Illinois State Redbirds Postseason Capsule

Illinois State Redbirds Postseason Capsule
Illinois State linebacker Dylan Draka was named STATS national defensive player of the week for his performance against South Dakota State. (photo courtesy goredbirds.com)

Illinois State Redbirds

Missouri Valley Football Conference

Head Coach:  Brock Spack

Overall Record:  10-5 (reached FCS playoff quarterfinals)

Conference Record:  5-3

Biggest Regular Season Win:  Then-No. 11 Illinois State took advantage of four turnovers by No. 4 South Dakota State and knocked off the Jackrabbits 27-18 in Brookings.

Biggest Playoff Win:  Senior James Robinson followed up his 297-yard rushing performance in the first round against Southeast Missouri with a 210-yard effort as the Redbirds cruised past No. 8-seed Central Arkansas 24-14 for a second straight postseason road victory.

Most Frustrating Loss: Ranked No. 6 nationally entering the regular season finale, Illinois State struggled on offense with starting quarterback Brady Davis sidelined with an injury and fell 21-3 at Youngstown State. The loss most likely cost the Redbirds a national seed and first-round playoff bye.

Returning strengths for 2020:  The Redbirds return experienced starters in virtually every position group. ISU’s return to the playoffs after a two-year hiatus also gives next year’s team valuable experience on which to build.

Emerging Stars:  LB Dylan Draka & RB Jeff Proctor

Giving Thanks:  Cornerbacks Devin Taylor and Charles Woods are terrific compliments to one another in the ISU seconday. The duo combined for nine interceptions and 32 pass breakups during the 2019 season.

New Year’s Wish List:  The momentum built from 2019 carries over to another deep playoff run for the Redbirds.

Biggest Shoes to Fill:  RB James Robinson & S Luther Kirk

Next Up:  Barry Bottino explores Five Burning Questions that face ISU football for 2020.

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