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Redbirds Final Drive Comes Up Short, Fall to Coyotes 27-20 in Season Opener

Written by on February 27, 2021

Image courtesy of goredbirds.com

NORMALIll- The Illinois State football team fell to 0-1 this afternoon, as South Dakota forced seven redbird turnovers to take down ISU. ISU had a chance to tie the game at 27 with less than 30 seconds remaining but their drive inside the 20 ended with an thrown interception by quarterback Bryce Jefferson. It was the first ISU football game in 411 days. Hancock Stadium housed 20% of its usual capacity, so nearly 3,000 fans got to attend the contest.

After jumping out to a 17-0 lead against South Dakota, Illinois State surrendered 24 straight points, including 17 straight in the final four minutes of the second quarter. 24 of the Coyotes 27 points came off of turnovers. SDU QB Carson Camp, a Bloomington West High School graduate, had his first start and threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns.

Illinois State’s quarterback Bryce Jefferson struggled to hang on to the football. He let go of four interceptions and lost two fumbles, one interception being the game losing one. He still finished the game with 280 passing yards, including a 59 yard touchdown to receiver Taylor Grimes.

Jefferson thought South Dakota would play a different style of defense than what they came out with. “They came out in a little different way than we thought. We figured they would get deep and not what to get beat deep,” said the starting quarterback. “But today they really stopped the run and our running game is usually our calling card. So they really came up and made plays in the run game which forced us into throws.”

The redbirds will look to get their first victory of the season in Cedar Falls, Iowa when they take on the University of Northern Iowa. They defeated Youngstown 21-0 earlier today. Kick off is set for 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 6th. Coverage will begin at 3:50 on 103.3 WZND and WZND.com


Photo courtesy of goredbirds.com