabbits.
Bell Sets MVFC & ISU Rushing Records In Victory Over Drake
Indiana State junior running back Shakir Bell etched his name in both the Missouri Valley Football Conference and Indiana State record books yet again on September 15 when he gained 349 yards on the ground to set both the school and conference single-game rushing record against Drake. For his efforts, Bell was named both the MVFC Offensive Player Of The Week and The Sports Network National Offensive Player Of The Week. His 349-yard rushing effort is the highest single-game total so far this season for both FBS and FCS and is the eighth-highest total ever in FCS history. His 203.3 rushing yards per game average ranks second in the FCS to South Dakota State's Zach Zenner. Senior center Evan Borchers, who laid key blocks for Bell during the game was named the MVFC Offensive Lineman Of The Week as well.
Shakir Bell Moving Up On The ISU Career Rushing Charts
After 25 games of his career, junior tailback Shakir Bell has moved into ISU's top four for career rushing yards with his 2,929 career total. Bell current sits 302 yards behind Derrick Franklin for third on the all-time list. Bell has reached 100 yards rushing in 14 of his 25 career games and his 349 yards against Drake are a new MVFC and ISU school record while his 192 yards against Indiana were the most ever by a Sycamore in a season opener and the seventh-best rushing mark for Bell in a single game during his career. Vincent Allen (4,335 yards from 1973-77) and David Wright (4,181 yards from 1992-95) also sit ahead of Bell on the ISU all-time career rushing list.
Bell Sets Season Opener School Record For Rushing At Indiana
Indiana State junior tailback Shakir Bell rushed for 192 yards on 24 attempts with a touchdown and added four pass receptions for 31 yards as the Sycamores narrowly fell 24-17 at Indiana, of the Big Ten Conference. Bell's 192 yards are a new school record for the Sycamores for most rushing yards in a season opening contest surpassing the previous standard of 160 yards set in 2010 by Darrius Gates. Bell got the Sycamores on the scoreboard during their second drive when he burst through the line untouched for a 54-yard scoring rush for the quick 7-0 advantage. Bell was actively involved in the passing game as well as he amassed 15 of his 31 yards through the air on one single screen pass. The 192 yards rushing was the 13th 100-yard rushing effort of his career and marked his sixth highest single-game total during his 23 game career. His 223 all purpose yards in the games led all players in the game.
Shakir Bell Named To Walter Payton Award Watch List
Indiana State junior running back Shakir Bell is among 20 student-athletes selected by The Sports Network for the publication's 2012 Walter Payton Award Watch List. The Walter Payton Award is presented following the season to the nation's most outstanding player at the Football Championship Subdivision level. Bell tied for second for the prestigious award following his standout sophomore season, a year that saw the Indianapolis, Ind., native led the nation with 1,670 rushing yards. The Warren Central High School product was named to the FCS Preseason All-America First Team by The Sports Network earlier this week. Bell averaged 151.8 yards per game on the ground and broke the school record for single-game rushing yards last season when he racked up 256 yards and four touchdowns in Indiana State's 37-35 win over Youngstown State on Sept. 24, 2011. The 2011 Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Year tallied 14 touchdowns in 2011, breaking the school record for single-season rushing yards (1,670) and posted the eighth-best total in MVFC history.
Sycamores Going For Back-To-Back 3-1 Starts
Indiana State has started the season with a 2-1 record for the second consecutive season and can make it 3-1 for the second year in a row with a victory over South Dakota State this weekend in a game that will cap off a three-game homestand. With the 27-10 victory over Drake, the Sycamores have now won five consecutive home games against non-conference opponents dating back to 2010.
Defense Shining Too; Have Allowed Just One Touchdown In Last Nine Quarters
The Sycamore defense has been outstanding so far this season, allowing just 34 points over the first three games, including the program's first shutout since 1996 with the 44-0 victory over Quincy. ISU has allowed just one offensive touchdown to the opposition in the last nine quarters of action.
Fritschle Has Field Goals To Close First Half In All Three Games This Season
Indiana State sophomore kicker Tanner Fritschle has been very effective at the kicking position this year, hitting 6-of-7 field goal attempts and is a perfect 10-of-10 on PAT's so far through three contests. Fritschle's lone miss came against Drake when a season-long, 46-yard attempt sailed wide right. Fritschle did connect on a 21-yard field goal as the first half expired, giving the Washington, Ind., native a field goal as the clock has reached 0:00 heading into the half in all three games so far this season.
Aaron Archie & Jacolby Washington Anchoring Defense
Indiana State seniors Aaron Archie and Jacolby Washington paced the team with 14 total tackles each in the Sycamores' 27-10 victory over Drake. Archie leads the team with 37 total tackles on the year while Washington is right behind him with 36 total stops. Both own a 12.0 tackles per game average which leads the MVFC and is a mark that is tied for eighth nationally.
Underwood Has Coming Out Party Against Drake
Indiana State redshirt freshman defensive end Connor Underwood had a breakout performance for the Sycamores as they defeated Drake 27-10 on Saturday inside Memorial Stadium. Underwood tallied four total tackles, including first career quarterback sack and three tackles for losses. He added a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry to his tally.
Lucas Hileman Averages Over 50 Yards Per Punt Against Drake
Indiana State senior punter Lucas Hileman punted three times for 152 yards, averaging 50.7 yards per punt as the Sycamores downed Drake 27-10 inside Memorial Stadium. Hileman's long boot of 56 yards helped pin the Bulldogs inside their own 20-yard line. So far this season, the Sycamores lead the MVFC with a 43.9 yard net punting average, a number which also ranks third nationally.
Offense and Defense Highly Ranked Nationally
The Indiana State offense is churning ouot 425.33 yards of total offense per game mwhich ranks 24th natonally while the Sycamore defense is allow just 312.33 yards per game which is 31st. The Sycamores are giving up an average of 11.33 points per game, which ranks second in the league to defending national champion North Dakota State and is the fifth-best mark nationally.
Sycamores Successful Running The Ball And Stopping Opponents
Paced by the play of junior Shakir Bell, who ranks second nationally with a 203.33 rushing yards per game average, the Sycamore ground game is averaging 260.33 yards per game, which tops the MVFC and is ranked ninth nationally. Meanwhile the Sycamore defense is allowing just 95.67 yards per game on the ground, which is third in the league and ranks in a tie for 20th-best in FCS.
Ben Obaseki Named To Buck Buchanan Award Watch List
Indiana State senior defensive lineman Ben Obaseki is one of 20 players nationally to be named to the 2012 Buck Buchanan Award Watch List as announced by The Sports Network. The Buck Buchanan Award is awarded annually at the FCS Awards Banquet during NCAA FCS Championship weekend to the nation's top FCS defensive player. Earlier this month, Shakir Bell was named to the Walter Payton Award Watch List, which goes to the top offensive player in FCS. Bell finished tied for second in last season's voting as a sophomore. Last season, Obaseki was named a First Team All-American by the Associated Press and was a First Team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference performer. He finished third in the league's Defensive Player of the Year voting after leading the Sycamores with 7.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss, which tied for second and third in the MVFC, respectively, in those categories. He posted 22 total tackles against Western Illinois on October 15 which is the most by a defensive lineman in the history of the MVFC. Obaseki also plays fullback in goal line situations as he scored five touchdowns last season on five rushing attempts. Obaseki was also a First Team All-MVFC performer as sophomore in 2010.
National Respect In The Top 25 Polls
Indiana State is ranked No. 22 in this week's The Sports Network Top 25 poll while they moved back into the FCS Coaches Poll with this week's No. 25 ranking. Indiana State was nationally ranked in the FCS Polls for a school record eight consecutive weeks in 2011. ISU has been in all four polls from The Sports Network in 2012 and debuted in The FCS Coaches Poll during the preseason and are in for the second time this week.
Bringing Back Memories Of "The Fridge"
The Sycamores' senior defensive end Ben Obaseki found the end zone for the seventh time of his career on the offensive side of the football when he plunged in from one yard out in the 2012 home opener against Quincy. Obaseki has seven career rushes to his credit - all leading to Sycamore touchdowns.
Sycamores With Back To Back Winning Seasons
Indiana State has finished 6-5 in each of the last two seasons to record winning ledgers in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 1995 & 1996 campaigns. With a winning mark in 2012, the Sycamores would post at least three consecutive winning records for the first time since a span of six seasons from 1964 to 1969.
Six Sycamores Named To Preseason All-MVFC Squad
A total of six Sycamores were named to the 2012 Missouri Valley Football Conference Preseason Team while Indiana State has been picked to finish fifth in the newly expanded 10-team league, according to a preseason poll of MVFC head coaches, beat writers, radio announcers and sports information directors. Senior Ben Obaseki and junior Shakir Bell, who have both earned Preseason All-America honors and have been named to the Buck Buchanan and Walter Payton Award Watch Lists, respectively, were each named to the MVFC Preseason Team. Senior offensive lineman FN Lutz, who is recovering from a knee injury sustained at the Spring Game, was named to the preseason squad as well. On defense, Obaseki is joined by senior linebackers Aaron Archie and Jacolby Washington. Senior Lucas Hileman, who joined the team two weeks into 2011, was named to the MVFC Preseason Team as the punter.
Sycamores Against The Missouri Valley Football Conference
Indiana State is in its 27th season as a member of the MVFC. ISU's first season as a league member came in 1986 when it went 1-5 through a six-game league schedule. The Sycamores are 46-115 in MVFC contests and have won seven of their last 14 league matchups, marking the first time since the 2002 season that an ISU team has won multiple league contests over a similar stretch.
FN Lutz Nominated For 2011 All-State AFCA Good Works Team
Indiana State senior offensive lineman FN Lutz is one of 117 nominees nationwide for the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team as announced today by the national coaches' organization. In 2011, Lutz was named both First Team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference as well as First Team MVFC All-Academic following a season that saw him start all 11 games at center. He spearheaded an Indiana State rushing attack that averaging 181.9 yards per game as well as a league-leading 5.3 yards per carry. He was an Honorable Mention All-MVFC pick in 2010 as a sophomore. Lutz is joined by Colton Underwood of Illinois State, Billy Turner of North Dakota State, Bo Helm of South Dakota State and Kyle Bernard of Northern Iowa as representatives of the Missouri Valley Football Conference. As one of college football's most prestigious off-the-field honors, the award recognizes a select group of college football players committed to making a difference in their communities. Since 1992, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® has shown a spotlight on the countless "good works" and remarkable stories of service by student-athletes at all levels of college football competition. Award recipients represent the sport's finest in terms of character and leadership in the community.
The Sycamores have played in 12 overtime contests since the rule was established for regular season games in the NCAA FCS Subdivision in 1996. The Sycamores are 7-5 in games that have used an extra period. ISU's last overtime contest came in the form of a 38-35 victory against Missouri State in the sixth game of the 2010 season.
The Sycamores will continue MVFC league play with a road contest at Southern Illinois on Saturday, September 29 in a game that will be televised world-wide on ESPN3. Kick-off from Carbondale, Ill., is set for 7:00 p.m. (ET).