Redbirds Suffer 28-10 Loss at No. 1 North Dakota State
Nov. 9, 2013
FARGO, N.D. - Despite a staunch defensive effort, Illinois State (5-5, 4-3 MVFC) fell at top-ranked North Dakota State (9-0, 6-0 MVFC), 28-10, Saturday at the Fargodome. The loss snapped Illinois State's three-game winning streak.
The Redbirds fell behind early 14-0, but kept with the Bison until the closing minutes of the game when North Dakota State used a 13-play, 71-yard drive, to eat up nearly eight full minutes, before scoring a touchdown to cap the scoring at 28-10 with 1:03 to go in regulation. The top-ranked Bison accumulated 394 yards of total offense, with quarterback Brock Jensen finishing 13-for-22 for 198 yards with three touchdown and no interceptions. John Crockett had 104 rush yards on 20 carries with one touchdown and Sam Ojuri added 65 rush yards on 11 attempts.
For the Redbirds, Dontae McCoy recorded a career-best 12 tackles, including nine solo tackles and one tackle-for-loss. David Perkins forced one fumble, one of two NDSU turnovers in the game, Teddy Corwin blocked a field goal and added a half sack, while Rickey Simpson collaborated with Corwin for the other half of the sack.
The Redbirds accumulated 123 rush yards, with senior Cameron Hunt netting a season-best 72 yards on 11 carries. Marshaun Coprich added 59 yards on 21 carries, with Illinois State's only touchdown. In the air, quarterback Blake Winkler finished 12-for-21 for 72 yards. Phil Dudley paced the receivers with three receptions for 16 yards.
The Bison needed just three plays to strike first, notching an opening-drive touchdown on a 27-yard pass from Jenson to wide out Zach Vraa. Following an Illinois State fumble, the Bison marched 24 yards for their second touchdown, scoring on a three-yard pass from Jensen to Kevin Vaadeland to make it 14-0 with 4:16 to play in the opening quarter.
Illinois State then cut the deficit to seven points on a 10-play, 61-yard scoring drive early in the second quarter. The Redbirds converted twice on third down, including a 13-yard strike from Winkler to Dudley. Hunt broke a season-long 33-yard dash to the Bison two-yard line to set up the Illinois State score. Two plays later, Coprich muscled through the defensive line for the touchdown, making it 14-7 North Dakota State with 13:45 to play in the opening half.
The Bison responded with a 52-yard touchdown drive, capped by a 26-yard pass from Jensen to Vraa. North Dakota State held a 21-7 advantage going into halftime.
ISU had possession of the football to open the second half, but punted three plays into the drive. The punt return resulted in a fumble that was recovered by long-snapper Chris Highland, giving Illinois State possession inside the Bison 20-yard line. Facing 3rd-and-9 from the 17, Winkler found Chick Chatham on a slant route for a first down and an 11-yard gain. The Redbirds missed on their next three pass attempts in the end zone, before Nick Aussieker drilled a 22-yard field goal attempt to make it 21-10 Bison with 11:23 to play in the third quarter.
The Redbird defense then shut down North Dakota State on three-consecutive possessions, all ending in Bison punts, however the Illinois State offense could not muster another score. The Redbirds conclude the 2013 regular season with a Missouri Valley Football Conference contest at Southern Illinois, Nov. 16. Kickoff is slated for 2:00 p.m., and a win would secure Illinois State's fifth-consecutive winning season under head coach Brock Spack.
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