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Illinois State Athletics | November 9, 2019

FCS football: No. 12 Illinois State scores final 17 points to secure upset over No. 4 South Dakota State

Check out the FCS top plays of the week

BROOKINGS, S.D. — No. 12 Illinois State took advantage of four costly turnovers by No. 4 South Dakota State, as the Redbirds (7-3, 4-2 MVFC) scored 17 unanswered points in the second half to defeat the Jackrabbits (7-3, 4-2 MVFC) 27-18 Saturday afternoon at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium. 

WEEK 11 RECAP: Final stats from Illinois State's upset | Full FCS scoreboard

How it happened:

  • The Redbirds scored on their opening drive of the game, as they went 86 yards in 10 plays capped off by a 12-yard touchdown pass from Brady Davis to Tristan Bailey.
  • SDSU kicker Cole Frahm connected on his first field goal of the season from 43 yards out to trim the ISU lead to 7-3 with 2:18 left in the first quarter. 
  • Early in the second quarter, a penalty by the Redbirds committed in the end zone resulted in a safety for the Jackrabbits and the ISU lead was cut to 7-5 with 12:46 left in the quarter.
  • The Jacks then took the lead on a 21-yard pass from Keaton Heide to Adam Anderson at the 8:47 mark. They went for two, but the attempt was foiled by Christian Uphoff to keep the score at 11-7 in favor of SDSU.
  • A 33-yard field goal by Sam Fenlason with four seconds remaining in the half cut the SDSU lead to 11-10 at halftime.
  • The Jacks extended their lead to 18-10 midway through the third quarter on a 4-yard touchdown run by Pierre Strong Jr., that capped off a drive that lasted over 5 minutes.
  • A 32-yard field goal by Fenlason cut into the SDSU lead late in the third quarter, making the score 18-13.
  • After an interception by Uphoff, Fenlason connected on his third field goal of the contest at the 12:53 mark of the fourth quarter to cut it to 18-16.
  • Another turnover by the Jacks on a fumble on the kickoff return forced by Peyton Jones set up a 1-yard touchdown run by James Robinson. That gave the Redbirds the lead. A 2-point conversion from Davis to Drew Himmelman gave the Redbirds the lead at 24-18 with 9:17 to play.
  • Fenlason capped off the victory with a career-long 46-yard field goal with 6:33 left to bring the score to its final at 27-18.

FCS COMMITTEE RANKINGS: North Dakota State is No. 1 in first top-10 committee rankings

Game notes: 

  • The reception and touchdown by Bailey in the first quarter were the first of his Redbird career. 
  • The four field goals by Fenlason tied a career best, and his 46-yard make was a career-long. 
  • Dylan Draka led the way for the Redbirds with three tackles-for-loss, with a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in the victory for the Redbirds.
  • ISU improves to 4-1 on the road this season, with four straight wins.
  • The win over a ranked foe was the first for ISU since defeating No. 21 Youngstown State on Oct. 28, 2017.
  • It was also ISU's first win over the Jackrabbits in Brookings since 2010. 

FCS HISTORY: 9 winningest FCS programs of all-time | 7 of the most unbreakable FCS records

Up next:

Illinois State will host Missouri State next Saturday on Senior Day at Hancock Stadium, with kickoff set for noon.

North Dakota State vs. Illinois State: Preview, how to watch the top-6 FCS matchup

No. 1 North Dakota State will visit MVFC rival No. 6 Illinois State on Saturday afternoon. Here's when and how to watch the Week 6 top 10 battle in FCS football.

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