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Sports

Redbirds ready for Homecoming matchup with Salukis

Redbirds ready for Homecoming matchup with Salukis

NORMAL – Illinois State is coming off an exciting 33-16 win over Western last weekend and look to start another win streak this week against Southern Illinois.

It’s Homecoming for the Redbirds, but according to head coach Brock Spack that does not change the focus of the team.

“It’s another really important game for our team.  There’s hoop-la around it, but I haven’t even brought it up to our team. I assume they know.”

The focus for this team remains a push to the FCS playoffs, which continues with avenging the Redbird’s 42-7 loss to the Salukis last season in Carbondale. For Spack the first step in doing this is recognizing the talent that Southern brings to the table.

“Southern, since I’ve been head coach here, has always had really good athletes. Particularly up front on defense, they’ve been a handful to block and they’re really good movement guys.”

But attacking that athletic defense will be running back James Robinson.  Robinson lead the Redbirds last weekend with 145 yards and 3 touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

“James Robinson ran like a grown man, which he is. He’s really hard to tackle. Big backs like him can really wear down a defense.”

Wearing down their defense is important but keeping up the performance that the Redbirds had last week on the defensive side of the ball is critical. Sophomore defensive end Romeo McKnight added a sack to his team-leading total of 3. Spack spoke on the surprise that McKnight has been to the Redbirds this season.

“He’s been a pleasant surprise for us. I thought we would be salty [as a defense] but we were dominate on Saturday, and that was a good running football team.”

The Redbirds look to continue their dominance this Saturday at Hancock Stadium with kickoff scheduled for 2 p.m.  All the action can be heard on 103.3 WZND and WZND.com starting at 1:50 p.m.

Isaac Missel

October 11th, 2018

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