WIU vs Indiana State (11/17/2018) - Senior Day

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ST_Lawson
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Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:53 am

Image VS Image

Game Time: 1:00 PM on Saturday, November 17th
Location: Hanson Field, Macomb, IL
Weather:
ImageImage

TV/Radio:
TV/Streaming: ESPN3
Radio: WRMS 94.3 (Beardstown), WJEQ 102.7 (Macomb)
Streaming Audio - wrmsfm.com, WRMS on Tunein.com

About the Sycamores
Indiana State is 6-4 this season and has a 4-3 MVFC record. They started the season beating DII Quincy, lost at FBS Louisville, then won at Eastern Illinois. In the conference, they got shut out by UNI, but then took SDSU to OT in Brookings. They lost by 3 at home to MSU, but since then, they've rifled off four straight wins, going on the road to beat SIU by 3 and YSU by 26, then heading back home to take down USD by 3 in 3 OTs and ILSU by 5.
Overall, the Sycamores offense is #3 in the MVFC in scoring and yardage in conference games, averaging 31.9 ppg and 424 ypg. They rely heavily on their ground game, ranking #2 in rushing offense with 238 ypg but 10th in passing offense with 185 ypg. They've been careful though, throwing only 2 INTs (best in the MVFC) and having an offensive efficiency rating of 149.6...#2 in the conference. On the other side of the ball, they're giving up the 7th most points in conference games (32.1 ppg) and 9th most yards (479 ypg). Their pass defense is a little better (8th, 237 ypg) than their run defense (10th, 242 ypg).
Their offense is led by QB Ryan Boyle, a Junior transfer from the U of Iowa, who puts up 125 ypg and 7 TDs in MVFC games, but also is the #4 rusher in the conference, averaging 82 ypg with 4 TDs. RB Titus McCoy has picked up his yardage quite a bit in the last couple of weeks, averaging 127.5 ypg in the last two games with 2 rushing TDs against ILSU. WR Dante Hendrix is the top receiver, with 73.4 receiving yards per game and 4 TDs against conference teams. WRs Dante Jones II and Freshman Dakota Caton are both decent secondary receiving targets as well. The INSU defense has a handful of "tackling machines" with the #1-#3 tacklers in the conference: LB Jonas Griffith (13.3 tackles per game), LB Katrell Moss (12.6), and DB Jamal Jones (9.9). Griffith is, by the sounds of it, a bit banged up, but he's currently #1 in the entire FCS in solo tackles, averaging 7.3 per game. Jones leads the conference in fumbles recovered with 3 in 7 MVFC games.

Series History:
WIU and INSU have matched up 41 times with WIU holding a 26-15 series lead. From 2000 to 2008, WIU won 9-straight games. INSU won in 2009, 2011, and 2012, and WIU won in 2010 and every year from 2013 to today. Last year's matchup was a 45-0 demolishing at Terre Haute. Many of you may also remember the 2015 meeting, which was the second-to-last game of the season and was QB Sean McGuire's first start ever. McGuire threw for 332 yards in that game, leading WIU to a 7-point OT win.

Common Opponents:
Youngstown State - WIU won by 7, INSU won by 26
Illinois State - WIU lost by 17, INSU won by 5
Missouri State - WIU won by 17, INSU lost by 3
Northern Iowa - WIU won by 20, INSU lost by 33
Southern Illinois - WIU won by 3, INSU won by 3
South Dakota - WIU lost by 5, INSU won by 3 in 3 OT

Predictions:
Massey - 31-24 WIU win
CompughterRatings.com - 30-26 WIU win
Sagarin - ~5 point WIU win

Rankings:
Sagarin (out of all DI teams): WIU 122, INSU 143
Massey Ratings: WIU 16, INSU 20

My Take
By many accounts, this game is essentially a "play-in" game for an at-large playoff spot. Indiana State has already locked in their first winning season since 2014, but will reach 7-4 and a playoff spot with one more win (all of which is a huge improvement over their 0-11 season last year). WIU stands a decent chance of making it into the playoffs with a win here and a little help around the rest of the FCS. To win this game, our offense will have to be able to put together sustained drives...something they struggled with against USD...and we can't have as many dropped passes. I'm hoping that the last-ranked run defense of INSU will allow us to get some kind of ground game going so that we can have a more balanced offense. I also like the abilities of our D-line and LBs to put pressure on traditionally "running" QBs. The top few QBs in the conference for rushing yards are INSU's Ryan Boyle, SIU's Matt DeSomer, NDSU's Easton Stick, and MSU's Peyton Huslig, all of which average 36+ ypg on the ground. Against DeSomer, Stick, and Huslig, WIU's defense gave up a total of 26 rushing yards. Boyle is a better runner than those other three, but I think we can still contain him fairly well. With both teams essentially fighting for a playoff spot, you can bet Indiana State will bring everything they've got. We need a game that is much closer to how we played against UNI to come away with a win. My optimistic prediction is that we grind out a 6-point win, 33-27.
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Leatherneck177
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Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:54 am

More importantly, has anyone watched Indiana State as of yet? I rewatched portions of the ISUb-ISUr game this weekend. The Sycamores run a read-option heavy offense. The QB and their RB are both lightening quick. Either the Redbirds had injuries, packed it in for the season or the Sycamores are really that good. We are going to have to have our best defensive showing of the year to win. I could not believe how well their offense moved the ball. They essentially throw the ball into space on quick slants, passes to the flat etc and let their players do the work. They have great speed at RB and QB...WRs are OK. QB doesn't throw a ton...but he has good passing ability.

Leatherneck57, what is your thought on stopping a team like this? A running QB that runs a read option? Does this team have the personnel to do that?

Their defense is not very good, we will need to be able to control the ball. Not much room for turnovers and we will need to score often and early.

ISUb reminds me of a faster USD on offense, but a worse team defensively.

This is going to be a tall task, there is no question.
Leatherneck177
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Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:48 am

Their LB's are pretty good. I've got major concerns about this game with our defense, which has been very good, we just need to be able to move the ball and control the clock. I'm hoping these guys empty the tank on both sides of the ball to get a W in this one. It reminds me of the season finale a few years ago against SDSU. I would have given us no shot in that game either, but we found a way. Will need the same effort Saturday.
wiu712
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Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:32 am

The FCS Bracketology Site is predicting that the winner of Saturday's Western vs Indiana State game will play at Southeast Missouri State in a first-round playoff game. The winner of that game would play at South Dakota State in a second-round game.
http://www.nobowls.com/
Leatherneck57
Posts: 218
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Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:57 pm

Leatherneck177 wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:54 am
More importantly, has anyone watched Indiana State as of yet? I rewatched portions of the ISUb-ISUr game this weekend. The Sycamores run a read-option heavy offense. The QB and their RB are both lightening quick. Either the Redbirds had injuries, packed it in for the season or the Sycamores are really that good. We are going to have to have our best defensive showing of the year to win. I could not believe how well their offense moved the ball. They essentially throw the ball into space on quick slants, passes to the flat etc and let their players do the work. They have great speed at RB and QB...WRs are OK. QB doesn't throw a ton...but he has good passing ability.

Leatherneck57, what is your thought on stopping a team like this? A running QB that runs a read option? Does this team have the personnel to do that?

Their defense is not very good, we will need to be able to control the ball. Not much room for turnovers and we will need to score often and early.

ISUb reminds me of a faster USD on offense, but a worse team defensively.

This is going to be a tall task, there is no question.
They will have to play solid gap responsibilty and assignment football. LB’s will be an important part of stopping this offense. DB’s will have to make solid tackles out on an Island. They can’t give up big plays by missed tackles. We have to stop the run...plain and simple.
Sycamore62
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Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:37 pm

Hey guys,

I really don't know what to expect this Saturday aside from it being cold as heck. No outcome will surprise me. As of now, Ill be there (coming from Charleston, IL) and a buddy I played with is coming down from Chicago. Last week was uncomfortably cold for me, Ive apparently lost my man card. It was probably ok for the players.

One thing Ive noticed over about 4-5 weeks is that our QB gets literally zero respect on keeping the ball on the zone read or read option. Ive seen a lot of them where there isnt a linebacker in the area either.

Griffith, our LB got hurt and didnt seem 100% last week.

I think our coaches do a better job than our last couple coaching staffs at making adjustments.

we are pretty pumped about how our season has gone since we expected about 3-5 wins. At this point any disappointment can only be from expectations that they have built though the season. this is another chance to try to win our way into a possible playoff spot. In 2014 you guys beat us and it turned out we still made it. I think we had about 3 years back when Trent Miles was coach were a win week 11 would have got us in and just had terrible luck.

See you guys Saturday.
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RedNeck
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Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:28 am

This thread is already depressing. An 0-11 team just one year removed is a mighty Goliath on the road here in Macomb?
rocki
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Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:39 am

RedNeck wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:28 am
This thread is already depressing. An 0-11 team just one year removed is a mighty Goliath on the road here in Macomb?
Yes, yes, they are.
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ST_Lawson
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Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:36 am

RedNeck wrote:This thread is already depressing. An 0-11 team just one year removed is a mighty Goliath on the road here in Macomb?
This year is not last year. Despite losing a RB who was statistically #2 in the FCS, they've won their last 4 games, including crushing YSU (by a lot more than we beat them by), beating South Dakota, and Illinois State. They also took SDSU to OT in Brookings. It's true they haven't had a great deal of success historically, but they're getting a lot better (and by the looks of things, will continue to do so for the next few years).


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Leatherneck57
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Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:41 am

I say their Cinderella season comes to an end Saturday against the Leathernecks! I truly believe our boys won’t have a let down 2 weeks in a row.

If you look at their schedule they only have one big win and that was on the road against Youngstown State (and YSU was having major issues then
in the locker room and only started playing the last two weeks when their HC called them out), They beat up a D2 Quincy University for their first win since 2016, lost to a 2-8 Louisville team (who’s fired their HC...wish I would be fired and receive a $14.5 million dollar buyout), gave up 41 points to a bad Eastern Illinois team, got shut out by UNI at home 33-0, got beat by MO State at home by 3 (MO State controlled the game until the 4th qtr), beat SIU on the road by 3, beat S.D. at home in overtime and beat ISU at home by 5. SDSU most likely overlooked Indiana State because they were coming off a tough 21-17 loss to NDSU the week before. That happens a lot.

Yes we should have beat S.D. but we had our worst game of the year. It was just a bad game any way you look at it. We had ISU 16-12 heading into the 4th qtr and again had a bad qtr based on poor field position. The only game we haven’t been in was against NDSU and that wasn’t until the 4th qtr when they scored 10 points.

I like our chances this week to get the job done and get an at large bid based on finishing 3rd in the MVFC and our SOS. Finishing 3rd in the MVFC is more prestigious than finishing 2nd or 3rd in a lot of other conferences!

Go Necks!
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