Courtesy: Morgan Gibbons/ISU Athletics
Football Gameday Central: Sycamores Take To Valley Football Road At SDSU Saturday
Courtesy:ISU Athletics

Ace Hunt


Year one of the Mike Sanford era at Indiana State continues Saturday, November 9, as the Sycamores travel to No. 19/20 South Dakota State. Saturday’s game is set for a 3:00 p.m. (ET) kickoff at Coughlin Alumni Stadium (15,000). The game will be broadcast live worldwide on a pay-per-view basis on Sycamore Vision with Tyler Merriam (pbp), Mike Struck (color) and Scotty Kwas (sidelines) 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 also be heard live worldwide on Live stats for the game will be available via a link on


South Dakota State holds a 3-2 lead in the all-time series which dates back to 2008 when the Jackrabbits joined the Missouri Valley Football Conference. In games played in Brookings, S.D., the series is tied at 1-1. ISU had won two games in a row (2010, 2011) before falling last season in Terre Haute.


INDIANA STATE: Mike Sanford (Southern California, 1978)
— Overall: 17-51 (6th Season)
— at Indiana State: 1-8 (1st Season)
— vs. South Dakota State: First Meeting
— vs. Missouri Valley Football Conference: 0-5
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE: John Stiegelmeier (SDSU, 1979)
— Overall: 107-80 (16th Season)
— at South Dakota State: 107-80 (16th Season)
— vs. Indiana State: 3-2
— vs. Missouri Valley Football Conference: 30-17


— Indiana State’s Donovan Layne had a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown against Missouri State on November 2. It was the second “pick-6” of the season for the Sycamores with the other being a 31-yard interception return for a touchdown by Connor Underwood in the season opener at Indiana.
— Senior tailback Shakir Bell has seen his season and career end due to injuries with 4,214 rushing yards which is second on the Sycamore all-time list. He finishes his ISU career just 123 yards short of becoming Indiana State’s all-time leading rusher behind only the 4,335 yards of Vincent Allen from 1973-77. His 4,214 career rushing yards ranks sixth all-time in the history of the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Additionally, Bell is just the third Sycamore and 10th player ever in the history of the Missouri Valley Football Conference to eclipse the 4,000 career rushing yard mark.


An Indiana State Win Over South Dakota State Would …
• Give Indiana State its first MVFC victory of the season as well as its first on the road.
• Give the Sycamores at one MVFC road victory in every season since 2010 — a span of four seasons.
• Snap a five-game road MVFC losing streak.


The Indiana State Head Coach
Indiana State head coach Mike Sanford (Southern California, 1978) is 17-51 (.250) overall in his sixth season as a head coach, and is 1-8 (.111) in his first season with Indiana State. He is 0-5 all-time in MVFC games, including an 0-2 mark at home and an 0-3 mark on the road. During his career, he is 14-20 in all home games, 3-31 on the road and 5-7 in games decided by three points or less. Sanford is 0-0 all-time against South Dakota State, and is 0-0 against the Jackrabbits on the road. With the Trees, Sanford is 0-0 in overtime games, and 0-0 in shutouts. Saturday’s game is Mike Sanford’s 10th as Indiana State head coach and his 69th as a collegiate head coach.


The South Dakota State Head Coach
South Dakota State is led by head coach John Stiegelmeier, who is in his 16th season at the helm of the Jackrabbit program. Stiegelmeier is 107-80 at SDSU and as a collegiate head coach. He owns a 3-2 mark against Indiana State as well as a 30-17 mark against the current membership of the Missouri Valley Football Conference.


Scouting The Bears
South Dakota State is 5-4 on the season, including a mark of 2-3 inside Missouri Valley Football Conference play. SDSU owns victories over Butler, North Dakota and Southeastern Louisiana in non-conference play as well as wins over Wesern Illinois and Northern Iowa inside the MVFC. SDSU is led by Zach Zenner who has rushed for 1,235 yards this season and has accounted for 16 touchdowns in 2013.


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 359-486-22 and is competing for the 28th consecutive season as a member of the MVFC.


Television Particulars
The South Dakota State game will be televised world-wide on Sycamore Vision through a share agreement with the SDSU Athletics Department. Fans may purchase a subscription to Sycamore Vision by navigating to


Sycamores Look To Get Back On Winning Track At South Dakota State
Indiana State saw its two-game winning streak against South Dakota State snapped last season with a 24-10 home field loss to the Jackrabbits. The Sycamores took a 38-28 victory on October 1, 2011 in Brookings to win for the first time ever at South Dakota State as part of the annual “Beef Bowl” festivities. SDSU leads the all-time series with Indiana State by a 3-2 count, including a 1-1 mark in Brookings. The Sycamores’ largest margin of victory against SDSU came in the form of a 41-30 victory in Terre Haute in 2010.


Donovan Layne Earns Indiana State’s Second “Pick-6” Of The Season
Indiana State defensive back Donovan Layne reached the end zone for the Sycamores with a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter at Missouri State on November 2. It marked the second interception return for a touchdown by a Sycamore this season as Connor Underwood tallied one for 31 yards in the season opener at Indiana. Layne’s interception return for a touchdown was the first of his career and marked his first interception in 2013.


LeMonte Booker Owns 97-Yard Kickoff Return For A TD Versus NDSU
Indiana State freshman LeMonte Booker returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown against No. 1 North Dakota State on October 26. It was the first for the Sycamores since Tanner Riley returned a kickoff for a touchdown against Missouri State in 2012. Booker’s return was also the longest for the Sycamores since Cornell Johnson had a 97-yard kickoff return against Western Illinois in 2005.


Sycamores Looking For A MVFC Road Victory For 4th Consecutive Season
Indiana State heads to South Dakota State looking for their first Missouri Valley Conference road victory of the season with just one opportunity remaining. The Sycamores have won at least one MVFC road contest in each of the last three seasons (2010-2012) and are looking to make it four seasons in a row with at least one conference road victory for the first time in 28 seasons of MVFC play.


Sycamores Against The Nation’s Best
Indiana State downed No. 1 North Dakota State last season on October 13 on the road to mark the last time the Sycamores have won against a nationally-ranked team. The Sycamores are 11-76 all-time against FCS nationally-ranked opponents, including a mark of 8-57 against league members that are nationally ranked. The Sycamores have dropped each of their last three meetings against nationally-ranked teams (Illinois State last season, Youngstown State and North Dakota State this season).


Mike Perish Close To Topping School Passing Record Yet Again
Mike Perish’s performance against league-leading and nationally ranked Youngstown State was once again near the top of the Sycamore football record book. Perish was 30-of-56 passing for 392 yards and three touchdowns against the Penguins. Perish was just four passing yards away from the single-game school record in each category. He found nine different receivers on the day and all nine had multiple receptions.


Sampson I Am
Indiana State freshman Sampson Levingston had one of the more interesting statistical lines in the history of Indiana State football with only two pass receptions but three receiving touchdowns against nationally-ranked Youngstown State. Levingston had two receptions for 56 yards, including a long of 27. He had a 27-yard TD reception, in the second quarter and also had a 21-yard TD reception late in the game. The other eight yards on his receiving total came in the fourth quarter after Kyani Harris had a 68-yard pass reception and lateraled the ball to Chris O’Leary who then pitched the ball to Levingston who went the final eight yards for his third touchdown reception of the game. Levingston is the first Sycamore to record three pass receptions for a touchdown since James Braden did it in 2001 at Missouri State (Braden also scored touchdowns on all of his pass receptions in that game). Additionally, Levingston’s touchdown on the double lateral was featured on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays. Levingston has six touchdown receptions on the season, which is just two shy of the school record of eight held by Steve Schmid in 1986.


Mike Perish Named MVFC Offensive Player Of The Week Following Quincy Contest
Mike Perish took home his first Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player Of The Week honor following his performance against Quincy on September 14. Perish was 23-of-26 passing for 379 yards with four passing touchdowns and one on the ground as the Sycamores went over 70 points for the first time since 1925 in their 70-7 victory over Quincy. Perish had 379 passing yards which are the fourth-most in a single-game in school history and was part of a school record 433 passing yards, topping a 2006 effort against Missouri State. Perish’s completion percentage of 88.4 percent (23-of-26) is likewise a new school record. Perish added a one-yard touchdown run.


Sycamore Offense Hits 70 Point Mark For First Time Since 1925
Indiana State defeated Quincy by the score of 70-7 in the home opener. It marked the first time that ISU has scored at least 70 points in a game since a 72-0 victory over Vincennes in 1925. It was the first time the Sycamores have scored at least 70 points in a game played in Terre Haute since a 79-0 victory over Vincennes in 1924. The 10 touchdowns scored by the Sycamores are a school record, topping the previous best of nine. The Sycamores have scored 119 points in three games this season, averaging 39.7 points per game, which currently ranks third-best in the MVFC.


Indiana Sets New Passing Record Against Quincy
The Sycamore offense set several records in the 70-7 victory over Quincy. Indiana State’s 433 passing yards is a school record for a single-game, topping a 396-yard effort through the air in 2006 at Missouri State. The Sycamores amassed 671 yards of total offense versus Quincy, which was just four yards short of the school record of 675 yards against Dayton set in 1975. For the season, Indiana State’s offense is averaging 424 yards per game which is fourth-best in the MVFC and they are one of six different MVFC schools to average more than 400 yards of total offense per game.


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.


Indiana State Football With Third Consecutive Winning Season
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 51-121 in MVFC contests all-time.


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 home for its final two games of the regular season beginning with Western Illinois on November 16. Kick-off is set for 2:05 p.m. (ET).


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