Within Illinois State's journey to reclaim the Missouri Valley Football Conference crown, the team experienced a familiar case of déjà vu instead.
While similar triumph was achieved early on in the season much like the year before, the Redbirds' road to the playoffs ends just the same.
Illinois State fell in its final road contest, suffering its fourth consecutive MVFC loss at Indiana State 28-23.
Now 5-5 overall and 2-5 in Valley play, the 'Birds were bounced out of both the FCS American Football Coaches Association poll (previously ranked No. 22) and the FCS Top 25 STATS poll (previously ranked No. 14).
With that loss, the Redbirds are far and away out of playoff contention, sitting at No. 8 in the MVFC rankings.
Junior quarterback Brady Davis returned to action Saturday, throwing 25-for-41 with 294 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, connecting with senior Spencer Schnell for a two-yard touchdown pass in the first half.
Schnell had himself a career-high day, hauling in 11 receptions for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman wideout Andrew Edgar was right behind him, compiling 104 yards on eight receptions.
A different name led the Redbird rushing stats as junior running back Markel Smith collected 55 yards and a score at halftime, evenly splitting carries with junior mainstay James Robinson.
Smith ran for a total of 83 yards and a score for Illinois State's sole rushing touchdown of the day. Robinson rushed for 73 yards on 20 carries, collecting over 1,000 yards on the season as he is the first Redbird running back to do so since 2015.
Illinois State (5-5, 2-5 MVFC) returns home to Hancock Stadium Saturday as the Redbirds square off against Youngstown State at noon.