ISU Redbirds spring postseason capsule

All-American offensive lineman Drew Himmelman signed as an undrafted free agent with the Denver Broncos. (photo courtesy

Illinois State Redbirds

Missouri Valley Football Conference

Head Coach:  Brock Spack

Overall Record:  1-3

Conference Record:  1-3

Biggest Win:  The Redbirds rushed for 274 yards en route to a 26-18 victory over rival Western Illinois March 20 at Hancock Stadium. ISU head coach Brock Spack improved to 85-53 in his career and sits just one game away from tying Howard Hancock (86) for the most wins in program history.

Most Frustrating Loss: The spring opener proved to be a downer as ISU turned the ball over seven times to South Dakota. The Redbirds still had a chance late in the game to tie or win it, but an interception derailed the opportunity as No. 7 ISU fell 27-20.

Opt out: After gaining its first and only win of the spring, ISU announced it was opting out of its remaining games “to protect the health and safety of the players and ensure their readiness for the upcoming 2021 fall 11-game slate.” Head coach Brock said, “Injuries at key positions, especially on the defensive line where we suffered two more setbacks yesterday, have made it nearly impossible for us to play this week and extremely difficult for us to compete in the remaining four games. We appreciate all the support and hard work put in by so many in the ISU Athletics Department and on campus to get us to this point during these challenging times.”

All-league: Five Illinois State players were named to the Missouri Valley 2020-21 All-Conference team as voted on by media members, league sports information directors and head coaches. Senior All-American left tackle Drew Himmelman repeated as an All-MVFC First-Team selection and nose guard John Ridgeway earned First-Team honors for the first time in his career. Fullback Timothy McCloyn II, linebacker Shanon Reid and linebacker Brandon Simon were honorable mention picks.

Fall kickoff: Illinois State opens its fall season Saturday, Sept. 4 against Butler at Hancock Stadium. The Redbirds begin their Missouri Valley Conference schedule Sept. 25 at rival Southern Illinois.

Next Up:  Barry Bottino explores Five Burning Questions that face ISU football for fall 2021.

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