TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Indiana State junior Tanner Riley has been named the National Kickoff Returner Of The Week by the College Football Performance Awards for his efforts as part of the Homecoming victory over Missouri State on October 6.
Riley answered a Missouri State first quarter touchdown with a 93-yard kickoff return for a score to even the game at 7-7 en route to the 31-17 triumph over the Bears.
His kickoff return was the first for a TD since Leonard Riston did it last season against Butler and was the longest by a Sycamore since 2005. The return was the first in Riley's career for a touchdown and the second score of his career (caught a nine-yard pass last week against Southern Illinois). The touchdown proved to be Riley's only kickoff return opportunity of the game.
Riley added one catch for seven yards against the Bears.
Other honorees for Indiana State from the CFPA include: Micheal Mardis (TE); Lucas Hileman (P) and Calvin Burnett (DB). Each of those players were named honorable mention selections at for National Player Of The Week at their positions.
-Indiana State's game at North Dakota State, who is expected to retain their No. 1 national ranking after downing No. 3 Youngstown State 48-7 on Saturday, will be televised locally in Fargo and the broadcast will be picked up nationally on ESPN3.com. Fans with a home internet or television subscription with an ESPN provider partner, as well as those with connections on college campuses and military bases, may watch the game free of charge this weekend. An announcement is expected late Tuesday night if the game will be picked on ESPN Gameplan for viewing on a pay-per-view basis on select television providers. To find out if you can receive ESPN 3 programming over the internet at your home, please visit WatchESPN.com. If ESPN 3 is not available, a simulcast of the broadcast will be available on Sycamore Vision, a pay-per-view service provided on GoSycamores.com.
-Indiana State junior Shakir Bell became the school's third all-time leading rusher just 28 games into his career as he went over the 100-yard mark for the 16th time with his 113-yard performance against Missouri State as part of the Sycamores' 31-17 Homecoming victory. Bell also had a nine-yard pass reception in the victory. The fourth quarter belonged to Bell versus the Bears as ISU held on to a narrow 21-17 lead and he accounted for 67 of the Sycamores' 69 yards on a nine-play scoring drive which was capped with his 24-yard touchdown run around left end. The touchdown was the 24th of his career. Bell now has 3,256 yards for his career which moved him ahead of Derrick Franklin for third on ISU's all-time list. Bell is averaging 156.2 rushing yards per game which is second in the MVFC and third nationally.
- Calvin Burnett recorded a pair of interceptions for the second consecutive game and now has four on the season. It marked the third time in Burnett's career that he has picked off two passes in a game and the first time at Memorial Stadium (2010 @ Youngstown State, 2012 @ Southern Illinois, 2012 vs. Missouri State). Burnett added six total tackles on the day, including four solo stops with a tackle for loss.
- Aaron Archie posted a season-high 15 tackles against Missouri State. He made six solo and nine assisted stops. He added one tackle for loss in the game. Archie is currently the leader in the MVFC with a 12.0 tackles per game average, a number which ranks sixth nationally.
- The Indiana State Sycamores have now started the 2012 campaign with a 4-2 overall record as well as a 2-1 burst of the gate in Missouri Valley Football Conference play for the third consecutive season. ISU needs just two more victories to secure their third consecutive winning campaign which would be the first time ISU has enjoyed that many winning seasons in a row since the 1967-69 years under Jerry Huntsman when ISU posted six consecutive winning seasons. ISU's 31-17 victory over Missouri State also gives the Sycamores four consecutive wins on Homecoming - its longest streak of wins at home in front of the alums since 1974-78.
- The Indiana State defense has remained strong all season long, allowing a total of just five offensive touchdowns in its last 21 quarters of action, which is an average of .24 touchdowns allowed per quarter during that span. ISU's defense is allowing an average of 13.0 points per game which ranks second in the MVFC and third nationally.
- Indiana State has never defeated a No. 1 nationally-ranked program, as North Dakota State is expected to be on Saturday. ISU is 0-7 all-time against No. 1 teams, with the last meeting being a 27-16 decision at the hands of the Bison last season at Memorial Stadium. The Sycamores are winless in five previous tries on the road against the nation's top team. Against a team ranked in the nation's Top 5, the Sycamores are 0-19. These numbers are since 1983 when Indiana State became a member of the Football Championship Subdivision.
- It was a very special Homecoming for members of the 1972 football team who returned to Memorial Stadium to see the coaches area of the locker room named in honor of their head coach Jerry Huntsman. Members of Huntsman's family were also in attendance. Huntsman was the head coach of the Sycamores from 1966-72 and compiled a 43-24-1 (.639) record. His 43 career victories ranks second all-time at ISU and his .639 winning percentage is the highest ever. Photos of the dedication can be found here.