Despite elevation, Redbirds run over Rams of Colorado State

James Robinson
James Robinson helped the Redbirds slide past Colorado State on Saturday. . (Photo courtesy

By Illinois State Sports Information

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – For the second time in as many tries, the Illinois State football team took down an FBS foe as the Redbirds (3-0) dominated Colorado State (1-4) on the offensive side of the football to come away with a 35-19 win over the Rams at Canvas Stadium Saturday afternoon.

How it Happened:
•    The Rams scored first, as K.J. Carta-Samuels found Olabisi Johnson for a 9-yard touchdown to cap off a 14-play, 80-yard drive. The extra point was missed off the right upright with 2:21 remaining in the first quarter. Rams led the Redbirds, 6-0.
•    The Redbirds got on the board next, as James Robinsonscored on a two-yard rush and Sam Fenlason’s extra-point make gave the Redbirds the lead at 7-6 early in the second quarter.
•    Two seconds before halftime, Markel Smith found the end zone for the Redbirds and extended the ISU advantage to 14-6 at the intermission.
•    On the first drive of the second half, Brady Davis found tight end Tylor Petkovich for a 12-yard touchdown pass to cap a 5-play, 75-yard scoring drive and extend the Redbirds’ lead to 21-6 with 12:35 in the third quarter.
•    Carta-Samuels found the end zone through the air for a second time late in the third quarter, as he connected with Nikko Hall for a 17-yard touchdown pass to cut it to a one-score game at 21-13.
•    Davis went to the air for his second touchdown pass, as he found Smith on a screen play that went 60 yards to the house to widen the lead to 28-13 with 9:25 left in the game.
•    Robinson put the nail in the coffin, when he found a crease in the Rams’ defense and went 57-yards to the end zone to increase the Redbirds lead to 35-13 with 2:48 remaining in the game.
•    Collin Hill connected with Marvin Kinsey, Jr. for a touchdown pass with 1:36 remaining in the game, however the two-point conversion was no good and the game came to an end after a Christian Uphoff interception.

Game Notes:
•    The victory was the 6th overall for the Redbirds against an FBS foe, the third since 2012 and the second in as many tries after defeating Northwestern by a score of 9-7 in 2016.
•    Illinois State out-gained Colorado State 538-391 in the contest and the defense only allowed 134 yards on the ground, compared to the 267 gained by Redbird backs.
•    Davis finished the game 14-of-29 for 271 yards and two touchdowns to lead the way for the Redbird offense.
•    Robinson capped off a stellar effort with 22 carries for 185 yards and two touchdowns … Smith had 14 carries for 65 yards and a score as well as the Redbirds dominated on the ground.
•    Andrew Edgar and Spencer Schnell led the Redbirds in receiving with five catches apiece. Edgar had 111 yards, as he broke the century mark for the first time as a Redbird, while Schnell finished with 69 yards.
•    Zackary Mathews led the way for the Redbirds on defense with 10 total tackles. Devin Taylor finished with eight tackles and an interception, and Uphoff had a pick on the day as well.
•    Romeo McKnight had a pair of sacks as well in the win for the Redbird defense.

Up Next:
Illinois State (3-0) is on the road again next week at Missouri State (2-1) to begin Missouri Valley Football Conference action. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m., and fans can listen to the game on WJBC AM 1230 and on the TuneIn app and watch on ESPN+.


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