Get to Know Illinois State's First-Round Playoff Opponent

Get to Know Illinois State's First-Round Playoff Opponent
First Security Field at Estes Stadium in Conway, Arkansas

Illinois State makes its seventh appearance in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs Saturday when the Redbirds play at Central Arkansas.

Whether ISU fans are making the trip to Conway, Arkansas for the game or just watching it on ESPN3 or listening on the radio, here’s a primer on the Redbirds’ opponent:

University of Central Arkansas

Founded:  1907

Enrollment:  11,900

Nickname: Bears

Colors:  Purple & gray

Location:  Conway, Arkansas

(513 miles from Normal & 619 miles from Chicago)

Population of City:  65,000

Conference:  Southland

Record:  9-2 overall, 8-1 in Southland

Ranking:  14th in the latest STATS FCS poll; 16th in FCS Coaches poll

Head Coach:  Steve Campbell

Key players:   Wide receiver Desmond Smith, offensive lineman Stockton Mallett, all-purpose player Jatavious Wilson, defensive lineman Jordan Toliver and defensive backs Tremon Smith, George Odum and Tyler Williams were first-team all-conference selections. Quarterback Hayden Hildebrand, offensive lineman John Austin Cook, defensive end Cardell Best, defensive back Devin Spurlock and punter Patrick Ponder were named to the second team.

Playing Surface:  Nicknamed “The Stripes” (see photo above); First Security Field at Estes Stadium (seats 9,000), opened in 2011

Best NFL player to come from UCA:  Monte Coleman, LB, Washington Redskins, 1979-1994

Best Names on Current Roster:  Stockton Mallett & Brandon Brokeshoulder


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