Courtesy: Tony Campbell/ISU Photographic Services
Football Gameday Central: Sycamores Open Season Under The Lights Thursday At Indiana
Courtesy:ISU Athletics

Ace Hunt


The Mike Sanford era of Indiana State Football begins Thursday, August 29, as the Sycamores play open the 2013 campaign at Indiana. Thursday’s game is set for a 7:00 p.m. (ET) kickoff at Memorial Stadium (52,929). The game will be broadcast live nationally on The Big Ten Network with Chris Denari (pbp) and Chuck Long (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


Indiana leads the all-time series against the Sycamores by a 4-0 count. All four games between the two teams have occurred in Bloomington. Thursday night’s game is the second in a three-game series between the two programs that will continue through 2014. ISU and Indiana first met in 1925 (a 31-0 Hoosier victory) and renewed the rivalry in 2003, 2007 and 2012.


INDIANA STATE: Mike Sanford (Southern California, 1978)
— Overall: 16-43 (6th Season)
— at Indiana State: 0-0 (1st Season)
— vs. IU: First Meeting
— vs. Missouri Valley Football Conference: 0-0
INDIANA: Kevin Wilson (North Carolina, 1984)
— Overall: 5-19 (Third Season)
— at IU: 5-19 (Third Season)
— vs. Indiana State: 1-0
— vs. Missouri Valley Football Conference: 1-0


— Indiana State enjoyed a five-game winning streak for first time since 1996 by defeating Southern Illinois, Missouri State, No. 1 North Dakota State, Western Illinois and South Dakota in succession last season. Three of those victories (SIU, NDSU, and WIU) came on the road. The Sycamores were 5-3 in league play last season.
— Junior tailback Shakir Bell enter Thursday’s game with 3,794 rushing yards for his career which is third on the Sycamore all-time list. He needs just 542 yards on the ground during his senior campaign to become Indiana State’s all-time leading rusher and eclipse the total of 4,335 yards set by Vincent Allen from 1973-77. His 3,794 career rushing yards ranks 11th all-time in the history of the Missouri Valley Football Conference and he needs 953 to top Herb Donaldson’s record of 4,746 set from 2005-08 at Western Illinois.


An Indiana State Win Over Indiana Would …
• Be the Sycamores first over the Hoosiers in five all-time meetings - all in Bloomington.
• Improve the Sycamores to 44-49-7 in season opening games and be the first for Indiana State in a season lidlifter since 2010. A win would also give the Sycamores their first season opening victory on the road since 1980 at Drake.
• Be Indiana State’s first-ever victory over a Big Ten opponent as they are winless in 10 previous attempts.


The Indiana State Head Coach
Indiana State head coach Mike Sanford (Southern California, 1978) is 16-43 (.271) overall in his sixth season as a head coach, and is 0-0 in his first season with Indiana State. He is 0-0 all-time in MVFC games, including an 0-0 mark at home and a 0-0 mark on the road. During his career, he is 13-18 in all home games, 3-25 on the road and 5-5 in games decided by three points or less. Sanford is 0-0 all-time against Indiana, and is 0-0 against the Hoosiers on the road. With the Trees, Sanford is 0-0 in overtime games, and 0-0 in shutouts. Thursday’s game is Mike Sanford’s first as Indiana State head coach.


The Indiana Head Coach
Indiana is led by third-year head coach Kevin Wilson (North Carolina, 1984) who is 5-19 as he begins his third season as the Indiana head coach. Wilson was 1-11 with the Hoosiers in his first season at the helm in 2011 and followed that up with a 4-8 showing in 2012. Wilson is 1-0 against Indiana State, leading the Hoosiers to a 24-17 home victory over the Sycamores last season.


Scouting The Hoosiers
Indiana is coming off a 4-8 campaign in 2012 which saw them win each of their first two games (victories over Indiana State and UMass). The Hoosiers earned Big Ten victories over Illinois at Iowa last season.


A Little History
This marks the 109th 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 358-478-22 and is competing for the 28th consecutive season as a member of the MVFC.


Television Particulars
The Indiana game is being nationally televised on The Big Ten Network for the second consecutive season and is one of the first college football games of the 2013 season nationally. Locally the game can be found on Channel 74 on Time Warner Cable in Terre Haute. On DirecTV, the game can be found on Channel 610-1 while on Dish Network, the game will air live on Channel 5440 or 5441. For all other local cable providers, please check your local listings or go to to watch the game on Big Ten Network To Go, a free web stream service provided by The Big Ten Network to many television providers including both major satellite companies. Please note to watch the game on Big Ten Network To Go, you will need to have setup a username and password with your participating television provider to log in and watch the game.


For Openers
Heading into 2013, the Sycamores are 43-49-7 in season openers with a .467 winning percentage. ISU last won its season opener with a 57-7 victory over St. Joseph’s (Ind.) in 2010 and last won a season opener on the road by a 13-10 count at Drake in 1980. ISU is 0-3 in season opening contests against Indiana (31-0 in 1925, 55-7 in 2007 & 24-17 in 2012).


Indiana State Against The Big Ten Conference
Indiana State is 0-4 against the Indiana Hoosiers and also carry an 0-10 mark against current members of The Big Ten Conference (0-3 vs. Indiana, 0-3 vs. Purdue, 0-2 vs. Minnesota and 0-1 vs. Penn State). The last time an Indiana State football team faced off against a member of the league came in the 2012 season opener at Indiana when the Sycamores fell 24-17 to the Hoosiers. Indiana State has also played original league member Chicago in 1929, falling 18-0.


Top Indiana State Performances In Season Opening Contests
Indiana State has had 16 100-yard rushing performances in season opening contests over the history of the program, highlighted by 192 rushing yards from Shakir Bell vs. Indiana last season. Those 192 rushing yards are the most by a Sycamore in a season opener in the history of the program. Bell has gone over the 100-yard mark in two previous season openers, the 192 effort versus Indiana in 2012 as well as a 133-yard outing against St. Joseph’s in 2010. ISU has had a total of six 200-yard passing performances in season openers with the record being 266 by Jeff Miller vs. St. Cloud State in 1985. The most recent was Reilly Murphy’s 235 yards in the air versus Purdue in 2006. The Sycamores have had seven 100-yard receiving performances in the history of the program on opening day, led by 139 from Kirk Wilson against Drake in 1980. The most recent 100-yard receiving performance in an opener was Brian Jackson’s 104 yards versus Purdue in 2006.


In 2012, Shakir Bell Became Quickest To 1,000 Rushing Yards At Indiana State (Again!)
Indiana State junior Shakir Bell went over the 1,000 rushing yard mark in 2012 in just the seventh game as he put up 96 yards on the ground as the Sycamores downed No. 1 North Dakota State in front of a near capacity crowd at the Fargodome 17-14. Bell rushed 26 times in the game for 96 yards as he broke his own school record set last year for being the fastest Sycamore to reach 1,000 yards rushing in a season. Bell now has 3,794 yards for his career which is third on ISU’s all-time list. Bell has reached 100 yards rushing in 19 of his 33 career games. Vincent Allen (4,335 yards from 1973-77) and David Wright (4,181 yards from 1992-95) are the only two players to sit ahead of Bell on the ISU all-time career rushing list. Additionally, Bell is less than 1,000 yards away from reaching Herb Donaldson at the top of the Missouri Valley Football Conference record book for career rushing yards. Donaldson had 4,746 rushing yards at Western Illinois from 2005-08 and Bell is just 953 yards away from reaching his career total.


Shakir Bell Named To 2013 Walter Payton Award Watch List
Indiana State senior Shakir Bell is one of 20 FCS student-athletes nationally to be named to the 2013 Walter Payton Award Watch List by The Sports Network. The Walter Payton Award is given annually to the top offensive player in FCS Football. This marks the third consecutive season in which Bell has appeared on The Walter Payton Award Watch List. Bell finished tied for second in the voting back in 2011 when he became the first Indiana State Sycamore to be invited to the FCS Awards Presentation in Frisco, Texas. Last season, Bell finished 12th overall and was the second leading vote getter representing the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Bell has already earned First Team Preseason All-America honors from The Sports Network this summer and last season he was named to the Associated Press All-American Third Team after picking up four different first team honors in 2011. He was named First Team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2012 and finished third in the MVFC Offensive Player Of The Year balloting. He was also named to The Sports Network FCS All-American Team last year and is the first Sycamore to earn back-to-back All-America honors since Richard Harris did it in 2000 & 2001.


Sycamore Trio Earns Preseason All-MVFC Plaudits
A trio of Indiana State seniors Shakir Bell, Calvin Burnett and FN Lutz have been named to the 2013 Preseason All-Missouri Valley Football Conference Team as announced by the league office. Additionally, the Sycamores were picked to finish sixth in this season’s 10-team MVFC race. The Preseason All-MVFC Teams as well as the predicted order of finish were determined by a vote of the league head coaches, media and sports information directors. Bell, a member of the Preseason All-MVFC First Team, is a two-time All-MVFC selection and has already been named to numerous Preseason All-American Teams as well this summer. He was the MVFC Offensive Player of the Year in 2011 as well as a finalist for that season’s Walter Payton Award. Burnett, a senior defensive back, is also a member of the Preseason All-MVFC First Team. He was a Second Team All-MVFC selection in 2012 and was an honorable mention pick as a freshman in 2010 when he also was named to the league’s all-newcomer team. Lutz, a senior offensive lineman, is a member of the Preseason All-MVFC Honorable Mention Team. He sat out the 2012 campaign after a knee injury in the spring game forced him to miss the entire season. Despite his injury and based on the hope that he might be ready to play last year, he was named to the Preseason All-MVFC First Team and was a candidate for the Lowe’s Senior Class Award.


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, 2012 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.


Sycamore Winning Streak Hit Five In A Row
The Sycamores won five consecutive games - a stretch that included three road league wins - and achieved a record of 5-2 for the first time ever in Missouri Valley Football Conference play and won five games in league action consecutively for the first time ever with their stretch of success from Sept. 29 until Oct. 27 last season.


Indiana State With Three Consecutive Winning Seasons
The Indiana State Sycamores were 7-4 overall and 5-3 in Missouri Valley Football Conference play last season. The Sycamores secured their third consecutive winning campaign which is 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.


Sycamores Against The Missouri Valley Football Conference
Indiana State is in its 28th 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 51-118 in MVFC contests and have won 12 of their last 22 league matchups, marking the first time since the 2002 season that an ISU team has won multiple league contests over a similar stretch.


In Overtime
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.


Up Next
Indiana State returns to action on Saturday, September 7 against Purdue. Kick-off is set for Noon (ET) and will be televised nationally on The Big Ten Network.


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