So just who is Illinois State? Their mascot is the “Redbirds”. They are located in Normal, IL (11.5hr drive to Boone). This is their 3rd appearance in the FCS playoffs and reached the semifinals in 1999. They finished that season ranked #3. They are currently ranked #16 in the Sportsnetwork poll (App is #7).
Here is their record so far (I used rankings as of today):
Dayton W, 56-14
@ FBS Eastern Michigan W, 31-14
#25 Eastern Illinois W, 54-51 (2OT)
@ Western Illinois W, 23-3
@ South Dakota W, 34-31
Southern Illinois L, 17-0
Youngstown State W, 35-28
Missouri State L, 24-17
@ Northern Iowa W, 33-21
@ #23 Indiana State W, 17-10
#1 North Dakota State L, 38-20
Probably their most impressive win is over FBS Eastern Michigan. They have 2 losses against unranked opponents, however.
Here is a comparison of the two team’s statistical national rankings by category:
App has the offensive & special teams advantage. Illinois State has the defensive advantage. But it’s the playoffs. Both teams know it might be their last game, so you can throw the statistics out the window. Any win is a good win.
Don’t forget, App has the HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE! Make sure you come out to the Rock and support our guys on our quest for a 4th National Championship! If for some reason you can’t, you can tune into ESPN3! GO MOUNTAINEERS!!!