Amid the Redbirds' 51-3 Homecoming victory against Southern Illinois this past Saturday, Illinois State's future now depends on taking the Bison by the horns.
The 'Birds come off a powerful offensive showing as Illinois State moves from No. 12 to No. 8 in the FCS Stats poll, as well as jumping from No. 13 to No. 7 in the American Football Coaches Association poll, announced Monday.
Junior running back James Robinson had a career day at Hancock Stadium, becoming the 12th Redbird in program history to eclipse 2,000 career rushing yards, and he powered his way to a career-high 202 yards with one touchdown.
“It’s like every week it’s a run game [game plan], that’s what they tell us and obviously passing is a big part of it too, but I mean coming out we just kept running power and it was getting open. That’s what we kept doing and we kept getting a lot of yards, so why go away from it?” Robinson said.
Junior running back Markel Smith accompanied Robinson with 143 yards on just 11 carries and a touchdown. That made it the second time the duo each ran for over 100 yards in a game.
Junior transfer quarterback Brady Davis completed 10-of-15 passes for 118 yards, tying a career best with four touchdowns.
ISU finished Saturday's Missouri Valley Football Conference matchup totaling in over 400 rushing yards as Davis showed his athleticism in the early-going, compiling four rushes for 42 yards in the first quarter.
Davis also committed his first interception of the season against the Salukis, while accumulating his 14th touchdown pass of the year.
No. 7 FCS-ranked Illinois State (5-1, 2-1 MVFC) now faces a tough road test, traveling to Fargo, North Dakota, this upcoming Saturday to take on the No. 1 ranked North Dakota State (6-0, 3-0 MVFC) in arguably ISU's most important Missouri Valley Conference matchup all year.
The Redbirds are set for kickoff against the Bison at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Fargodome.