Illinois State football took a rough loss Saturday, its first at Hancock Stadium this season and its second loss in a row.
The Redbirds (5-3, 2-3 MVFC) fell to fifth in the Missouri Valley Football Conference standings, and now sit at No. 13 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 14 in the FCS STATS Poll, which were released Monday afternoon.
ISU has fallen six spots in the last two weeks, and now face the reality of missing the FCS playoffs if it fails to win out or win at least two of its three remaining games.
South Dakota State stalled the Redbirds in Week 9, as MVFC third-ranked junior running back James Robinson was held to 10 yards, and the MVFC No. 9 running back Markel Smith only managed five rushing yards.
Despite sitting fifth in the MVFC, only two teams are ahead of ISU in the FCS Rankings.
MVFC powerhouse North Dakota State remains the consensus No. 1 team in the FCS after its 59-14 mopping of SDSU.
SDSU also stayed at No. 7 in the FCS STATS Poll and moved up one spot to No. 7 in the FCS Coaches Poll.
The Redbirds face a road test at Northern Iowa with kickoff set for 1 p.m. Saturday.