FARGO, N.D. —
Think of where the Indiana State football program was in 2008 when coach Trent Miles arrived on the scene.
Then think of Indiana State’s 17-14 victory over top-ranked and defending Football Championship Subdivision national champion North Dakota State on Saturday.
Then tell me it’s not the biggest victory in Sycamores’ history. Because it is. Bar none. Take it to the bank. Write it in stone.
The Sycamores did something that seemed unlikely 24 hours ago and would have been unthinkable just four short years ago. When it comes to corner-turning moments for a program, this one will give the Sycamores whiplash.
“It’s great for our kids to win against a program like this. To say it’s the biggest win? I can’t say that. It’s the biggest win of the week,” said Miles, who prefers to be football coach, not historian.
Forget the coachspeak. Not only is it “the biggest win of the week,” it’s the biggest win of any week in ISU’s modern era of football.
It’s not the biggest win ever just because ISU won its first game in program history over a No. 1 team. Nor is it because ISU finally broke its duck against a FCS top five after 19 previous losses.
It was the way ISU went about its business to get the victory, which is to say, ISU didn’t anything out of the ordinary at all.
There was no gimmickry. No trick plays. No exotic scheme. There was no superhuman effort involved by any one player. No dumb luck. There were two turnovers returned by cornerback Johnny Towalid for touchdowns, but ISU made those plays.
ISU walked into the Fargodome, put its players on the field with a plan and the talent it has assembled, and effectively told North Dakota State to beat them straight up.
The Bison couldn’t do it. Think of the significance of that. ISU stood toe-to-toe with the best FCS team in the country and it was good enough.
That’s a massive step for the Sycamore program, though it didn’t surprise Miles.
“It’s great for our kids to get the reward. They never thought we couldn’t win. We go into every game thinking we can win. We don’t go in each week with something different. We know what we do is going to be good enough,” Miles said.
As every ISU fan is painfully aware, there’s been a lot of baby steps to go from the nation’s worst to beating the nation’s best. The 2009 victory over Western Illinois that broke the nation’s longest losing streak was an important step. Consecutive 6-5 seasons in 2010 and 2011 were two more steps.
“It’s a privilege to be at Indiana State. Back then [when ISU was losing], they probably wouldn’t have said that. But now? We went through the process and it’s a privilege to be here,” ISU cornerback Calvin Burnett said.
The triumph was a giant leap for Sycamore-kind because for all of the improvements that have been made under Miles, one thing the Sycamores hadn’t done in a regular-season game was to beat one of the MVFC’s power teams. Since Miles came to ISU, NDSU and Northern Iowa have been the league’s standard-bearers.
ISU had knocked on the door against both powerhouse programs, but now they’ve finally kicked it in. It changes the perception of the program. No longer is ISU the scrappy MVFC underdog trying to emerge from the abyss. ISU is an alpha dog in the best FCS conference in the country.
Miles has built a belief in his team, but until Saturday, there wasn’t that tangible reward — that big victory — to get everyone else to believe. Now that’s changed.
“We’re at the point now where it’s not about [lack of talented] players anymore, it’s not about facilities anymore. What it’s about is playing well on Saturdays. That’s where we’re at,” Miles said.
“You saw that today. If we do what we do, and play the best we can, it’s good enough now. It hasn’t always been the case, but now it is,” he added.
Is it ever. Beating the No. 1 team in FCS on the road is the corner ISU fans have been waiting to turn. Drink it in.
Todd Golden is sports editor of the Tribune-Star. He can be reached at (812) 231-4272 or email@example.com. Please follow him on Twitter @TribStarTodd.
FARGO, N.D. —
Think of where the Indiana State football program was in 2008 when coach Trent Miles arrived on the scene.
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Indiana State leads the Missouri Valley with six of the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards after Anna Munn earned the recognition Tuesday for the 2013-14 season.
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No one on Indiana State’s men’s basketball needed to say a word about the Sycamores’ 83-69 loss to Wichita State in Sunday’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game.
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It’s hard to run with Secretariat. Secretariat, for the uninitiated, won horse racing’s Triple Crown in 1973 and famously stormed to victory in the Belmont Stakes by an unfathomable 31 lengths. Secretariat is widely considered to be the greatest thoroughbred of all time, and his Belmont performance is one of sports’ all-time greatest moments. In Missouri Valley Conference terms, Wichita State is Secretariat.
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When you’re getting ready to play the No. 2 team in the country — the undefeated No. 2 team in the country and the best Missouri Valley Conference team in a generation — the unwritten rule says you’re not supposed to rile them. That you’re not supposed to poke the hornet’s nest.
Clock problems delay start of Indiana State semifinal game
Time stood still in Scottrade Center on Saturday.
Not by design.
Sycamores advance to Arch Madness title game
No one said advancing to the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball tournament championship game was going to be easy.
ISU women grab share of MVC regular-season title
The preseason Missouri Valley Conference favorite lived up to its expectations, as the Indiana State women’s basketball team grabbed a piece of the regular-season title with an 85-72 triumph over host Northern Iowa on Saturday afternoon inside McLeod Center.
Robinson leads No. 12 Michigan over Indiana
Glenn Robinson scored 20 points, including a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 1:10 to play, and Jordan Morgan had a double-double in his final home game to help No. 12 Michigan finish off its Big Ten championship season with an 84-80 victory over Indiana on Saturday night.
Michigan (23-7 15-3) avenged last year’s defeat in the last game of the regular season. In that game, Morgan’s tap-in rolled off the rim as time expired, giving the Hoosiers the victory and costing the Wolverines a share of the conference title.
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Indiana State defeated Southern Illinois 62-59 on Saturday to advance to Arch Madness championship game.
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It sounds counter-intuitive, but to go forward in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament you must first get stops. In Friday’s MVC Tournament quarterfinal against Loyola, ISU followed that bit of zen to a tee. The Sycamores never let the Ramblers get comfortable offensively and put a hammer-lock on Loyola standout Milton Doyle. ISU rode its defense to an easy 75-62 victory at Scottrade Center.
ISU baseball looking to carry success home
Indiana State had pitching questions coming into the season, having lost its entire starting staff from a year ago.
So far anyway, those questions have been answered. The Sycamores are 9-1 going into their home opener today against Western Illinois.
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A late run in the eighth-inning broke a 4-all tie and proved to be the game winner for Rockford College in a 5-4 decision over the Rose-Hulman baseball team Friday at the Chain of Lakes Complex.
Indiana State women move within one win from MVC title
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Anna Munn, Jasmine Grier and Chelsea Small each chipped in 11 points as ISU shot 10-of-21 from 3-point range as a team.
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Indiana State point guard Jake Odum is sick-and-tired of being sick and tired.
He’s tired of hearing about the team’s three-game losing streak. He’s tired of the Sycamores playing below par. He’s tired of the team not fulfilling its potential.
He plans to do something about it this weekend. Second-seeded ISU begins its Missouri Valley Conference Tournament trek at 7:05 p.m. tonight against either No. 10 Loyola.
Rose-Hulman seniors lead Engineers into NCAA Division III Tournament
For Rose-Hulman’s six senior men’s basketball players, this weekend will mark the beginning of their third and final appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament.
Having left Terre Haute by bus Thursday, Rose (22-5) will open the Division III four-team regional at Hope College in Holland, Mich., today against Wheaton College (19-8) at the unique time of 5:30 p.m.
Coach Jim Shaw’s Engineers are coming off Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) regular-season and tournament championships for the second consecutive year.
ISU women seek top MVC seed
Defense and rebounding are the staples of Teri Moren’s fourth Indiana State team, a squad that hits the road trying to defend and rebound its way to a regular-season conference title. The Sycamores women’s basketball can clinch the No. 1 seed in the Missouri Valley Conference with wins tonight against Drake and Saturday against Northern Iowa.
Nebraska completes sweep of Indiana
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ISU reserve Smith earns two MVC honors
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Two Sycamores with Scott during Saturday incident
A Vigo County’s Sheriff’s case report of Brenton Scott’s arrest last Saturday indicated that Scott, an Indiana State basketball player, tried to pass himself off as his twin brother and that two of his teammates were with him at the time of the incident.
Metro Sports: Sycamores to be represented at NCAA indoors
Three members of the Indiana State track and field team will compete in the 2014 NCAA indoor championships March 14-15 at Albuquerque, N.M. Senior Greggmar Swift will represent the men, while sophomore Katie Wise and senior Mary Theisen will represent the women.
Rose meets Wheaton in NCAA opener
Rose-Hulman will open its third straight trip to the NCAA Division III basketball tournament at 5:30 p.m. Friday when the Engineers play Wheaton in a four-team regional hosted by Hope College.
Metro: No ISU baseball today; home opener now Friday
Indiana State’s baseball home opener that was to be played today has been pushed back, according to Sycamore head coach Mitch Hannahs.
ISU's Scott booked for OWI, possession
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Odum can't get roll on game-winning attempt on Senior Day
The storybook was ready to be opened at Hulman Center on Saturday.
Down two with 4.5 seconds to go, Indiana State rebounded a free throw miss by Northern Iowa’s Seth Tuttle. ISU senior point guard Odum timed his dash perfectly up the floor. He released his shot from just behind the 3-point line at just the right second. The shot was true and online.
TODD GOLDEN: Lansing's belief in his team has not wavered
In the wake of Indiana State’s 71-69 loss to Northern Iowa on Saturday, and the three-game losing streak that comes with it, ISU coach Greg Lansing wanted to get one point across crystal clear in his postgame press conference.
VIDEO: Munn has made her mark on ISU women's program
Anna Munn has been a dependable leader in the Indiana State women’s basketball program. Her leadership has helped coach Teri Moren build to back-to-back 10-or-more win seasons in the Missouri Valley the last two years.
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