Running back Steve McShane has been a threat as a running back and a receiver this season for the No. 11 Western Illinois football team.
On Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind., McShane’s skills as a return specialist gave his team a lift in its 45-0 Missouri Valley Football Conference victory against Indiana State.
McShane’s 81-yard punt return for a touchdown blew open the game to give the Leathernecks (7-3 overall, 4-3 MVFC). McShane gave Western a 31-0 halftime lead on his way to 198 all-purpose yards.
“We had just played three heavyweights,” WIU coach Charlie Fisher said. “We were coming in playing a team that was 0-9 but a team that as hungry. We had to take care of business.”
The victory was a school-record sixth road win for Western and strengthened the team’s FCS playoff hopes, thanks to McShane.
“The punt return blew the top off of things and really took a lot of air out of Indiana State,” Fisher said.
Indiana State remained winless in 10 games this season and managed only eight first downs and 133 yards of offense.
“We have to continue to stay on that rise,” said Fisher, whose team has won back-to-back games after losses to MVFC powers North Dakota State and South Dakota State. “These guys know we can play better, and they know we are capable of getting another one.”
Western ends the regular season Nov. 18 at home against Southern Illinois (4-6), which knocked WIU out of playoff contention last season with an upset in Carbondale.
Players of the game
Senior WIU quarterback Sean McGuire completed 17 of 25 passes for 253 yards and four TDs.
Cornerback Justin Fitzpatrick and safety Aaron Diggs each had six tackles and an interception for WIU.
Junior running back Steve McShane had 198 all-purpose yards for the Leathernecks (63 rushing, 51 receiving, 84 returns).
By The Numbers
5 – Number of different WIU players who caught a TD pass in the game.
5 – Sacks by the Western Illinois defense.
9 – Team-high tackles for WIU linebacker Brett Taylor, the national leader in total tackles.
43 – ISU rushing yards against the Western Illinois defense.
51 – Rushing yards for ISU’s LeMonte Booker, nearly 27 yards below his season average.
133 – Total yards gained by Indiana State.
Southern Illinois (4-6, 2-5) at Western Illinois (7-3, 4-3), 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18 in Macomb, Ill.