SETTING THE STAGE
The fifth season of the Trent Miles era continues on Saturday, October 13, as the Sycamores hit the road in Missouri Valley Football Conference play for a battle with No. 1 nationally ranked North Dakota State. Saturday's game is set for a 4:07 p.m. (ET) kickoff at FargoDome (18,700). The game will be broadcast live world-wide on ESPN 3 with Brian Shawn (pbp), Lee Timmerman (color) and Kevin Feeney (color) on the call. The game will also air live on WIBQ (98.5 FM), with Brian Fritz and Tom James calling the action for the Nelligan Sports Marketing Radio Network. Action can be heard live worldwide on GoSycamores.com. For those that do not have access to ESPN 3, the game will also be broadcast live on Sycamore Vision, which is a pay-per-view subscription service of GoSycamores.com. Information on how to subscribe to the Sycamore Vision web stream can be found on page 2 of this release.
THE NORTH DAKOTA STATE SERIES
North Dakota State is 4-0 all-time against Indiana State, in a series which dates back to 2008 - the year of entry for the Bison in the MVFC. ISU is 0-2 against North Dakota State at the Fargo and NDSU captured the last meeting in the series, 27-16 at Memorial Stadium.
INDIANA STATE: Trent Miles (Indiana State ‘87)
- Overall: 17-34 (5th Season)
- at Indiana State: 17-34 (5th Season)
- vs. NDSU: 0-4
- vs. Missouri Valley Football Conference: 11-24
NDSU: Craig Bohl (Nebraska, ‘82)
- Overall: 80-31 (10th Season)
- at NDSU: 80-31 (10th Season)
- vs. Indiana State: 4-0
- vs. Missouri Valley Football Conference: 18-12
- Indiana State leads the nation the Missouri Valley Football Conference and is second nationally with a 29.36 kickoff return average. Tanner Riley was named the College Football Performance Awards Kickoff Returner Of The Week for his 93-yard return for a touchdown against Missouri State.
- Shakir Bell is third nationally with a 156.2 rushing yards per game average and went over the century mark against Missouri State again with a 113-yard effort. He now has 3,256 yards for his career which is third all-time at Indiana State. He has scored eight touchdowns this season and has 24 for his career --- just nine off the school record for TD's in a career.
An Indiana State Win Over North Dakota State Would ...
• Give the Sycamores their first-ever victory over a No. 1 nationally-ranked team in eight tries and their first ever victory over a Top 5 team in 20 attempts since 1983.
• Be the Sycamores' first victory over North Dakota State in five all-time meetings and their first victory on the road versus the Bison.
• Give the Sycamores three consecutive road wins in MVFC play for the first time in program history.
• Give the Sycamores a 3-1 start to MVFC play for the second consecutive season.
The Indiana State Head Coach
Indiana State head coach Trent Miles (Indiana State, 1987) is 17-34 (.333) overall in his fifth season as a head coach, all with the Sycamores. He is 11-24 all-time in MVFC games, including a 7-11 mark at home and a 4-13 mark on the road. During his career, he is 12-14 in all home games, 5-20 on the road and 3-3 in games decided by three points or less. Miles is 0-4 all-time against North Dakota State, and is 0-2 against the Bison on the road. With the Trees, Miles is 1-2 in overtime games, and 1-5 in shutouts. Saturday's game is Trent Miles' 52nd as Indiana State head coach.
The North Dakota State Head Coach
North Dakota State is led by 10th-year head coach Craig Bohl, who is 80-31 at the helm of the Bison. Bohl owns an 18-12 record against members of the Missouri Valley Football Conference. He is 4-0 all-time against Indiana State.
Scouting The Bison
North Dakota State is ranked No. 1 this week in both The Sports Network and FCS Coaches Top 25 polls and have been there for six consecutive weeks. The Bison are the defending FCS National Champions and have won 10 consecutive games dating back to last season. The 10-game winning streak is tied with South Carolina for the second longest active winning streak in Division I behind Harvard's 13. NDSU is coming off a 48-7 win over No. 3 Youngstown State at home and own a victory over FBS Colorado State earlier this year. The North Dakota State defense is tops in FCS, allowing 8.4 points per game.
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 355-476-22 and is competing for the 27th consecutive season as a member of the MVFC.
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN 3, which is an internet channel that is part of the ESPN Family Of Networks. To access the free broadcast, you must have a subscriptions with an internet or television provider which has partnered with ESPN. To see if you are eligible, please visit WATCHESPN.com. ESPN 3 broadcasts are also available on college campuses and military bases around the world. For those that can not access the ESPN 3 broadcast, the North Dakota State game will also be broadcast live on the internet by Sycamore Vision, which is a pay-per-view web stream service of GoSycamores.com. Fans should go to the web stream information section of GoSycamores.com for subscription information.
Sycamores Continue Homecoming Success Against Missouri State
Indiana State downed Missouri State 31-17 in the 84th Homecoming contest at ISU. All-time, the Sycamores are 47-35-2 in Homecoming games, including a mark of 3-1 versus the Bears. ISU has won its last four Homecoming games, a streak that is the longest for the Sycamores since a similar span from 1975-78.
Shakir Bell Is Now Third All-Time Leading Rusher At Indiana State
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. Bell has reached 100 yards rushing in 16 of his 28 career games. Vincent Allen (4,335 yards from 1973-77) and David Wright (4,181 yards from 1992-95) now are the only two former players to sit ahead of Bell on the ISU all-time career rushing list.
Calvin Burnett With Two Interceptions In A Game For Second Time In As Many Weeks
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. Burnett added six total tackles on the day, including four solo stops with a tackle for loss. Burnett tied a career-high with two pass interceptions with his other double interception performances coming on the road at Youngstown State in November of 2010 and at Southern Illinois on September 29, 2012.
Tanner Riley Garners National Honors Following 93-Yard Kickoff Return Versus Missouri State
Indiana State junior Tanner Riley was 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.
Sycamores Finding Road To Third Consecutive Winning Season
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.
Sycamores Looking For First Ever Victory Over A Top Ranked Program
Indiana State has never defeated a No. 1 nationally-ranked program, as North Dakota State is 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.
Sycamores All-Time Against Nationally Ranked Programs
Indiana State downed No. 24 Youngstown State last season on September 24 at home to mark the last time the Sycamores have won against a nationally-ranked team. The Sycamores are 10-73 all-time against FCS nationally-ranked opponents, including a mark of 7-54 against league members that are nationally ranked. ISU's has dropped each of last two games against a nationally-ranked opponent (@No. 2 Northern Iowa on October 8, 2011 & vs. No. 1 North Dakota State on November 5, 2011).
Sycamores Have A Knack For Finishing Games Strong
The Indiana State Sycamores have put together a total of 27 scoring drives through six games this season. Of those, 21 have come after an opponent's final score -- good enough for 77.8 percent of all scoring drives. The Sycamores have outscored their opponents by a 72-31 margin in the second half this season, including a 30-7 advantage in the fourth quarter.
Sycamore Defense Third Nationally In Points Allowed Per Game
The Sycamore defense has been outstanding so far this season, allowing just 78 points over the first six games, including the program's first shutout since 1996 with the 44-0 victory over Quincy on September 8. ISU has allowed just five offensive touchdowns to the opposition in the last 21 quarters of action. ISU's defense is allowing an average of 13.0 points per game which ranks second in the MVFC and third nationally.
Connor Underwood Paces The Team In Quarterback Sacks
Connor Underwood earned his first career start at defensive end for the Sycamores as ISU posted a 24-3 road victory over Southern Illinois. Underwood responded with a four tackle performance, including a quarterback sack in the first quarter which stopped a Saluki drive which had reached the red zone and forced them to settle for their lone field goal of the contest. His quarterback sack at SIU marked the third consecutive week in which he has tallied one and gives him the team led for the most on the team this season with three.
Sycamores Have Now Won Back-To-Back Road MVFC Games For First Time In 16 Seasons
Indiana State earned a 24-3 road victory in league play over Southern Illinois on September 29 which broke a nine-game losing streak to the Salukis, including a four in a row in Carbondale. The victory also gave the Sycamores two road MVFC wins in a row dating back to the road finale in 2011 at Missouri State. Since snapping a losing streak of over 30 games on the road in league play with a victory over Youngstown State in 2010, Indiana State is now 4-3 away from Memorial Stadium in the MVFC. Prior to the current string of back-to-back MVFC road victories, the last time the Sycamores accomplished that feat came in 1996 with consecutive road wins over Western Illinois and Southern Illinois. No Sycamore team has ever won three Missouri Valley Football Conference road games consecutively.
Aaron Archie Leading The Way For The Sycamore Defense
Indiana State senior linebacker Aaron Archie has reached double figure totals in tackles in each of the Sycamores' first six games this season and leads the team with a 12.0 tackles per game average. His total is the most in the Missouri Valley Football Conference and is the sixth-best figure nationally.
Fritschle Honored By The Fred Mitchell Award Committee For September Performance
Indiana State sophomore kicker Tanner Fritschle has been very effective at the kicking position this year, hitting 9-of-10 field goal attempts and is a perfect 18-of-18 on PAT's so far through six contests. For his efforts, he has been honored by The Fred Mitchell Award Committee for one of the best national performances by a kicker in the month of September. He is one of 31 kickers to earn the distinction. The Washington, Ind., native made a field goal as the clock reached 0:00 heading into halftime in each of the first four games this season.
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. Evan Borchers Was Named The MVFC Offensive Lineman Of The Week following Bell's performance against Drake.
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.
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.
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.
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 48-116 in MVFC contests and have won nine of their last 17 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 2012 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.
Indiana State remains on the road to take on MVFC foe Western Illinois on Saturday, October 20. The game will kick-off at 7:00 p.m. (ET).